Monday, November 28, 2005

The Dotted Line

Even as a child, I always created music. I picked up my sister’s big acoustic guitar, and started strumming a bunch of nothingness at the age of four. When I started going to school, I dabbled into other instruments, playing saxophone, keyboards and then eventually the drums. I was in the school band, playing my saxophone by ear. I couldn’t read music. It was all Greek to me.

My love was the guitar. My mother always bought me those little toy guitars, but I always broke them in half somehow, and begged for another one. I was more interested in an electric guitar back then. I was ten years old at the time. One Christmas morning, my mother brought out this huge box wrapped up in a red bow. It was my very first guitar. Then she came out with another big box, which was the amplifier. That was it! I didn’t want to open another present. I rushed to the outlet to plug this thing in, and started playing horrible music. I remember my sisters all looking over and hearing their thoughts---“Ugh, she’s gonna keep us up all night with that noise!”

Soon enough, my noise turned into rock & roll. I even took lessons for about six months, just to learn the chords—then ditched my teacher, because I didn’t want all the technical mumble jumble. It ruined my love for music. I didn’t want a math class, I wanted to play guitar.

During my teen years, I ended up playing in a band called, “Airborne”. Don’t ask, I have no idea why the guys called it that—they weren’t even in the military. The drummer was the ‘head of the band’. He was from India, and we held all of our practice sessions at his house. His parents had a huge mansion-like house on a hill. The parents made one part of the house into a band room. They had stage lights and professional equipment. I was a bit envious of all his fancy high tech toys, but just grateful enough to be playing there. There were three guys, and me.

The band fizzled out due to conflict of interests, and we went our own ways. The keyboardist, who was a good friend of mine, went off to become a professional jazz trumpet player. I never knew what happened to the other two.

Still jamming in my bedroom to my favorite songs, I was content with just that. I could sit in my room for five hours at a time, playing until my fingers were torn up. Songs from Nirvana, Metallica, The Ramones, Tom Petty, to Lynard Skynard and The Who. Back then, I was a heavy smoker—so if I were stranded on an island, all I needed was a pack of Marlboro Lights and a guitar. I could easily go through one pack of cigarettes if I was engrossed with my music.

~^~CougH~^~HacK~^~

Madelene and I met, and started living together when I was twenty-three years old. We lived in a really nice condo one town away from my parents. My interest in the electric guitar was fading, due to my change of interest in music. I was more into folk music. I was missing one important thing—an acoustic guitar. I remember playing everyone else’s acoustic guitar and thinking, “This is what I need…”

One night, Madelene walked in the door with the groceries while I was cooking dinner.
“Honey, can you help me with the packages?”
“Huh? Oh---okay.”
I said, grudgingly walking out the door, leaving my pot of Italian sauce to burn the bottom of the pot.

I walked outside and almost bumped into this large case.

“What the?...........No………No!...............Oh my God!!!”

It was a huge guitar case with a big red bow on it. I grabbed that puppy and ran inside, just like the first time my mom gave me my first guitar. To my surprise, this was my ‘first real acoustic’----on top of that, it was a twelve string! I was so unbelievably happy. I couldn’t even speak. It was beautiful. It sounded incredible. I didn’t sleep that night. I played that guitar until I fell asleep with it on my lap.

I began writing songs. I never wrote songs before. My first song was dedicated to Madelene. I continued to write and compose. I couldn’t stop. That first year, I had a book full of songs—maybe a hundred; possibly even more. Each tune was on a small recorder because I couldn’t ‘write’ music, nor read any of it. I had to keep my lyrics and keep my melodies on this small recorder.

One day, my sister hands me this ad from the newspaper. There was a female singer looking for an acoustic guitarist. All her musical influences spelled out D * E * B... I called immediately.

“Hello?”
“Yes, hi, my name is Debbie, and I’m calling regarding an ad in the paper for an acoustic guitarist that’s needed.”
“Yes! Hi! My daughter is looking for a guitarist. She’s a talented vocalist, and needs someone to play for her.”
“Oh…Great, well, I’ve been playing quite a while, and I play the same music she is interested in. May I ask how old your daughter is?”
I asked, curious as to know why her mother was taking her calls.
“She’s eighteen years old.”
“Oh.”
I said, almost in a disappointed tone. Even though I was only twenty-three years old, her age sort of had me at a halt.
“Can you stop by to see if you two mesh okay together?”
“Sure.”


