Saturday, January 22, 2011
It took me about five months to write and record seven songs and call them finished. During that period the collapse of my life continued on.
Each obstacle encountered, and there were many, were pushed aside. I had guaranteed to myself that the project would indeed be completed.
My hours were that of a musician, you know, work all night and sleep most of the day. In the pre-dawn silence I could concentrate better, and didn't have to worry about ringing telephones getting recorded accidently.
I kept going to AA and NA meetings, and at times would appear to be alright, but on other occasions it was obvious I was not doing so good.
I gave up believing that anybody in the program would understand what I was doing, or why, or approve of it, so I just kept at the business of writing and recording the songs for my own personal reasons.
It had become increasingly difficult to connect with people on anything other than a superficial level, so trying to do so was all but disregarded.
As usual, I drove my car a lot. It provided me with the time to be alone and think. Not necessarily a good thing, but it was what I did.
I'd see countless young, good looking young ladies walking the streets, offering themselves up for cash, and because I was lonely and isolated, I would too many times waste what little money I had on their company...
But for me, in the shape I was in emotionally, it was like an oasis in the desert. See it, pay for it, and then gulp it down, no questions asked. I didn't have to get their approval or make promises.
It was just a cut and dry momentary cure for the loneliness, and was always out there, like me, just out on the streets alone, night and day, wandering...looking.
Because of this experience I wrote a song called Buckets On The Blvd. Not a very good song, but a song none the less about the fact that it was there, good or bad.
It was a time in my life when I lacked any coherent explanation at all for my existence, so I narrowed everything down to making these recordings, not killing myself, and staying clean and sober.
I kept it very simple. I had to, because the damaging effects of all I had done to my body and mind, during the 60's and 70's, had finally blossomed forth into a full scale jungle of confusion and remorse which was running my life.
My focus was on what I knew how to do, because I didn't know what else to do. Write songs because I could, and create a framework to keep busy with the work of recording them, not much else.
Locked in the damage of twenty years of sex, drugs, and rock n roll, it was a mesmerizing maze of confusion, demoralization, and isolation, so I just hung on to what I knew.
There was no help from any quarter really, other than surface applications, to what appeared to be a bottomless pit of destruction, called my life, so I read the AA book a lot looking for answers.
I watched others recover and progress, while I stayed put, in the endless ruts of my own zig zagging path. I knew something was wrong with me that wasn't wrong with others, but had no idea of how to do anything about it.
I prayed, ranted, cried, screamed, begged God, and then cursed him for abandoning me. I pounded on the walls of hell and heaven alike, but found nothing in the way of help for what ailed me.
This, more than anything, kept me locked into doing what I was doing. It became the imperative. Just keep busy, Bobby, just work on the songs. Don't die, don't get loaded, just keep going...keep working...no matter what.
This song is a tidbit of garbage, captured on tape, and part of my history in 1985. For decades I was embarrassed to play this song for anyone, let alone make a video of it for public consumption.
The telling of this story, though, requires that the pieces be assembled in the right order, no matter how some of them may appear, or how they might make me appear.