Right now I’m reading a story about people who just watch movies all day. In theaters. All day. Like, all day. Going from one theater to another. Making notes in notebooks that no one else will read. Until they die. One would assume. Notes about actors and plots and directors and lighting and other things that make movies movies. They live off of a delicate combination of savings from dead parents and the good graces of cohabitating divorces. As in from each other. Divorced. Living with the person you are divorced from. Picture that. Or don’t. I won’t know the difference if you picture that or not, even though your choice will technically impact the state of the universe. No one else will notice either. Meaning, as important as you and all of you decisions actually are, no one will ever know. Put another way, all of your myopic tunnel vision narcissism is totally justified. It’s just that no one gives a s#!t. Anyway, I lived with a woman I almost married for a year after we decided to not live happily ever after. But we didn’t go to the movies everyday. Although she was really into movies and got kicked out of the Whiskey A Go Go for trying to film me performing there with an actual film movie camera. She had the camera. Like an asshole, I had my 5 String bass and I was wearing a red union suit I stole from LL Bean. The band I was playing in was opening for a band called … ummm. Damn, their song was called… Possum King, or something. I think. I know it had a semi-fake bar of 7/4 in it. They just cut a beat off. How will I ever find out who that band was? Hang on. I gotta run to the library.
How impressed are you?
Damn. That’s a cool song. So of it’s time. In a good way, I think. That guy is/was a great screamer. Really great recording. Or so I think.
Earnestness can sound so trite.
Anyway, what if they, The Toadies, didn’t cut that beat off? Maybe Possum Kingdom wouldn’t have had the same forward push in the verse. It woulda dragged. And the audience would’ve just said “yeah, that’s pretty cool but it kinda doesn’t sound like there is some special thing about the groove that is making me feel like I am floating for a second every four bars or so. Is there a beer special tonight?” If I remember correctly, only the second sentence from the “audience” quotations is representative of the way audiences talk. Unless you’re at a Rush concert or some other place that doesn’t involve girls. In any case, in case it’s not obvious, obviously my case in point is that my life would be really different if The Toadies didn’t cut that beat out. I’m not sure if I should thank them or not. Not because I am chronic depressive or anything … It’s just that, even though I may or may not be a chronic depressive, I think life is really cool and generally fun and life affirming in a life affirming sort of way, like when you are saying goodbye to the person you probably should have spent your whole life being in love with and the two of you are just sitting on a dumb bench in front of a dumb coffee shop laughing and holding hands and being all connected in a cosmic kind of way even though you’re about to say goodbye forever, as in for forever, in a funny kind of oddly life affirming kind of way, and you’re thinking to yourself, man, maybe if The Toadies didn’t cut that beat outwhyareyoureadingthis?
I also met Wayne Kramer that night but I am sure he doesn’t even know.
In possibly unrelated or totally related news (I mean, it kinda depends on that semi fake bar of 7/4, right?) today’s installment of Adventures In How To Make A Career Out Of Playing Straight 8th Notes On The Root Note Of Various Chord Changes By Matt Basile concerns a new recording of a song by the wonderful Jeff Litman featuring Mason Ingram on drums and yours truly playing straight 8th notes on the the root note of various chord changes. Check it out!
P.S. I don’t know if Sinead O’connor actually wrote the following letter, but let’s assume she did …
P.P.S. Dear Miley,
I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today i’ve been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love.
I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping.
Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.
I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.
The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.
None of the men oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.
Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them pray [sic] for animals and less than animals (a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and the associated media).
You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.
I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money.. we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.
You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.
Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.
As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.
Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Miley.. its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.