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June 2008 archive

You Have to Be A Stubborn Little Shit

Yesterday I was mooching around in the garden, organising the firewood when I found one big lump of gum that was too big to fit into the wood heater (we live in the hills so all this kind of thing is par for the course).

I grabbed my trusty axe and started chopping to split the big lump in two.

Two hours later, and after much grunting, groaning, swearing and a zillion axe blows I was still going – sweat flying everywhere, alcohol being skulled back to kill the pain, a mad glint in my eye – and my girl was starting to get a bit worried.

I knew it wasn’t the most useful usuage of my time but I didn’t care. Why? because I am a stubborn little shit and I don’t like to quit until something is bloody well done already. So I kept at that lump of concrete masquerading as wood until finally after 2 and a half hours it eventually split.

I then held the pieces of defeated wood aloft, standing admist the splintery carnage of the battle and let out a macho roar (and my girl called me a tosser – but that’s beside the point).

The point IS that I am a stubborn little shit and I don’t like to quit until something is done properly. And frankly, when I was younger I started something – becoming a professional muscian – and I didn’t finish it (for various reasons, none of them good enough) and I just can’t live with that. Call it pride. Call it stupidity. Call it what you will.

I don’t care what you call it.

You see, last November, when my baby girl was a newborn, I was staring at her sleeping in my arms and I thought to myself “What am I going to tell her? That I just gave up?”

Fuck no. I want her to learn that the persistent win, not just the talented, or the lucky, but the PERSISTENT.

So here’s the deal. Stupid and pigheaded and unrealistic as it may seem, I resolve to do at least one thing everyday to move me towards my goal of becoming a professional musician until such point as it becomes reality.

This is a big call. But I don’t need to be Bono or Mick Jagger or anything, just earn a modest living playing music. Of course if I earn zillions, then fine, that’s cool, I can roll with that…

So what did I do today? Well the single most important thing (the Biggest Rock – Google it) I did today to sit down with Steve, my partner over at Rebel Zen and start learning how to run an effective social media marketing campaign. This means I will begin to build traffic to this site. I did other things too, like buy seamusmusic.com for my “static” music site, join Twitter (despite my reservations) and cancel the hosting I have here so that I save myself $150/year (all adds up), but the “biggest rock award” for today goes to the social media marketing lesson. very powerful Over at RebelZen.com, for example, Steve rustled us up 177 unique visitors in one day in our first week of the site being “live”. As for this here blog, well I think it’s pretty much just a few everyday, but soon … things will be different (cue evil laugh) Moo-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!

The Only Thing That Stops Us From Doing It Is – Ourselves

Crusty 35 year old rockers with family responsibilities and a real job are supposed to give up – right? … Yeah, right … as if …

When the music is in your blood it’s in your blood and no matter what your age you should never let it slide because you KNOW what happens then right?

You start to slowly, bit-by-bit, go completely fucking insane!

I know this, but like a lot of musos, I haven’t always been focussed enough to practice this. It’s like, one day I was always rockin’ out, or crooning a sweet ballad or whatever in front of crowds of either the proverbial man and his dog or (I kid you not) crowds as big as 5000 people, and then I wake up and although I have NOTHING to complain about (beautiful partner, baby daughter, home) BUT I only ever seem to pick up my guitar and give it a bash out in the shed late on a Friday night when I’m half pissed. Or, let’s be honest, totally pissed.

Well, fuck it, this has to change and right now.

So I will be documenting my efforts to get back on the old rock n’ roll horse right here so why don’t you get with this whole RSS thing and subscribe and follow me as I have another crack at it.

And look, don’t get me wrong, I am not an idiot, well not totally anyway, I KNOW I am too old to be some kind of teeny heart throb or whatever – but who the fuck wants that anyway? And it’s not that important to me to become some hugely famous rich dude, either (although I could try it on for size, just to see how it fits, you understand!) – I just want to play some music again man; solo, with others, in dive bars or (even better) on professional stages in front of decent, music lovin’ crowds again.

Let’s face it – what muso doesn’t want that?

The only thing that stops us is OURSELVES, man!

Time to stop making excuses and start making music again!

Ok that’s better…

So I fixed up my tag line. Kind of. I will probably twiddle with it along the way and I DEFINITELY need to learn how to make the text after the first tagline smaller and, you know, sit under the tagline, but this’ll do for now …

Time for a Change

Well, it’s almost like this blog was a placeholder in a way, because not only have I finally got myself an actual “Office of Imagination and Procedure” than I have decided to change the sub-header of this blog in order to really focus its purpose.

I am now changing “Words and Music from the Office of Imagination and Procedure”, poetic as that may be, to “Diary of a Crazy Musician Who Refused to Give Up”, because, frankly, that’s what I am.

And there you have it.