Ah well. I decided to go. I didn’t think much of it, what’s the worse that could happen, right? I brought Madelene along with me for the ride. I didn’t want to go alone. I pulled up to her driveway. She lived in an old beautiful white colonial house. Jessica, the eighteen year old vocalist came walking out. She looked very eccentric. She was beautiful. Her hair was dark red, with spiral curls. She wore her hair up, with tendrils brushing against her cheekbones. Her eyes were a dark green color. She was wearing a beautiful flowery dress; almost something from the sixties; yet trendy. She had a Tori Amos look to her as well.

“Hello, I’m Jessica.” She sang to me. No really. She spoke in a melody-like tone.
“Hi, I’m Deb.” I said, as I shook her delicate hand, “This is Madelene, I hope you don’t mind I brought my friend along.”
“No, not at all, this is my boyfriend Jeff.”
As she pointed to this tall guy, with his head shaved in the back, as his hair was way too long in the front, covering his eyes.
“Uhh…hi.” He mumbled.

Jessica and I played for months. We took turns going to each other’s homes. My home turned out to be more efficient since there was no ‘mom’ to come bashing through the doors asking, “Well girls??? How’s it going? Anyone for some pie???”

Total stage mom. Way too into our music. I could just tell. She would beg to sit in sometimes and Jessica would lash out in this bi-polar wacky psychotic way,
“MA! GET OUT NOW!”

Okay. This was starting to get scary now.

Jessica and I would head out to open-mic night at my friend’s bar. The owner never asked for id from one of my new friends who joined me, because he didn’t have any idea that one of my friends would be eighteen years old. We sat there with our other friends, drinking beer and listening to all the other musicians. We were not ready to play out yet. We sounded great on our tape recorders and to our friends, but how would we sound if we were to get up there and play for the entire bar full of drunken people? No one even listened to the bands up there—they were muffled out by the loud voices and piles of mugs clashing together.

While Jessica was on her fourth drink, she started blabbing away about how her and I were playing together to the guys sitting at the end of the bar. She raved about how talented her guitarist was. Then she pointed to me. Of course I shot back and said how talented she was---and thought that would be the end of it.

“Well you know, this is my open-mic gig, I do this for Frankie (the owner) every Tuesday night.” The guy said.

Moments later, a guitar was flopped on my lap.

“You’re on after this guy is through.” The guy said. I looked at Jessica and wanted to slap a dishrag on her face. Then again, who would hear us anyway, with all this noise?
“Jessica, I am so not ready to play in front of everyone.”
“Oh come on Deb! Let’s do it! Let’s go into the dining room where it’s empty and practice a song. We’ll play just one!”

We practiced, “You Were Meant For Me” by Jewel about two times in the dining room, while the Mexican workers in the back came out to hear us—playing for only them. They clapped when we were done. Was this a good sign? Or were they merely trying to be nice? I didn’t know.

They placed two bar stools up on the stage, and dimly lit the stage with a blue light. I couldn’t see anyone anymore. I was not only drunk, but I was blinded from this blue hue piercing my cornea at this point. My legs were rested upon the lower rung of the bar stool. I then noticed that one of my legs was shaking out of nervousness. How could I play this guitar with one of my legs shaking uncontrollably? It wasn’t noticeable to others, but I could feel the guitar sitting on my lap quivering a tad.

Jessica nodded to me, as to tell me she was ready. I began to play. The guitar sounded incredible, the acoustics in the room were unreal. Then Jessica began to sing. She sounded as if she’s been doing this her whole life, and her stage presence was awesome. The noise in the bar went silent. I peeked at the crowd, and noticed everyone staring at us, not saying one word. Then I saw people coming out of the kitchen—just to hear us play. No noise; just us.

When we finished the first song, people sat up from the chairs clapping, and those who were standing, raised their beer mugs and drinks yelling, “Another one! Play another one!”

We then started playing the list of songs that we practiced at home. Jessica turned to me periodically with an excited smile. I knew she was happy. I was happy. We were a regular gig there soon enough.

