It’s occurred to me to take a look at some wreckage I’m leaving behind me as I crash along my musical path. I’ve been working on my new record “Motel” for the past year and a half. Getting the recording finished, making crucial production decisions, designing the cover, getting licenses for the 3 cover songs, trying to figure out Spotify & SoundCloud & Facebook & Instagram, none of which ever seem to function the same way twice! – and I find I am pushing and shoving around some of my old music pals.
For instance, it never occurred to me that I needed to ask my old band mate for permission to call my new album “Motel”. She has a co-write on the song, and is offended I didn’t discuss this with her. Gosh, I swear, it never occurred to me in a million years! Also, since I dropped her lyrics with new ones of my own, I didn’t credit her on my album. This is me being a total knucklehead – this isn’t how a copyright works – but as I say I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to some important things. Now she’s so pissed at this carelessness and some things in our mutual past that she doesn’t even want her name on the record.
Then years ago when I was in the tank for Jesus I released some jesus-y songs with a friend of mine. So when you go to Spotify to check out the Alt-Country Queen Julia Kasdorf, what comes up is Julia Kasdorf, the author of praise music. Yikes! That’s not me anymore! But my recording pal, who had uploaded the music, wouldn’t pull it down cause its a joint venture between him and me. Well, I didn’t want to undermine our collab, but it sure as heck isn’t serving me these days. He also got a Notification of Intent to license a track of ours from Spotify and that pissed him off. I guess its cause I re-recorded some of my songs which I’d put in his hands. Maybe there was an exclusivity agreement there that I over looked.
Last summer I found the most astounding photographer. I’ve never had anyone produce such dynamic, vibrant pictures of me. But along the way I pissed him off, too. He and I didn’t have a firm agreement about payment. I kept asking him what I owe him but he would demur and tell me he’d let me know later or something vague like that. I ended up sending him $200 which apparently insulted him as being too low. Also, I wasn’t careful with my words around him – when I’m focused I can be very abrupt – but he never confronted me about it. Until after he quit me and then he let me have it. He was the best photographer I’ve ever known. My loss. Plus I don’t like pissing people off.
So I can make up excuses for why these folks are over-sensitive, over-protective, and just downright stubborn. But I don’t think they are all wrong. And even if they are mistaken in their assumptions towards me and my motives, I clearly didn’t treat these folks the way they wanted to be treated. I’m not responsible for how folks feel or respond to me, but its in my interests to examine these situations, to investigate the wreckage, and see how I can avoid derailing friendships and associations in the future. I want to move down my road, but i don’t think the wreckage is necessary.