*Twenty minutes of fiddling around with the computer (and growing increasingly agitated) later*

I was going to include a screen shot of what it used to look like but I couldn’t do it, and now I’m drunk and more to the point – I’ve run out of beer and I couldn’t give a fuck about the stupid screenshot anymore so you’ll have to look it up on the way back machine if you know what that is and are really that bored.

And I had all this other inspiring shit to say but now this whole screenshot business has just pissed me off. When did words like “screenshot” even become part of my life anyway? It sounds like some kind of technical term that only porn stars and their camera crew would know about.

And come to think of it, that’s my whole point.

But more on that later. For tonight I changed the sub-title and that’s all he wrote. So goodnight to you.

RebelZen.com is go!

Me and my mate Steve have started a new blog call Rebel Zen.

You can see by the categories I have chosen for this here post what the theme of Rebel Zen will be about (and hopefully in a refreshing and dynamic way). I guess in some ways it will pick up from where The Contemporary Taoist left off but this time it’s a dynamic duo rather than just me, and also it will be more focussed and *cough* mature 😉

Actually Rebel Zen is going to be more than a blog, but one thing at a time.

We will be posting a fair bit over the next week. Mostly reworked old posts or articles that fit the theme, and then new stuff will begin to go online soon.

Anyway head on over and witness the birthing pains of our new child 🙂

This blog will continue but will probably focus more on music. Not sure yet but probably.

The Five Minute Method to get You Massively, Totally Inspired right now …

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I love our new Mac and I spent all day mucking about getting an iBook G3 (tangerine clamshell) (like these in the pictures) running properly as well.
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It was tiring grinding through Google search after Google search trying to make heads or tails out of obscure geek-speak in forums and what-not. I am NOT a geek. I HATE fiddling around with software trying to make it work (why do you think I love Macs so much?) And at the end of the day, I felt a bit flat. I wondered if I had wasted the day just getting this one computer to work. It most totally had not been my intention that it take, like, so freakin’ long.

Then I started on another task that I had been putting off for a while, clearing up all my old boxes of papers and junk in my new bungalow workspace that I am setting up*. Next thing you know I am confronted with photos and objects and posters and general miscellany that reminded me of my entire life so far. My childhood. My teenage years. My Twenties and the first half of my Thirties.

A fun life so far, if not always noble. A brave life so far, if not always sensible.

And it occurred to me how different I have become in the way that as a teenager and throughout my early-mid Twenties, I was highly driven by pursuing my dreams. Driven to the point where I was generally agitated and/or depressed if I was not either smashed or stoned or actively chasing my fantasies (which were mostly about becoming the next David Bowie or something like that).

I am not really like that anymore because I know that I am already here, and that was all I ever needed all along.

BUT I am still motivated to chase my dreams, just because chasing dreams is work and we all have to work so it might as well be at being a Dream Chaser. And despite my “whole zen trip” it seems my dreams are in some ways more complicated now than they were, deeper rather than just outrageous for the sake it.

Thankfully I am more patient now. Even though I find it easier to remember the rock-out-on-stage-in-front-of-3000-people days than the twiddle-with-the-fucking-computer-until-it-bloody-well-gives-in-and-works-already days, and even though I wonder where the hell those grandiose days went, the truth is these were just a handful of (incredible) moments, the rest of the time was either hard work, or tedious, or both.

There always were twiddle-with-the-computer-days, and there always will be. They are necessary.

Like I said, the trick is to remember that you are already here, and otherwise to keep this nugget by Steve Jobs (the Apple computer guy) in mind:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

You see, dude, it’s a balancing act.

The small tedious parts have to be worth it because of the greater, wonderful whole. I wouldn’t ever have wanted to get bogged down in details all day for nothing, but in the context of achieving my dreams, of living life in a way that makes me and others happy, then I couldn’t have thought of a better thing to do with my time (than fiddle with the fucking computer).

So anyway the five minute method is this:

1) ask yourself if this blog post has you feeling massively, totally inspired right now. If so, get on with it.

2) if not, read the Steve Jobs Commencement address. It’s not breaking news, but if you haven’t read it, then you should. It’s pure gold…

*Finally, The Office of Imagination and Procedure becomes reality 🙂 more on that soon, oh breathless masses!

Oh where does the time go?

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Pete, the guy with the pants on my left, just emailed this photo to me. I am the red jumper-dude in the middle. Matt is in the black Dylan t-shirt. My girlfriend at the time made those pants out of our curtains. We had no need for curtains in those days, but it seemed like a good idea that Pete cover up with something (anything!).

How’s the attitude dripping from the photo!? It must have been around 1995-96 by the look of that hair. When you’re that old young it is easy to convince yourself that you are a demi-god (and of course there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t think this).

To hear what kind of rock n’ roll this kind of attitude can produce, go here to my reckoning myspace page.

Now I am out of this goddamn office. Off home to get out my axe and rock the suburbs 😉