Our practice sessions became an eight hour ordeal. We didn’t realize how much time passed by. We were so engrossed with our music, that nothing else mattered. My weekends were consumed with music. All of this, just to play out on a Tuesday night.

Every Tuesday night, everyone came to see us again. This included Jessica’s mother. She sat right in the front and coached Jessica a tad. She even suggested a few things, which irritated the hell out of me. “Go home!” I thought. This was getting crazy.

We constantly sent our recordings out to music agents and anyone else who would hear us. Jessica’s goals were to become famous. My goals were to just play guitar in a bar. I didn’t have ‘high hopes’---I just wanted to play and have fun. I know that sounds as if I’m belittling myself, but it was more of a hobby for me, not a ‘career choice’. I felt bad, because I knew how bad Jessica really wanted to be on “MTV” as she put it.

“Well you’ll see when we’re on MTV.”

Do I even want to be on MTV? If anything, probably the one hit wonder disasters.

Well, after all of Jessica’s perseverance, Ray Goodman & Brown noticed our music. They wanted to meet up with us at one of our homes. We set it up at Jessica’s, because her mother was way too involved. Whatever.

First of all, being a folky white girl, I had no clue as who Ray Goodman & Brown was. They’re the ones who wrote, “I Found Love on a Two Way Street”, an old song that was a big hit back in the 70’s, then also charted for Stacy Lattisaw in 1981. I remember that song, but never heard of these guys. They were famous apparently. Madelene even knew who they were.

The doorbell rings, and Jessica’s mom jumps up as if it was Ed McMahon from American Family Publishers, with the million dollar check in hand.

The two well dressed black gentlemen walked inside and introduced themselves. The mother was more thrilled than I was. I was grateful, don’t get me wrong, but I it didn’t “thrill” me as it did with the stage mama.

“We’re here because we are excited about this song.” He plays his recorder with a song that I wrote for Madelene.
“Oh my dear! Can’t you tell that my daughter is just in love with her boyfriend with that song?” The mother pipes in.
“Umm, I’m sorry, that was a song that I wrote three months ago for my girlfriend here.” I corrected her.
“Mom, that’s Deb’s song.” Jessica said.

The mother gave me a look that would kill. She wanted me dead at this point. She was so angry that I took credit for the song. After all, the only thing I did was write the lyrics and compose the music for it. Hmm.

“This is how you two presented it…” Mr. Goodman said, as he played it in its original format.
“Now this is how we would present it to the record company.” He started playing our song, with studio music enhancements. He practically R&B’d us up. It was different. I didn’t like it. Yeah, it was ‘mainstream-sounding’, but it wasn’t how I wanted to present ‘my music’.

“You do have this copyrighted, don’t you?” Mr. Goodman asked me.
“Copyrighted?”
“Yes. If you don’t, you can simply mail this to yourself, have it dated and stamped—never open it, and keep this in your file for proof that this is yours.”
He stated.

The mother shot Jessica a glance. I went home and copyrighted that song as soon as possible. I checked if Jessica did it first in the files of the copyright office, and I beat her to it. I don’t know if they intended to copyright it at all, but I had a weird feeling about stage mama. Her intentions of possibly stealing my work was evident.

“After you do that, get back to me, and we’ll come back and have you sign on the dotted line. We’ll get you in the studios as soon as possible to record your songs. Here’s what the contract looks like. You can have an attorney look at it, and get back to me with your decision.”

A few days later, I get a phone call from Jessica’s boyfriend—the silent guy who never said a word.

“Deb, sorry to call you, but Jessica’s mother is planning on taking the rest of your music and copyrighting it herself. They play to go through with this on their own. I think it’s shitty on their part and I can’t keep this in anymore.”

Thankfully to him, I sent out all my music---and was grateful to see I was the only one to do this. They couldn’t copyright it any longer.

I called Jessica and told her that I didn’t want to be involved in this any longer. I ended our music relationship. She asked what I was going to do then. I simply just wanted to go on with my life, appreciating music as a hobby. I didn’t want to be dictated by a stage mother any longer. She was eighteen and had a mind of her own---or did she?

