I’ve always tried to adapt to change. I’d see new waves forming and, whenever possible, endeavour to ride them with something approaching aplomb. Change is inevitable, I’d tell myself, adapt or get left behind. It was an approach that served me well for many years until one day …well… it no longer did.
The change began late one night when I’d been coerced into a nightclub where the music was provided by a DJ. After I’d been there for an excruciating hour or so I said to the person beside me, ‘Why doesn’t he change the bloody record?’
‘He has. Quite a few times,’ I was assured.
Every bloody song with the same boring beat. What happened to great live bands, I thought? I left that nightclub shortly thereafter and haven’t been back to one since.
Later I was to learn that DJs can earn serious money. Some fill stadiums and earn tens of millions a year.
I sure missed that wave.
I could go on and on dissecting waves I either failed to catch, or just couldn’t be bothered chasing. Suffice to say too many changes are being foisted upon us that we are supposed be cool with but quite often aren’t.
Face tattoos, for instance. They’re undeniably scary on some level. Especially on your daughter.
Actually, as uncool as this will sound to some of you, people covered in tattoos unsettle me. I never know whether they are rock stars, bickies, art students or truck-driving serial killers. Whatever the case I always wonder how good those tattoos are going to look forty years from now.
Technological waves are another worry to me. Is a world of people obsessed with hand held devices really progress?
Moreover, these technology-driven waves have killed off things I love like book and record shops.
Yeah, yeah I know, a Kindle is lighter than a book. More practical you might even say. But, call me old-fashioned, I like books. I like the smell and feel of them. And the wonderful anticipation of opening a new book on a lazy afternoon. And I like having bookshelves crammed with books I mean to read someday. That way at least I can look well read.
As for records: Vinyl was superseded by CDs that have now been superseded by Bluetooth. Spotify robbed artists of decent living and albums have drowned in a sea of singles.
This last change is anathema to me. I love albums. Buying those of other artists and recording my own. I love the process of choosing the songs for a well-balanced album. No fillers only good songs from start to finish.
And this brings me to the reason for this birthday rant: I’m currently involved in a fairly ambitious recording project spanning both sides of the Tasman. Over 20 songs. Not huge productions, just sparse and tasteful arrangements. With the help of my producer/arranger friends, Bruce Lynch in New Zealand and Russell Finch in Sydney we’re turning out some songs I know many of you will love.
But what can I do with them?
We’ve already established that CDs and albums are pretty much extinct. As for singles what would be the point? There is no way I’m ever going to get any radio airplay — even if there were a station that played my kind of music.
Then again — he thought rather mischievously — I could dedicate one of my radiowavenz.com shows entirely to my new songs. I might just do that.
Nevertheless, what I’m leading up to is this. Here is my birthday gift to you: Sometime in the next few months I will give away my new songs online. If you like them you will be able to get them for free.
I just have to work out how to do this and how to maximise the publicity when I do. (Any advice welcome).
You may think me generous or foolish with this initiative, but consider this. When a thousand plays on Spotify might earn me around 7 cents, I don’t lose much by giving songs away do I?
Happy Birthday to You All.