December 16, 2004


I don’t talk much here about being a songwriter. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about it. There’s a link to my CD on the right where you can hear most of the songs. They were recorded 3 years ago, the summer before September 11 in NYC, during a much more melancholy time of my life. It’s not like my songwriting is entirely different now--that’s really just what comes out of me. But I don’t want to write songs that are blatantly self-pitying. Currently I’m writing a rock opera counterpart to my new novel about the End of the World--light things, but not all about my own ego. I don’t like writing straight autobiography in fiction so I thought I’d pour those ideas into songwriting, but I’m done with that.

I used to think of songwriting as a hobby, something I did to pass the time when I wasn’t writing fiction. It makes me schizophrenic sometimes because I don’t know what to concentrate on. I played drums and bass in other people’s bands when I lived in New York City for 10 years. I was writing songs on the side sometimes, recording them in my living room. I kept it private. I gotta admit I’m a songwriter now and I should start something with it before I’m forty. If somebody knows someone who wants to start a rock band in Los Angeles, I’d be grateful. I’d like to get back into playing live music. When I lived in NYC, playing in bands was my whole life--East Village, going to shows, getting drunk, going to record stores, the whole thing.

It’s next to impossible to get four or more young egos together. Every band I’ve been in or been close to has fallen apart. I don’t know where I can find three people to play what I want them to play. It’s been easier to record by myself where I can play everything like I want it to be played. I’m not a control freak, but I’ve got ideas. Sometimes I think it makes more sense being a solitary songwriter. This is why I’ve put it off. Also, I don’t own a guitar amp.

At some point I’m going to lose the RocknRoll urge. Amazingly, John Lennon was thirty when the Beatles were OVER. I got his "Acoustic" record this weekend. Inspiring, cool. I knew there was a reason I wanted it. I didn’t look up any Amazon reviews, I just had a feeling. I’ve been playing the Beatles songbook lately and the "Acoustic" record includes tablature for each song. Life-affirming when things work this way. I hope I can roll with the inspiration.

It’s Beethoven’s birthday.


darling maggot said...

"John Lennon was thirty when the Beatles were OVER."

i feel the need to open as many arteries as i can right now.

btw, apartment is really good. so is day of protest. i haven't heard the rest, so maybe they all suck, i dunno.

Henry Baum said...

Close those arteries. I think 30 is what 20 used to be. Add ten years to everything. People's twenties are like an extended adolescence. At least that's how I justify being 32 and basically unsuccesful.

My songs don't suck, but I dunno.

Henry Baum said...

I can’t even spell unsuccessful. At least I look and feel younger than I am. I think I'm missing five years.

Henry Baum said...

Some days I feel 75 and some days I feel 25, like I haven't started yet. Today I feel 75 cause I'm talking to myself.

darling maggot said...

that happens to you too, huh? damn.

xo. war. said...

i was born on mozarts birthday. & i used to play the piano. my star guide told me today, i would get a suprise gift on my doorstep. my boyfriends present just arrived. it's amazing how things work like that. odd.

xo. war.

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