I never went through with Ray Goodman & Brown. It wasn’t my dream to become famous; nor to become someone’s guitarist just to get burned in the end. My songs are still out there, for anyone to take a look at---in case they want to buy the lyrics. I’m willing to sell my lyrics, but I am not willing to sign on the dotted line to sell myself short.

As a result, I still play guitar more than ever. I still write songs, and I still copyright every one of them. I sometimes accompany my good friend Alyssa (http://www.bleudogproductions.com/about.htm) when she is doing her gigs on stage. She’ll call me up for a few, and to me, there’s nothing better than joining someone musically---for the mere pleasure of music, and not for the business.

38 comments:

Nunzia said...

am i the first person to make it through this entry? lol thanks for sharing and hope you had a very happy thanksgiving!

green said...

Wow. Cool story, as always.

Did Jessica & mom steal any of your songs, or did you get them all copyrighted before they could?

What ever became of Jessica? Did she ever become famous with her music?

Mike said...

Now that is a prime example of a parent trying to live vicariously through their child huh? Sounds like Jessica's boyfriend had some class to tip you off to their intentions though. Great read as usual!

Leesa said...

Loved the story. But I wish you would have had "The Moments" play your song.

~Deb said...

Nunzia: Yeah, first one- long post, I know, but something told me to write it.

Green: Copyrighted everything. As far as I heard, Jessica got engaged to another guy, but never fully went into the music biz again. Not sure what's become of her these days though.

Mike: Yeah, her mother was such a thorn in my side. I dreaded our gigs because she sat there coaching her daughter. Ugh.

Leesa: Who are "The Moments"?

Leesa said...

Ray Goodman & Brown are sometimes known as "The Moments."

~Deb said...

See? I had no clue who they are. I was never into that kind of music back then. I was clueless. Madelene was like, "Ray Goodman & Brown???" I said, "Huh??? Who are they?"

*sigh*

Oswald Croll said...

I am pretty jealous. Playing the guitar and piano are two things I always wanted to do, but alas....I don't have the ear for it. Many guitar lessons taught me nothing other than the fact that there is no H-sharp. I never understood how some people just take to it...... insert catty comment here ............

Do you have any of your stuff up on a site?

A good friend of mine just started his own band a a few years back. He can play the Hell out of a guitar.

Check him out if you are into that folky, "Widespread Panic" type music. He's pretty good.
www.TATEband.com


Os

~Deb said...

Hmm, well everyone has something they love. H sharp? Well, I know that learning the guitar has taught me that there is no H sharp, but there's a whole lotta' female friends that flock to you with "G strings"... ;)

I don't have my music up on any site. I only write and compose, my singing capabilities are, ummm, really...bad. However, my work is up on a directory where music camps/celebrities can look me up if they want to purchase my music.

I have to check out your friend's site. Thanks Os!

Oswald Croll said...

The G-string, now there a chord I wouldn't mind being forced to practice over and over. Although there is a chance I can't play that one either.

Top cat said...

that's a pretty interesting story deb and yeah, you really have to be careful about safeguarding your work..people can get pretty greedy.

From the picture of you holding your guitar it looks just like the one I've got with the black finish.
Sweet sound.

I don't know if you do any computer recording but the one I love is from Mackie called Tracktion and it's very easy to use and is user friendly..I get lost with all the other software.

Jon said...

That was an amazing post hun. It amazes me what assholes people can be. Kudos to the speachless guy.

My best friend from high school got up the courage and some savings and moved to LA (without having a job in place) in hopes of getting his music either published or played. He was really smart about the copywriting legalities pretty early on. I should do a post just about how ballzy Dan is. He's made a ton of friends in the music business, and has recorded and written some music with some known people. He even got a song in a movie a long time ago. It always gives me a chill when I see that movie on TV and hear Dan's song.

~Deb said...

Top Cat: Yes, the Takamine that I have is a black finish--great sound and great action on it. It's the only brand I prefer. As far as recording devices, I have to look into Tracktion--I need one.

Jon: That's great about your friend Dan. He had the balls to just get up and go without anything---and make his dreams come true. That's awesome.

