The Fid Music

Two Questions, Two Answers

For Cesar:

Question #1:  What would you tell your younger self if you could?

Never underestimate how fucked up the world is.

When I was 17, I went out into the world thinking the world was a good, joyous place, where good people prospered, where good won over bad, where love conquered all, where there were unseen forces that helped good, and fought against bad.  Well, after 50+ years of being in the real world, I learned - the hard way, that none of this is true.  My dad told me, “Work hard, get good at something, be honest, keep your shoes shined and your hair combed, show respect, and you’ll be successful in life”.  Well, while I sleep well always, every other kind of “Success” has eluded me.  I got good at something, I devoted my life to it, I worked my ass off at it, I took risks, I was always respectful and kind, I did everything right, and got stifled at every turn.  For the record, I was not kind and respectful because my dad told me to be, or because I’m supposed to be, I was those things because that’s who I am, it’s who I’ve always been, and who I always will be, I don’t know how to be any other way.  So, I’ve been out in the world doing these things, always being honest, and paying big for all of it.  The sad part is, most people see respect and kindness and weakness, traits of a person who is to be taken advantage of, to be exploited, to be manipulated, to be cheated, to be bullied.  If I were to do anything different, it would be to be kind and respectful and all, but to be a little smarter on how to make a living, because when you depend on other people, bosses, co-workers, clients, most will see you as a threat, and do vicious things to take you down, to stifle you, to hurt you, to cause you grief.  You’ll have to think outside the proverbial box, because every conventional way of making a living, of having a business, has been tried, and at some point, stifled.  When people in power - government officials, large corporation ownership and upper management - see people slip through the cracks, they patch the cracks.  I, myself, have a good business idea, but I thought of it way late in my life, after doing the conventional - trying to get signed by a major record label.  That was a mistake in today’s music business - but that’s a whole ‘nother - maybe for another time.  I stand here seeing my music business having been done away with - after forty years of devoting everything to that dream.  I’ve had to take a sidestep to do something other than music to make enough money to pay for my projects, doing a job that is totally foreign to me, but I’m doing it, and I seem to be on my way.  Having one’s own business is the only way to break out of the rat race that is society in 2020.  If you can come up with a product or service that you know you can sell, you know who you’ll be selling to, you know where to advertise in order to reach that base, chances are you’ll do ok.  Again, outside the box.  Just an example, I met a guy in Santa Fe just last year who would harvest lavender and sage, bundle it, and walk around downtown Santa Fe selling the stuff.  The guy made a killing, but he did have several run ins with cops.  This is just one example of thinking outside the box, saying again, every conventional business idea has been tried, used, and now stifled.  If you look around you in any city in America, you will see that most true small businesses have disappeared.  Today it’s Walmart, Home Depot, Starbuck’s, McDonald’s, Les Schwab Tires, etc.  All the true small businesses that were the backbone of my once great country from the late 70s on back are gone.  We don’t see the TV repairman, the washing machine repairman, the cobbler, the suit maker, the seamstress, the artist, even the auto mechanic is on his way out.  Just recently, somebody came up with the idea of delivering fast food - as a separate service, not hired directly by the restaurants, but as a separate entity, and they’re doing very well.  The Amazon guy did something unheard of, the guy who started “Pet Rocks” made a killing for a while.  So you see, there are ideas, good ideas, great ideas, you just have to look around, brainstorm, research, and take risks.  You may not succeed with the first idea, or the first 20 ideas, but one thing for sure, if you set your sights on being a sales rep for Sony, or a manager at Ace Parking as being your lifetime vocation, you will not be happy, and you will never be financially successful - ever how much the upper management and ownership tries to convince you that you will.

Do your own, outside the box.

Question #2:  If you have any advice for a young person, what would it be?

Never believe anything anybody tells you.

Also when I was 17, I lived in a trailer park in Poway, California.  I hung out at the rec center of the park, where I met this older guy - Dave McCarthy.  He had been a pool shark most of his life, and did well for himself.  One day after knowing him for a couple of months, he told me, just out of the blue, “You know, you’re too damn honest for your own good”.  I thought, what a dumb thing to say, as I had no idea what he was trying to tell me.  Well, 50+ years later, I know without any reservations, precisely what he was trying to tell me.  The world is full of dishonest and mean spirited people, people who would do ANYTHING to get what they want - whether it be financial and/or personal gain, control over another person, and many people’s objective in life is to cause grief and loss for any person they cross paths with.  The human ego in most people is beyond my comprehension, as I didn’t get the ego gene.  Such people’s ego will drive them to do some of the most vicious and ruthless things you could ever imagine - and the better you are as a person, the better you are at whatever it is that you do, the more vicious they will be.  They will lie, they will cheat, manipulate, steal, slander, bully, even kill, for what they want.  I went around life thinking that people were good at their word, that a handshake meant something, that most people were honest.  Let me tell you, that is very much not the case.

The other thing I remember Dave telling me was, “If in your entire life, you meet ONE person who will be a true friend, you’re damn lucky”.  I thought again, “What a dumb thing to say, I have all kinds of friends”.  Well, all those people I hung out with, the first bunch from the time I was 12 up until I was 17, and the second bunch from 17 to 22, not a single one turned out to be a true friend, not by any stretch of the imagination.  Every one did everything humanly possible to establish superiority, to let me know how inferior I was, how much smarter, better, tougher, better at athletics they were.  While none of this was true, they did everything they could to prove themselves anyway.  I have not seen any of them in 45 years, and do not miss any of them one bit.  In my music business, I have had people tell me some of the most outrageous things, in order to get something from me.  A few succeeded, with their lies and their manipulation, their slander, and whatever else.  Had I known how dishonest and vicious people were, I would have steered clear of all of them, and done whatever I was doing on my own.  No matter the promises, the the smiles, the flattering, they only wanted to squash me so they could satisfy the ego.  Funny thing, I’ve always believed that there is room for every person to succeed in every way, that there was enough for everyone, and I believe there is, but with such people being everywhere, you own success will be solely your own doing, unless of course you have wealthy parents who are willing to hand you a life, which very few people have.  Short of that, the only way to be happy, to have any financial security, would be to do your own, not depending on any person - especially the charming - generally, the more charming, the more charismatic, the more full of shit they are.

So, take a lesson from a guy who has been on the receiving end of such people all his life - there are unseen forces that protect and support bad people, that will work against good people, and, that most people are not team players, most people are not kind, most people are self serving, self righteous, and vicious.  Keeping in mind one again, the more charming, the more charismatic, the bigger the promises, the more full of shit the person is.

You will take risks, you will fall face first in the mud, you will be lied to, cheated, exploited, and whatever else, but take those as learning experiences, as part of life.  Then, when you remember this piece of writing, and you learn that what I’ve said here is the reality of life, you just might find your own path - and don’t be afraid to follow that path, no matter the discouraging words and actions from people.  When you do this, whatever successes you achieve, or, whatever mud puddles you fall into, will be of your own doing.  There is nothing worse than doing what other people tell you to do, fail, then be angry at yourself because you listened to somebody tell you what to do, how to live, how to proceed.  Do your own.

One last thing, don’t let anybody throw the word “Negative” at you.  One thing I know for sure today, there is nothing more negative than being dishonest.  Denial, hiding from reality, pretending things are peachy when they’re not, allowing your ego to drive you, being mean spirited, vindictive - those are all in the “Dishonest” column.  Don’t do it.

Ok, all for now.

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