Today was the first day in which I have had any rest in I don't know how long.

The past several years became more and more stressful by the minute until everything coalesced into a sort of grand and very cosmic explosion.

It is as you watch the pieces floating down out of the air and landing all about you that you wonder about the wisdom of what you have just done.

Now that it has been over six months since I had to take matters out of other's hands and take charge in order to protect the interests of our children and grandchildren, and etc., I can finally get some rest while being able to answer that yes, it was wise, although very difficult.

That culminated 45 years of very hard work, all dedicated toward this very goal.

You do not really have any idea of what life is really about until you have been forced to practice steadfastnes and steadiness of will and character throughout this entire 45 years while being watched under a microscope, with much of it in the public eye and very much in the public interest.

I always come back to the liner notes on an album cover by one of the greatest Flamenco's ever, Sabicas, which I read when I was a teenager, as a reminder that really good things can take a long time to make happen.

As an aspiring Spanish guitarist (i.e. classical first, then rock and pop) I was continuously on the search for advice and instruction regarding the craft upon which I had decided to endeavor.

Here, Sabicas advised that in order to learn your instrument it will take 30 years.

That is for a beginner, mind you.

Yes, you heard right.

30 years to finish your beginner status.

Ten with the instrument alone.

Ten with a flamenco dancer.

And another ten with a flamenco singer.

I'll never forget, being a young person who did not in any way expect to live past 40 (absolutely inconceivable to me).

That meant that I already did not have 30 years to invest in this project.

And you wonder why everyone is always looking for (musical) shortcuts?

So, here am I.

I started serious study of composition and harmony and counterpoint at about 15 years old and have never stopped, to this very day.

That would be 45 years, by my count, in about one month from now.

So, I am in the rather unique and unusual position of being able to answer the question as to whether Sabicas got it right.

Yes, he did.

He is exactly right.

It does take 20 to 30 years to gain a basic mastery of most orchestral instruments.

It is only after you have mastered all 12 major keys and all 12 minor keys, along with numerous exotic scales, and the harmonies created thereby, that you can be said to have finished first grade and now be ready for second.

This is why there are so few accomplished musicians.

I have watched one after another drop by the wayside over the years.

How many times do you think you can play some total piece of @#*&@#  song, like Woolly Bully  (I say this respectfully), or Tequila or one more round of Michelle my belle, or whatever, before you are completely insane and totally bonkers?

One does not need to be around for very long before one begins to see this very disturbing pattern continuously at play all about you.

Everyone is just one hit song away from Nirvana, if they can only get their shoddily produced "masterpiece" to the right person or persons.

And their lives are "on hold" permanently, because of this.

ALWAYS and ever waiting for something which has a very low probability of ever happening, and which is by it's very nature about as random and whimsical as one could possibly even imagine.

How is one to progress?

They do not.

It is one of the strangest and most
"Alice in Wondereland-like"
things I have ever seen with my own eyes.

I first became involved in the popular music scene at about 12 years old, because I had an older brother who was maybe somewhat fanatical about forming bands and performing.

So, they liked to bring me along as a "roady"  (lights and sound) and occasionally let me come on stage and play Maracas or tambourine or some other sort of rhythm/percussion instrument.

I was always amazed at the power which music had over people.

I would watch some of the ugliest, stupidest,
and most grotesque people (in physical terms)
"get the girls",
who otherwise would not even give them the time of day.

I have always thought that this is the real heart and soul which actually drives this very strange machine.

It sounds silly and rather infantile to me now.

that there was a time when
"getting the chicks"
was definitley the "be all" and "end all"
so far as our sordid little existences were concerned.

As much as I might like to deny it, it remains, nevertheless all too true.

Yes, that's exactly right, the guys were doing the music to impress the girls.

For me, this was never the purpose, because I always had all of the girl companions which I could possibly want, without music, and did not, therefore, give as much weight to this consideration as others of my peers.

No, for me music was always and foremost a form of escapism.

It was the only way out of here that does not hurt you or kill you.

You can actually return from THESE forays into the outer limits and the twilight zones.

You are only constrained by the limits of your own imagination.

I considered them to be self-made movies in my head, as I would put speakers all around me and turn up the music really loud and then close my eyes and just drop out (which I still do just as often as possible).

I could go anywhere I want with little effort as I would let the music tell it's story, while I just rode along for the trip and just to see whatever there is to see.

I would try to visualize what the music was saying.

Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite
and Debussy's musical descriptions of light flying through clouds became pardigmatic,
where I was concerned.

No, I never did get any "chicks" with music
(that I am aware of).

But, I have traveled to some pretty wondrous places, in my mind/spirit, I must admit.

So, for me it was always a sort of liberating experience.

I would come away feeling renewed and full of energy which just arises out of I know not where.

That's enough for now, because my mind is tiring right now after a long day of busy and hard work.

Hopefully there will be more to come, soon.

Also, am working on several songs which I hope to be posting before too long, not to mention several sound recordings.

Will try to get an upload completed before I leave town.

w/love to all


11:33 p.m.
Ventura, California, USA

p.s. expect to be heading up north for this weekend to same location as usual, hopefully for a quiet Saturday with my birds and maybe even some more video taping or audio taping, if I have the energy (I think I will).

It's been fun.