Romeo Jensen said...

damn... i thought u and jess were gunna have an affair

I would have... o well

I got my first set of drums at the age of 5
cheep set that I quickly grew out of... I took up a paper route when I was old enough so I could buy some good drums... Ludwigs... and a pair of gold flake fiberglass sticks

i was like the 10 yearold elton john of drums... well i thought my poop didnt stink... dats fer shizzle

I got into a number of bands... the best being Davey's Dream a cover band that played clubs here in Pittsburgh and the band had to sign in writing that I wouldnt drink (I was 17 when I started with them) the average age of the group was about 26 I think... and believe me... at 17 I effed up the curve on that mean average

the best thing about being in the band (besides meeting chicks) was the lead guitarist taught me to play guitar. Now Im... so so Id say... def not in your league but enough to jam wid ya

:phil: said...

How much people can suck, never ceases to amaze me. I'm glad you protected your songs. It's great that you play guitar. I love playing too. I have a Gurian guitar (made by Michael Gurian - James Taylor plays one and so does Paul Simon at times - mine sounds different though, not nearly as good) They were handmade but the shop burned down in the 1980's so it's a rare instrument. I ahve a couple of others too but I like the acoustic sound the best. Anyway, great post from a new fan.

Michelle said...

Deb,

What a great story. Had no idea you were so talented. I have always wanted to be in a band-the closest I came to that was doing PR relations for a local group. I originally got into the radio business with hopes of working for a label but there was no job security. But, I had a great time meeting artists and going backstage. Friendships were developed and great memories made. Your story brought back some good times. Thanks.

~Deb said...

Romey: No, never had an affair with Jessica—although she was as you put it, a “hawtie”... I was still dating Madelene way back then. We’re like two old married farts now. Sshhhh—don’t tell her I told you that though. So you were a drummer and you played guitar? That’s so cool! Yeah, I would have had you sign a contract to not drink if you were only 17 yrs old. That’s a huge risk. I’m sure you didn’t slip that Captain Morgan in your Coke, right??? Yeh…you sneak!
I do agree with you, the best part about being in a band is to learn from the other members. Musical influences rock!

Phil: Hey—my neighbor! (Literally) I have never heard of a Gurian guitar. I’m ashamed of myself! I heard of Guild & Gibson, but never Gurian. I have to look at that. Too bad that shop burned down. I do agree, I prefer the acoustic sound myself.
Phil----I’m very happy you stopped by my site and became a new reader of mine. Small world, huh?---Especially when we live in the same town!

Michelle: Thank you---I always had a love for music---and love playing with other people, however I never wanted to “be a rock star” if you know what I mean.
That’s great that you got into the music arena. You must have learned so much from behind the scenes as well as on stage stuff. Meeting people in the music biz and even in the art world is so interesting.

Thanks for sharing those stories guys!

Bill Jones, Jr said...

Very nice story, Deb. I'm glad you decided to enjoy music rather than have all the crap comsume you.

For what it's worth, by the time they became Ray, Goodman, & Brown, their careers were downhill. I think their only hit then was "Gotta be a special lady."

~Deb said...

Sable: You just made me feel better. They were still ranting and raving over Cool & the Gang doing songs in their studio at that time... but they never came out with anything, did they???

Carla said...

Deb,

Good for you for having your own mind, unlike Jessica and her psycho mom.

You never cease to amaze me. You have oodles of talent you proabably have not even realized yet. You are inspiring!

~Deb said...

Carla, flattery will get you everywhere my dear! ;) Thank you for the kind words. Not sure about talent, but I know what I like. Thanks!!!

SignGurl said...

I'm so jealous, Deb! You are musical and literal. I've always wanted to play the guitar. The only thing I can play is Smoke On The Water, lol, on my daughter's electric guitar. Funny story about that guitar that I'll have to blog about someday.

~Deb said...

Jenn, I remember playing that song too- it's like the "Stairway to Heaven" song---everyone knows it. :) You should have kept up with it---do you ever play occasionally?

Grace said...

You really do have some great talents Deb! I bought my sister a classical guitar last Christmas and despite all her practicing, she hasn't gotten much past "twinkle, twinkle little star". I would love to learn to play some day. I used to play the piano, but I stupidly haven't touched one in 4 years. I'd love to hear your songs... try to find a way to get them on the net!

