I fold or: The Big Shift in Focus

So here it is. I fold. It’s been enough. I’m done trying to make the impossible happen when the parameters are so firmly working against me.

I had meant to come back to music as my currently last hope of reclaiming a self-sustained life after becoming 100% unable to work and 50% disabled in 2008. And in doing so, I thought it a good idea to be music I a) love to play, b) think, I am semi-decently able to play, and c) has an uplifting effect on me and audiences. And the support and unexpected success I had with that in the US and UK overwhelmed me at times! Wow! But in order to continue on this path, I’d need local support too. I have been trying to get that since 2008 and from those experiences I must arrive at the conclusion that Smooth Jazz – for lack of a better term – is hated upon in this country. Sure, if I had gigs and money to offer, I’m almost sure I’d be able to hire some good professional musicians. But getting things going from the ground up – not happening, not here. I think, some (Jazz) musicians particularly hate the aspect of melodic Jazz appealing to a wider audience, when their aspiration is to have select audiences instead. No matter how inspirational or motivating I’d tried to be – I can’t possibly bridge that (mental) gap. So I set it aside, at least for now, possibly for good. I do things in an “all or nothing at all” manner. And right now, my music endeavours are stuck. As am I. From being unable to work in a regular job, I need to depend on as little as 150,- per month for food, drink, bathroom tissue, clothing, electricity, internet, transportation. Due to some food allergies I have special dietary needs, which cut into those meager 150,- all the more. Not to mention a part of medication I have to cover. If it weren’t for my family greatly and most generously helping out with the fee for the realtor… I couldn’t move either. I would have lost my health insurance in 2009 – something unheard of in this country. I was close to losing my modest music gear – and I’m very likely to lose it for good with this decision. At some point, I was really facing being homeless (that was in December of 2010, right around Christmas, when I became the victim of a MySpace/eBay scam, which was exploited to my great disadvantage in the aftermath and had me become the target of a criminal investigation – go figure!)The system is also designed in an “all or nothing at all” manner, as to the fact that it’s unlikely I’ll ever escape from it, unless I work full time. And the latter… is very, very unlikely given my current and preexisting condition(s). I have the most adverse outcomes pretty well in check, but unfortunately, I can’t seem to rely on my health much any more.

So I have to settle for what’s within reach. And although that seems very little right now, it doesn’t need to be bad. However, I think I’m doing myself a favor by letting go of the “big throw” and high aspirations. It hurts, oh yes. Damn, it’s painful. But it appears to me, it needs to be done.

To all of my loyal fans, friends, radio presenters and ongoing supporters: You made it all worth trying!! Wow! This was/is probably the best part of this entire, somewhat “bold” endeavour of mine. 25 years ago, I couldn’t have dreamt of finding myself on radio playlists right among the big names and much respected aspiring artists like myself – what a treat! In 2008, Brian O’Neal passed the ball and I ran with it. Until here. It’s the end of the line with this, at least for now.

My heartfelt thanks go out to every single one of my near 1,500 friends and some more 500+ fans on my page! To my fellow indie artists: If the conditions are a little less adverse than mine, you will make this happen! The pulling together part is the driving force that is going to shake and change the music business from the ground up! Although I’m not setting a fine example right now, I urge you not to let go!

Peace. Enjoy the ride.

wesbound, November 2011

((I really thought, I had everything in place to get more support here, too… 😥 it’s kind of devastating…)



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