Part 3: Consuming and not creating

I really thought hard about my love of music, and the balance between it and my love of having a place to live, a car, food to eat and a little disposable income. No, I was not willing to be a starving musician. At this point in my life I’m hardly worried about someone condemning me for that. I never overdosed either, as far as I know.

So I plunged into the world of the 9 to 5 job. Overall I have to say I probably did the right thing for me. Because of the various jobs I worked at, I got the chance to travel all through the USA, and many foreign countries as well.

During this period, I bought a lot of records. I did study the piano for some years, but eventually my work and travel schedule crowded out my practice time and I regretfully stopped my lessons as well.

This also corresponded to the disco era, which as far as I was concerned was a vast wasteland for music. For several years I just listened to my older progressive albums and prayed for a musical renaissance. Punk did not connect with me at all either, because even though it flipped off disco, its musical primitivism repelled me at the same time. (It was also ridiculous the way reviewers such as Robert Christgau and Rolling Stone writers breathlessly praised that style, as if its “authenticity” made up for its lack of musical ideas.)

I know I come off like a real fossil with these criticisms, but for me music needed more structure and sophistication. Maybe because I was a middle class petit bourgeois instead of a working class proletarian, who knows.

In any case, between my work, a bunch of pointless relationships and marriages, I was in a creative wasteland until about 1994. At which point we will pick up the next phase of my story… (I’m sure you’re hanging on the edge of your seat waiting to hear…)

(Adding a note in Sept 2007: it appears that I didn’t explain the reference in the title of this page. It refers to a famous quote by mystic, futurist and ethnobotanist Terence McKenna who said that you must always create media and never consume it. This is a pretty extreme dictum but I like its import.)


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