P.S. great story-telling; you write beautifully!

kathi said...

You're so talented and you've got integrity too? Dang, no wonder you never made it big in the music world. But, you're big in MY world!!!
I do love the way you can spin a tale. Whatever the instrument, entertaining is your gift.
Love ya.

~Deb said...

Amazinggrace: Thank you for those nice compliments. Playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on a classical guitar? Gotta love it! It is very hard to just pick up 'any' instrument and learn just like that. I guess you really have to have a passion for a particular instrument or type of music. Depends on each individual. Thanks for sharing that!

Kathi: I just love you- gimmie hug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I made it big in your world---then you rock mine. ;) I love "spinning tales", but more so, I love having fun, and not making a huge fiasco out of making a hobby into a business. If it happens, it happens. Thanks again sweetie! xo

Geoffrey Hirschfeld said...

Gee, if we traded lives, we could have lived the same thing, except for my lead singer looked a lot like Brad Pitt/Rob Thomas, and he slept with everything on two feet. I left the band because he was an asshole who was a miserable writer and was looking to make a formula, after being his friend of many years. We formed a band when I was 15, my mom recorded our first "project", and we shared the common experience of playing bars when we were waaaaay too young-16, and sounding a lot like a young U2 opening for bands like "Mortal Witch". You read that right, "Mortal Witch". But yet, the goal of money in the tried and true got him, and he says that he fired me-I left him and took almost all of my good ideas with me. He took one, and the song is the only one on the CD that sounds different from the others. Gee, who might have written it?

The story about Jewel-my last GIF and I used to do a lot of Jewel songs togeather. I still can't hear "Amen" without thinking of her singing it in our front living room. That and her never remembering the words to "Standing still". Hell if I didn't rock that one hard.

I too treasure my guitars and my music, and we could have had carbon copy musical lives like this. The difference? I am recording a new CD now, and I want to be huge. And while this is my goal, I know that someday when I make it(a little ego never hurt!) I will want to be the kid sitting at the open mic with his dad's 12-string that his dad bought when he was dating his mom, umteen million years ago.

PS-2 things a. I hope that I have not offended you by a few of my political posts of late. Of all the people in the blog world, I do not wish to offend you. You have this wonderfull spirituality and view of life, and I dont want to wear out the welcome in your house. And likewise, most of my jabs are directed at people who follow like sheep. You follow with your heart wherever it takes, and that I respect soooo much. And 2-Your Madeline would love the new Madonna as I hear that she loves Depeche Mode. I am listening on Rhapsody, and just rocking. Food for a nice love gift thought! :) OK, back to being obnoxious.....

Danielle said...

LOVED THE STORY!!

I wish I could play something, anything!! The guitar seems hard to play (to me)

Hopefully you had a great thanksgiving and weekend!!!

Casually Me said...

There's no doubt about your talent. My Uncle, he died recently but priot to that made good money as a speechwriter for Ford, asked me once if I wanted to write what I liked or write to an audience. He went on to tell me that if I wrote for myself, that's all I would ever write to. You know what? That's plenty for me. Thanks for the story, great stuff.

~Deb said...

Georffrey: I think I stated this in LisaB’s blog, but if your singer looked like Brad Pitt---I’d turn straight for that man! I swear! But then again, Angelina Jolie would turn me right back into a lesbian.

That’s great that you have all this music history---everything happens for a reason, and that probably showed you what the ‘music life’ is like, and how to watch your behind with some of these people.

I remember playing a lot of Jewel, Alanis, Cranberries, Tori Amos, and we did some of Nirvana in ‘a woman’s version’… I loved when Jessica sang a man’s song. Her voice was awesome, and would stop anyone in their tracks. I was very happy playing with her---except for stage mama. Ugh.

That’s great that you’re recording a new CD. You going to send me one and sign it so when you become famous, I can say, “Geoffrey’s my blog buddy!” ????? I wish you luck, and I hope that you keep at it, and don’t let other critical people tear you down.

You have not offended me in any way. I enjoy people who have different point of views. You brought some interesting things to the table, or ‘in my house’, and I appreciate that. If everyone agreed on my religious and political views---what fun would that be? Seriously. My comment section would have sucked @ss big time! So thank you for making it interesting, as always. Now get back to being your obnoxious self!

