Yesterday evening, in the lengthy gap between sound check and gig, which is always a difficult time for any musician. Made a little easier now that I have to drive to pretty much every gig I do these days, as before, the temptation to sit at the bar and get mind buggeringly drunk for the usual three or four hours was always too alluring. This always led to some utterly stellar and amazing performances in my earlier career, though somebody once had the temerity to suggest they were not as good as I remember them being (See Homer Simpson’s recollections of his evening vs Marge’s version of events in the episode “War of the Simpsons” for clarification on this (Good luck, youtube says NO)).
However, this image sums it up quite nicely, drunk me is the one at the top by the way….
Ways to spend this gap vary from band to band, and can include I-spy marathons, zen wrestling (that was an odd afternoon) arguing, jolly sing-songs in the back stage area (if you think this is a good idea, you are wrong, and I will not play with you) and the obligatory groupies and drugs (though sadly those days are long gone for most of us).
But I digress, yes, yesterday evening, in that now more easy for you to understand gap, I wandered over to a different bar from the one I was playing in to meet one of my oldest friends (this isn’t the point of this either) and ran into a bunch of other utterly unrelated people. Several of these unrelated people, and the band’s manager told me that they were very much enjoying reading my blog (Hooray! He finally got to the point, far too many tangents, including this one, sorry). Panic has now set in, as I assumed this blog had as many readers as my last one (which was read by me, once, to check that I had been writing it, I could link to it, but I probably won’t) and have been happily just writing jolly self-indulgent tosh that makes me chuckle a bit, and will probably mean nothing to anyone else. I now realise I must do better, last week I just quickly threw out an idea I had half thought about, to make sure I’d written something, hastily posted it, and then realised a few hours later that I had forgotten to write in most of the main points I had wanted to make in the piece anyway. Hence this weeks blog will be left on the hard drive til at least tomorrow, so I can go back over it and do this thing properly, like I did with that Kate Bush one that everybody liked so much. (this is me from the future, telling you that I am doing exactly that now, editing away like an editoring thing).
And so, you are now thinking, still self indulgent twaddle, writing about the act of writing about the act of not managing to write a book, not only self indulgent, but ludicrously post modern, slightly ironic, and perhaps a bit pretentious now as well? Yep, you’re probably right. Interestingly, back when I was seventeen, and I first started thinking I might like to be a writer, I did think that my obviously brilliant views and musings on life would make excellent reading for people. However, at that time, there was no real outlet for such tosh, I clearly wasn’t going to write Das Kapital for the next generation, or become the foremost philosopher for my times, as I could barely concentrate on one thing long enough to finish writing a song (and if you’ve heard my songs, you’ll understand why that really shouldn’t take that long).
So I agonised for endless amounts of time trying to think of ways to work all my wondrous philosophies into works of fiction, and attempted my own science fiction utopias to illustrate my political and philosophical genius. And as a consequence I got very bored with everything I tried to write, and gave up. I went on to try and write a hysterical comedy about a group of lobsters who have to take over from the four horsemen of the apocalypse which also fell by the wayside, but that’s an entirely different matter.
The appearance of the blog around the turn of the millennium should therefore have been a light bulb moment for me. I could write endlessly on any subject I liked, publish it online, and away you go, millions of potential readers, and a clamouring from the national newspapers to get me to write a regular column for them (now there would have been an ethical dilemma, what if the Mail or the Sun had picked me up and asked me to write for them? Would it have horrified me to think that they thought I’d fit in? Would I take their right wing money? Of course I would, but I’d be forever wondering why the Guardian and the Independent didn’t want me). But no, it never even occurred to me, so I carried on working for the post office instead, wrote a couple of things and published them on my old website (still out there somewhere, no idea where, probably on geocities) and promptly forgot about them.
Blogging by its very nature is wildly self indulgent, and I am firmly convinced that most blogs out there (and I have read pretty much none of them in case you’re wondering) are the same as any 13 year old’s diary. A long boring list of what somebody has done that week, pictures of what they ate, musings about boys/girls that they fancy (possibly with embedded jpgs now as well as endless fucking selfies) and shite of that nature. Why anybody would want to wade through all the tripe in the hopes of coming across something worth reading is beyond me. I suspect that the allure of peeking into the lives of our friends is what drives us to read twitter and facebook feeds, and thus, ultimately, blogs, in the same way as people once read heat magazine and tatler to get glimpses into the lives of the rich and famous, it is far more interesting to dig inside the lives of people that we actually know (or indeed used to know twenty years ago, they’re the ones who we really want to know about aren’t they?). So I hold out little hope of these utterly self indulgent mutterings ever reaching a wider audience than people I have met that have been foolish enough to “friend” or “follow” me on social media. I do not mind though, as I have said before, I am writing this entirely for my own ends, as I can compare the blog count to the page count on the novel, and shame myself into doing some work.
I made an earlier attempt at blogging on that most wonderful of websites h2g2, which I used to spend a great deal too much time on back in 2001/2002. There was a very lengthy blog detailing how I recorded the “Audio Pornography” album on there, which may be the dullest thing I ever did write. I suspect nobody ever read that either. The last blog I wrote on blogger, called “Anarchy, Chaos and Custard Creams” very much still exists, but I decided to abandon it to start this one, as I expected this one to deal strictly with the art of procrastination itself, and my exciting developments as I write my wondrous novel. Which I suppose it does a bit, and thus it was a good idea. Hoorah, well done Dave, good decision. Though if you do find that old blog, it has the same description as this one, as it was a last minute decision to start entirely anew, and I was editing it to make it into this one.
Anyhow, the point being that ironically, I cannot understand why anybody reads blogs, I have trouble understanding why people (and that includes me) write such things, and I feel utterly humbled and flattered that no less than 5 people have told me in real life that they really enjoy reading this. I am terribly bad at accepting compliments in general, and if somebody tells me how much they enjoyed the gig after I’ve played, I will immediately apologise for anything I felt was done wrong, and inform them of the gammy wrist/dodgy finger/headache that prevented me from playing at my best. Thus this whole thing has been terribly difficult for me to get, I had assumed that the more often I wrote stuff, the less people would bother to read it, but the opposite appears to be true. My previous blogs only very rarely got posted to, and had hardly any readers, while this one is updated every week, and is consistently getting decent statistics. Luckily, these don’t also tell you the statistics for those who looked, and got bored and didn’t finish, unlike my bandcamp account, that brutally tells me how many people only listened to a bit of my song, or skipped through that one. Slightly soul destroying to read those stats, I try not to look at them.
Many apologies are necessary to my cousin, who noted last week that I should be more pithy. I have inadvertently made this weeks blog much longer and even more vague. Personally, I quite enjoy this slightly rambling style, and I rather suspect that I have no point to get to anyway. Apologies to anybody else finding themselves now slightly bewildered as to what this was about, I am no longer sure, but it feels like it was worthwhile. I expect I have once again forgotten what I actually meant to write about here, and will have to rewrite the whole thing later.
By the way, as I write this, I have just finished chapter four on the novel, and am about to start scrawling notes for chapter five’s structure, and hoping against hope I don’t feel the need to introduce any more new characters at this point, as I seem unable to stop.