About 6 weeks ago I headed to New Zealand to take my first shaky steps back into the world of music. It had been over 30 years since I’d walked away from the proverbial limelight and I hadn’t performed live since then. At least two generations of Kiwis had been born in the interim and I was both curious and nervous about how I’d be received and/or remembered, if at all.

What evolved was interesting: Firstly and perhaps unsurprisingly I was completely ignored by the music media. I’m not even sure my CD ‘Just Quietly’ was even reviewed by anyone, which at least means I haven’t had a bad review yet. Clearly, much more work has to be done before I stimulate any interest in that arena. Perhaps a concert tour will do it … but more of this later.

That said, what interest I did get, from hosts of talkback and ‘classic music’ stations, was genuine, intelligent and encouraging. I met some really good people who were incredibly generous with their time and very encouraging. I left each and every one of these interviews and shows with the feeling that I could count on their support now and in the future – at least to the extent that the onerous limitations of their station programming allows. And I’m told that many of these radio hosts have continued to play new songs from the JUST QUIETLY CD, which delights me more than I can say.

One gratifying aspect of these talkback shows was hearing from listeners how my old songs form part of the soundtrack of so many people’s lives. I hope my new stuff will have a similar impact.

The hardest thing I did was a live performances on TV for one of those morning coffee shows. Two songs and an interview. I’m told that, despite my nervousness, I performed well but when I went to view what I did on the TV ONE website my segments were nowhere to be found. Every other person who appeared on the show was there large as life but I wasn’t. Weird. Not sure what that was all about.

However, at this stage none of this support has really converted to album sales. I’m not sure people who listen to talkback or watch morning TV are big CD buyers. Is anyone these days? I’m not too worried though, since the songs won’t date and I’m sure I can stimulate things with a few live performances. Probably sell more CDs at the door than I ever will elsewhere. This happens for many artists. To this end I’m looking at doing a few intimate/acoustic concerts in NZ early in 2010. More of this later.

However, as it turned out, my return to music was not the big event in my trip to NZ.

Sadly, while all this music stuff was all going on my mother was dying. I spent 5-6 hours a day with her in last weeks of her life. When she passed my brother and I were holding her hands. We are sadder than we can say but glad she is free now. If we could all live the good hearted, honest, loving life my mother did, with her complete dedication to family, friends, food and fun — lots of fun — we will have had full and worthwhile lives. Mum led by example and I can think of no finer way to live. She was beautiful down to her very soul. And Paradise will be richer for her presence.

Finally, if you’re reading this and like what I do, please tell others. Word of mouth is my greatest chance of succeeding at this. Without your support it will come to nothing.

And that, I believe, is more than enough from me for now.

Take care,

John