Monday, November 22, 2010


Even I have these terrible lapses in focus, where the idea of doing something so necessary becomes an abhorrent chore. Aside from taking the car for its annual inspection or getting new glasses, so too is the discipline to record the now-piling new songs in demo form. Thus, I have broken the now 10 year streak of no new original demos and have two completed: "Don't Worry Baby, I'm Not Your Victim" and "Wash Away" (which I'm happy to report only took one take for guitar and voice). These are skeletal--just guitar and vocals, but it's a crucial re-beginning. Next will be "She Can Hear The Angels Calling" and "Bed Of Thorns".

Having completed the first two demos, I will now do a rough mix for balance and send them to Chris, as yes, once again I am looking toward working with him in some capacity, whether it's in the form of a Punch Line resurrection or not. The rumors are true; I am willing and hopeful that indeed, The Punch Line will in fact, reunite for our 25th anniversary in 2011. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and the reason I would have the band come back together is for the love of the music--especially these new songs--and the joy of playing together again.

Sometimes I bristle at the notion of "going back" but this is different. This is my band. It will always be my band--our band. There are other things I just can never go back to. It has nothing to do with pride or stubbornness--it has to do with self-respect. And I have too much respect for me and the other guys in the band to not want to do it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The next sometime soon

Hurt, betrayed—the plans we made are left now as a pile of ash in the past... Deceptive smiles when all the while, you took and took and kept on taking, knowing we wouldn’t last. Friendship lost; years that cost - a mystery of what makes you tick. For all you said, a fool misled; you never had to build me up brick by brick. How many times can you play innocent when you commit the crime over and over again? Feigning care, the warmth soaked lies – wet at the anticipation for whom you’ll next pretend... I don’t know if you ever understood me—I’m not one of your broken ones. I can’t tell if you listened to me – I could never share your opinion.
I won’t guess at what made this happen – I have no need for closure. Don’t worry baby; I’m not your victim.

Rational, thought so well – good intentions led to hell; I stand accused for not tearing you down.
Playing pained; always the same - a fraudulent act designed to get me wound. Seductive gaze; the price I paid - your loving looks for me were well-rehearsed. Cleaned me out; saved by doubt... I look at you as if you’re Queen Midas in reverse. You overestimate your attraction – rough around the edges describes you best. Beauty’s only skin deep and you’re poised on the shallow end – tired eyes and worn out breasts. You fucked me well; you fucked me bad - you fucked me up but I’m not sad; to see the truth of your mask now ripped away. You made me high; you left me dry - you cut me down but I couldn’t cry: a reciprocated look of no emotion - the same as you gave.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Here it comes yet again...

When one has an idea on what they're creating, it is the most liberating, exhilarating feeling. I have been truly blessed--especially after 30-plus years of writing songs--that for the first time, what I've been writing has been completed in my mind. Before my hand ever touches guitar, I know what and how I want these new songs to sound. An incredible thing.

So it stands that three new songs are ready; I have begun - FINALLY - the recording of the first tracks so that the structures are there and I can build upon them. "Wash Away", "Bed Of Thorns" and the shocking (to me and to those who have heard it acoustically) "Don't Worry Baby, I'm Not Your Victim" are amongst the finest things I will ever do. Pride talking, perhaps, but the music speaks for itself. Especially "Don't Worry...". This is a new emotional area, both in lyric and delivery. I have always avoided truly putting myself in the song; this was a catharsis that screamed "inevitable". I wrote it from the deepest point of my feelings and didn't spare anything. Thus, for some it may be upsetting; for others, it will be a heavy chord struck home when it touches them--in a positive way. This is a song that bares the soul; I truly don't mean that pretentiously. I've laid myself wide open with it and hopefully, it leads to more songs pouring forth and born to be recorded immediately.

Thus, I await the delivery of my Les Paul--yes, the real thing. The clouds have parted; the way is clear and I know where to go. Now is the time--I have reached the next sometime soon...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Always amazing

I find it interesting how people underestimate me. I don't mean that arrogantly; I am simply surprised at how often it seems to occur.

When the band broke up, everyone expected me to be brash and go off and do something else to spite them. No--I was 41 when I left and I had no desire to do anything of the sort. No one bothered to ask the direct question: why did you leave the band? The answer was simple: I wasn't enjoying it; we weren't really connected any longer and at 41, I felt embarrassed about pretending to be someone I wasn't. That was it.

When this recent "mistake" was concluding, everyone truly close to me and the situation itself knew that when I said "this is about to end", it wasn't an exaggeration, especially since I'd taken all of it so seriously. They tried to brace me, as I had, for what would come.

Yet, some who were more on the periphery - even now - still say things like "well, you were really into this girl; you would get back together with her" and the sort of ignorant statements that people tend to make when they think they know you. It's those judgements of underestimation that amuse me as I get older.

Let me see if I can put this clearly: when you end any "relationship"--regardless of how long it lasted or the dynamic of it--it's not really a good idea to revisit it when someone has been hurt; it just isn't healthy. Things end for a reason. The reason this one ended was very clear--she wanted someone else and was waiting for him. When he said yes, she went--I was the one she hurt. Okay, no room for misinterpretation.

Why would ANYONE consider going back to someone who would arbitrarily do such a thing with no second thoughts? I don't believe in living in the past; I may draw upon experiences so that I avoid making any unfortunate errors in repetition--but I don't return to what was or was not. It keeps me from becoming bitter. I don't collect ex-girlfriends, nor do I gleefully report when they call and tell me that they want to get back together with me. I don't know--I'm not in high school anymore; I'm not out to impress anyone or make them jealous--that kind of behavior is just so fucking embarrassing. I leave the past where it belongs--in the state of perspective.

And people expected me to become emotionally crippled, damaged, etc.--no. I'm sorry to report that I have been given a clarity that I probably didn't have before this whole stupid episode ever began. I'm stronger than ever; I am wiser from the experience and I have a greater sense of pride and propriety than I did before it happened. I've lost 14 pounds; been taking care of myself--treating myself right. So I'm lucky. I go on. I go forward. I am not doomed to repeat the cycles as my former friend has/does/will do. I'm not stuck eating karma stew for the rest of my life. I'm in the here and now. The summer was then. It happened then. Past tense. Present comfortable. Future unknown but hopeful.

I should say this, in all fairness: I have returned to The Punch Line twice before. I would return to The Punch Line again. The Punch Line was my band; it was our band. It's a much more superficial thing--it's no less heartbreaking when things go awry, but it's a relationship that doesn't hurt you the way living a lie through someone else's deceit will.

I love that line: "I gave you diamonds; you gave me disease". How true. Except for the disease part. More like "you gave me nothing". Can we please put this to rest once and for all?