Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Running at the football again

Well, you know the cartoon, Charlie Brown runs at the football. Lucy promises this time she will not jerk it away, she does, he lands on his back....

I've lost count of the band members I counted on, who made commitments to any degree, then are gone, and I am left trying to figure out how to keep the commitments the band has made... Well, I've been spending more and more time teaching new band members and less and less time booking the band or making money. I feel like I am running a busking school.

Once again, how many times even this summer? I've lost count. The new guitar player, I taught to almost play Irish music, play well enough the audience responded big at the Lower East Side festival, enough that he made a decent amount of money busking these past several weeks... well, long and short of it, Friday left for Vermont to not play at a wedding I had committed to play at... ( lovely wedding by the way... ) all was well with the band, Monday I return with a few gigs in New Hampshire... no guitar player... gone, not a word, no contact.

So, here I am lying on my back on a pleasant stretch of grass looking up at the blue sky, birds singing, sun shining, and Lucy kneeling over me with the football raised in her hands. I am hearing all the words of the many many band members who promised so very much in so many different ways, even promised never to do to me what the others had done... and all I can think of is at least this last time, I did not hit my head on a rock when I fell on my back ( several times it felt just like hitting me ol' gray head on a rock, believe me! )

So, what to do.

Well, laugh at my folly and pain and run at the football again, and keep doing it until I have nothing left to run at it with... why?

A friend asked why I was laughing after a band member went missing a while ago...

because there is F***all else to do.

Bring on the clowns of uncertainty.

8 Comments:

At 5:20 AM, Blogger QuaCarol said...

It's as though, on some level, Charlie thinks that this time his trust will actually change Lucy's behavior.

Is that faith? or narcissism?

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger QuaCarol said...

P.S. I'm actually asking that question. I don't know the answer.

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Ah Carol dear heart...
isn't that the quesiton...
the fact is there is no greater crime than being an unsuccessful artist. All the persistance is forgiven when you make it, but all the presistance is narcissism when you are trying to make it... and everyone tells you stop trying to rise above the crowd... get a McJob ( or a job lawyering so I can work seven days a week from dawn to dawn like my wife and make no money at all... only those who know lawyering in NY would understand without a long explanation about the hardships of an older solo practisioner with no resumee of success... ) so... what is it, you hear the audiences love you, but so what... what you have to say wont get you bread on the table, just the right to play for free for events that hire a $300 disk jocky to follow you with Jaylo...
maybe it isn't faith or narcissim but just not enough imagination to figure out how to live.

lor

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Lorcan said...

PS resume of success does not include rights you access for others... I've done my share of that, it means I have not been able to get a cent of funding, I played folk music to fund the rights work I did... so to the legal establishment, I'm a bum.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger QuaCarol said...

If you're Charlie on your back in the grass again, then I take these musicians who keep letting you down to be Lucy.

Where is the faith and the narcissism in that configuration?

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

????? I thought that is clear, faith that they mean what they say... I will show up - learn tunes... show up for gigs... Narcissism? the idea that I have something to say as an artist... my songs are played on about 40 radio stations... have good reviews... always close enough to keep trying, not enough to ... well whatever success is measured by...

lor

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger QuaCarol said...

faith that they mean what they say... I will show up - learn tunes... show up for gigs... Narcissism? the idea that I have something to say as an artist...

nononononono (allegretto, in a descending tone).

As Charlie Brown, you keep having faith that these musicians won't pull the ball away just as you kick off. From what I understood of your report, they almost always do--and you end up flat on your back, with a nice view of the sky.

So I'm asking, is it your faith or your narcissism that keeps you approaching these unreliable folks thinking that, surely, this time your high hopes and good intentions will change their unreliable natures?

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Quacarl askes... "So I'm asking, is it your faith or your narcissism that keeps you approaching these unreliable folks thinking that, surely, this time your high hopes and good intentions will change their unreliable natures?"

Well... It is more complicated possibly... the cost of living in New York makes it unlikely that folks can make a living on folk music alone... and yet, well some do and some can, especially if they are buskers... street musicians... however, street musicians are sometimes, well, responsibility adverse... or you pick up musicians for whom this is a second gig, they work in the evening or the day, so I find I try to build up a pool of talented musicians... who also work in clubs as cocktail waitresses or bartenders or stock brokers or lawyers... who are often so exhausted by their primary work... but frankly even the lawyers pull some really vile unreliable things... like not telling you they have no intention to show for a gig... they just don't bother...

well it is more necessity than narcissism... if I am going to get my music played... I have to keep trying to find folks who will ... and well there are some forty stories of promises broken, but what can you do... you know the old joke about the kid who says to his dad, when he grows up he wants to play folk music and the father says you can't have it both ways.

 

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