Take Five

Sometimes you have to put the instrument down and take five

Since my cousin Rob stepped in and solved the low-frequency hum issue, I’ve been working steadily on the album. Two songs are pretty much ready to be mixed down. All one needs is the bottleneck slide guitar track and the other needs my finger picking tracks cleaned up. I’ve decided not to share the songs as they are completed, except for the title track, A Polite Little Madness. I think it’s only right and fair to post that one. Last night I told Lynette that if I were to make a video to go with that song (do people still make videos? I really don’t know), it would be of me cruising out Route 66 in a pink ’57 T-Bird convertible. It’s good driving music. I mean, for old farts like me who actually remember seeing their first ’57 T-Bird in 1957. Wild Bil McCombe’s bass is dirty and primal and I can’t wait to hear what he does with his slide! He’ll be going into the studio with that track on Monday. Man, I have to wait a whole weekend!

I have every intention not to record today, but can I do it? We’ll see. I’m pretty tired. I used to be able to work on music indefinitely—rehearse, record, party until dawn, then sleep it off and start all over again—and never be worse for wear. These days are different. After three days of recording I wake up tired and brain dead. When I look to artists like the Rolling Stones (who are 10 years older than I am) I have to remind myself that Mick Jagger never gave birth to two children. Keith never had to survive menopause, Ronnie hasn’t lived a lifetime of financial worry, and I really doubt that Charlie Watts has ever had to scrub the shower, mop the kitchen floor, do the laundry, or pick up the dog crap. They have the best healthcare available, all the best old fart medications, and all they have to do, basically, is make the music and then go home while other people mix and master, and take care of life around them. I love the Stones, but they’re probably not the best barometer for me to judge myself by. Instead, I look to Wild Bil McCombe, Jim Rolfe, Wade Johnson, and my other musician friends. Yeah, I know they’ve never given birth, etc., but I don’t personally know any female musicians in my age group. It’s enough. They inspire me. When I was a kid I preferred keeping up with the boys, whose interests were more engaging than dolls and playing dress-up.

Knowing me, I’ll probably clean up those guitar tracks and call it a day. When I’m in music mode, staying away from the work is more work than the work itself.

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