And Then I Was Called A Liar! (Photo thanks to Billy Hood)
Yikes, someone heard my songs, and asked me who wrote them, and then thought I was lying when I told him I had written them. What’s up with that?
I was invited to play at a Christmas fundraiser for foster children in Sacramento, CA. I played my songs, rocked the house and sat down. Then some kat came up to me at my table and asked me who wrote one of the songs I sang. I said that I did. He looked at me as if I had just pissed on his shoe, so I followed up by saying that I write all the songs I sing. He then looked at me like I just farted, made a sound like shiiiiiiiiit, and actually stalked off. I mean wow, what’s up with that?
I’ve been doing some thinking and I have come up with some ideas. None of them are very pretty. Actually all of them are fairly skanky, but hell, he’s the one who started this.
First of all, and before I get into the whole what-the-hell-I-think-was-going-on deal, let me explain a little about what it is I have to offer on stage. I’d like to think I put on a pretty good show. I’m not Elvis or Wayne The Train Hancock or Brian Setzer or Mike Ness or Roy Orbison or Willie Nelson, but I am me, and I’d like to think that I do the best me that I can do. When I play solo I usually play my Martin HD-28-V, and it sounds really, really, good. It gives off a huge sound that implies that it owns the room. I back up my singing and guitar with harmonica leads. I don’t play like anything else I’ve heard, but I play how I feel my own music emotionally. I play the harp really hard. I’ve been told that I can lean on the mic for volume and save money on harps, but where’s the stage-presence in that? I throw in a few fiddle-style jelly-roll things, but mostly play off the melody. I’m not sure how good I am, but folks do stop and listen to it. Also, I sing hard and heavy, with as much energy as the song, and the number of set, will allow. And, this is me on stage: I laugh, I sing, I make cracks about my many mistakes, and I engage the crowd. I ain’t pretty, but I am pretty damn authentic. These are my songs I am singing, and I honestly believe I am the only one who can do them justice—so I give them all I’ve got! Let me also add that while I’ll be the first to admit that my guitar playing and harp work could improve a whole bunch, I think my songs are not so much good as they are great. I really do believe in them, and I promote them like and evangelist selling Jesus!
So what do I think was happening with this bozo?
I think one thing that could have been going on with his was the thought that these songs were good, and If I wrote them what was I doing in a dive like this playing them. He could have been thinking that If I was as good as these songs I wouldn’t be playing in some small cafe on “I” Street in Sacramento.
Another thing he could have been thinking is something about how I look, which is not like a rock star, but more like a dressed up hobo. I’m bald. I’m loud. I’m goofy. What is there about that image that inspires confidence? He may have figured that no one like me could have possibly written anything he would like. Possibly.
He could have been jealous. He could have thought I had stolen it and was claiming it for myself. He could have been, well, he could have just plain and simply been an ass hole…? The truth is I’ll never know because he simply disappeared after our interchange. Just gone, so I’ll never have anything but wild speculation.
So the real question, after all the speculation, is: How do I feel about it? At first I felt puzzled. I mean, like, HUH? Then I felt a little pissed. How dare he dis me like that? But, finally, what I felt, and feel, is complimented. I mean, in a weird, skanky, mean sort of way he gave me a compliment. After all, if my song was thaaaaaaat good…?