Danielle: Thank you… The guitar is hard---if someone just plops that puppy on your lap and tells you to play--- but ever since I was 4 yrs old, I kept at it…and then I took lessons. I can teach someone ‘the easy way’ to play guitar. I make them a grid of where to put their fingers, and show them how to play songs- instead of doing it the technical way. It’s something fun to learn, and you may end up enjoying it a lot. Who knows.

Yes, I had a great thanksgiving, thank you—hope you did as well!

Casually me: Sorry to hear about your uncle. If you love writing, then the one person you should do it for is ‘yourself’ first. If you want to share your thoughts with everyone or try to help someone with what you went through (experiences, etc) then you have that option---doesn’t mean you need to go that route. Thanks for sharing that…

Geoffrey Hirschfeld said...

Thanks Deb, glad to hear it!

I have a high enough and low enough voice to sing a few "chick" songs(every now and then, I bust out with Melissa Ethridge's "Somebody bring me some water", and I can sing a high harmony to "Diamonds and Rust" and play it at the same time[as I am not Joan Baez, I think this is a feat]).

Keep playing, always. I live by a John Denver song when it comes to songwriting and being a guitar player called "This old Guitar".

Take care!

mal said...

WOW....that is quite the story!!

First, I envy you so much. I wish I could hear the music in my head as it is written. What a wondrous thing *S*. I can only enjoy what another has created.

Second, sheeesh, talk about greed! Mom was ready to "screw the pooch" as my O.H. would say and the pooch isn't even the kennel yet!....Foolish woman

Thanks for sharing the tale

gigi said...

It's so refreshing to hear a talented artist say that they "do it for the pleasure". Being around performers all the time I get tired of many of them "trying to make it big" who cares? As long as you enjoy what you're doing who really cares about fame and fortune.

I would LOVE to hear you play!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Wow. I can't wait to get my speakers working on the d*mned computer again (dunno what happened) so that I can hear this!

Jessica's mom: what a nasty creature. Women like that...well, people like that...make me wonder: how do they sleep at night? Jessica's boyfriend was a gem, though! Hope he ended up finding a better girl!

~Deb said...

Geoffrey: Wow, you busted out with a Melissa song? That’s incredible. Never heard it done like that before. That’s creative when you start twisting the gender tree.

Mallory: Thank you… The music was written at my most emotional state of mind---either very very in love—mushy crap---hehe---or a break up, that left me heartbroken. So my best work is at my most ~emotional state of mind~…
Yeah, stage mama was really frightening. She really wanted her daughter to be a big star! *heh* Thank God I left when I did! She looked exactly like Ozzy Osbourne’s wife—what’s her name???

Gigi: Yes, I always do what I love first, for pleasure, before money. Hopefully it will pan out in the end. It’s all about enjoying your lot in life and making the best of it. You definitely have the right frame of mind. I admire that.

Saurkraut: Hear what? No sound on my blog. Hmm… Jessica’s mom was a cross between Ozzy’s wife and Judge Judy---I swear… Jessica’s boyfriend was a quiet soul, that kept in a lot of stuff. I have so much respect for that guy. He was truly an amazing person who was too honest for those people.

Thanks for your comments!

Danielle said...

wha sup deb
just checken in
hope ya have a nice day!

DSMars said...

Great story.

RG&B mislead you a little bit, though. Mailing your recordings to yourself, also referred to as the "poor man's patent", doesn't hold up in court. The only way to get a legally binding copyright is to register with the copyright office. Go to http://www.copyright.gov/ to learn more about how copyright actually works.

Also, if you register with a publishing organization like ASCAP, SESAC, or BMI, anytime someone uses your music and gets airplay with it, you get a check. Don't ever sell the song outright. Retain the publishing rights and allow others to record the material.

Again Great Story

~Deb said...

You're exactly right! I was told otherwise to go to the copyright office instead of mailing it to myself. It really doesn't hold up in court.

After I left Jessica, I immediately filled out the copyright forms and paid the dues to get it done the right way.

Thank you for pointing that out, because it really is important for people to copyright the correct way.

Thanks for stopping in!