ASK iAN * ( No Title ) by Will Carruthers
. .Let us imagine, for as long as we can bear it , a loveless marriage where the couple only stay together because they cannot imagine how to live apart .The two parties are barely on speaking terms . They come together only to procreate and, when they do , their hateful fucking is shot through with a bitterness and resentment that marks their progeny as ill starred from the moment of inception .
This is a romance that has degenerated into a power struggle , with both sides manifesting their perceived lack of control and mistrust into ultimately self defeating pissing contests . Each resents the essential nature of the other ,while grimly acknowledging their belief in the necessity of the relationship . Both sides are feeding off the other,begrudging every bitter morsel that sours their guts ,feeds their indignation and leads to explosive bouts of pungent and disharmonious farting .
Both sides are yearning for what they feel only the other can provide . Neither side can be honest with themselves, or each other, about this arrangement .
People . People who need people .
He had worked within the music industry for years and never played a note . Whatever had initially brought him to the business had long since lost it's romance and had left behind a bitter essence and latent hatred that was badly hidden behind the grotesque necessity of his ingratiating manner.. Nothing is worse than a dead love affair. He had a vile twitchy energy and the words he spoke were carefully measured, sweet and poisonous . The amphetamine sulphate he had so greedily consumed in his youth seemed to have consumed something of him . He had burned something of his humanity away until he looked like a cheap robot whose only functioning mechanism was clanking dumb survival .He was not the organ grinder . The organ grinder , the fat controller , the wizard of Oz , lived in the wilderness ,on a compound patrolled by viscous dogs and guarded by robot snipers . You never saw the fat controller . He had a reason for invisibility . He passed his commands down unseen and unblamed . he was taking care of business and he was taking every care to make sure that the business he took care of was there, primarily, to take care of him .
There is a saying within the rank and file of the unmusical music industry that is used to describe the unreasonable behaviour of musicians . They say , "Don't musician me ." .They use the word musician as a verb .
Here is an example : Let's say you have worked long and hard to secure a good deal . There have been hours of negotiation , sleepless nights , a hundred emails and hours of phone calls .You have spent much of your valuable and precious time communicating with people you do not like . Finally, the details have been hammered out, and some sort of agreement has been reached . Many people are involved and promises have been made upon which your reputation and livelihood may depend . The machine is set in motion . At this point , the "artist " , on a whim, decides that the colour of the curtains is not to their liking and vanishes off the face of the earth , leaving a note that says, "I had a prophetic dream ", or "Goodbye cruel world ",or "Gone fishing " .
Sometimes musicians just die , for no reason at all . They just musician themselves , without a thought for spreadsheets ,unrecouped investments , or prior engagements .
Luckily, Dead musicians are completely saleable and are,in some respects, much easier to do business with than live musicians. They are less likely to leave unsightly stains on your balance sheets .
Musicians and the music industry make for very uneasy bedfellows .
Van Morrison , a notoriously grumpy and explosive musician was quoted as saying, " Music is a spiritual thing and the music industry is the least spiritual business on earth. ".
I may have imagined that quote . I am, occasionally , a musician after all.
Photo by Anke Cott