I can’t write with music on. I’ve tried it. But “Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner” just came on, and all I can do is sing along. Damn you, Zevon.
I got a message last night from Daniela Greiffenstein. She’s from The Busking Project. They just launched something where I will now be able to advertise and sell my albums in the street, digitally. I’m really happy about that. I’ll also be able to accept cashless donations — gone are the days when you could see me outside Mothercare and say “Sorry, Ol, don’t have any change…”
I did my fifth day at Bank Street today, but you know what my problem is? I want something different every day.
Yesterday I was obsessed with gathering building blocks for a few weeks before assembling them into songs. So today I wrote a lot of lyric ideas. Then on my way home I sat on the bus listening to George Harrison and feeling stupid.
I’m standing on the outside, petrified to dive into a real song. Instead I’m filling cards with empty phrases. Why not just get myself dirty and write the damn things? What am I so scared of?
I’m scared to write something shit. I don’t mind admitting that. And that’s where my preoccupation with preparation comes from. Preparation is no bad thing. But once you’re ready, preparation is as pointless as Theresa May.
It’s great to detach and be objective — art requires it — but you can’t detach if you were never attached to be begin with. First you have to put your hand inside and get blood and guts all over you. Then you can reflect on what you came up with.
I think for me, writing a song requires me to get a first draft out of my system, no matter how awful it might be. And I just have to do it.
I really liked my first week at Bank Street Arts. This whole thing came from nowhere, and Andrew and Tom have been awesome to me. I’m very grateful to have a nice little place to go and play with my ideas. But more than anything, I’m glad to have stared my Resistance in the face a little bit, and find out how to be less of a pussy and more of a working stiff.
I’m going to leave you alone for a couple of days. I hope you have a great weekend and that all your dreams come true. I’ll write to you again on Monday.