In the 2nd week of June I started the project of writing a song a week for a year.

Here are the first three:

Notes:
The song Margie Baker was inspired by the one and only Dr. Margie Baker–she’s a San Francisco Bay Area musical treasure. I had the opportunity to write an article about her last year (2013). When I sent the song to her she said she wanted to record it and have me sing on it with her! Wow! Stay tuned for that!

 

Alex Walsh Show Business Blog #2

9/7/14

Why am I doing this?

This has been the question my whole life. Why am I writing this again? I wrote the first blog post on Friday and since then I’ve been avoiding doing another. But today I felt like the avoiding was too much. I have all these sentences started in my head. But I didn’t start because they went nowhere. So what’s the point? I feel like my whole life is ahead of me. What else? I’ve got nothing to say. No big ideas. What do I know about show business? I don’t know.

I played for one hour in the Bart station in 1989 and made $8. I then calculated that I could quit my day job (in a fabric sample shop in the design district) because I hated it and I was only making $6 an hour. I was 22. It seemed like a good idea so I did it. And the rest is history.

Young Blue Bucks Logo

No. Sorry. I went on to start a band which was actually a duo. Sort of like the White Stripes but with a dude drummer that I wasn’t married to. This was in 1990. I also worked in Pasqua, a Starbucks type coffee shop in San Francisco (before Starbucks took everything over). I was lucky because I found a manager/producer who wanted to be involved. He had a studio and a van and a good job at Wells Fargo, and he loooved us. So the three of us became the Young Blue Bucks. And it was cool. I was on my way.

Young Blue Bucks promo scan

But then the band broke up. Two years had past. It was either continue or fold. The manager lost his high paying job, and the drummer lost interest, and I just kept going. And here I am.

So what’s the point? Well, we had a good time, and the people we played for enjoyed us.

Just the other day on Facebook a guy messaged me that he woke up with a Young Blue Buck song, My Third Eye, in his head. Now that to me is crazy. And it makes me feel really good inside.

I guess that’s the point, right? People were touched by the music we made.

(I think I start asking what’s the point at times when I’m really lost. It’s like a mini-mid-life crisis that lasts for a few hours. I don’t think I’ve written enough because I still feel that way. I prefer it when writing clears everything out. Maybe I should write a song now…)

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Alex Walsh Show Business Blog #1

9/5/14

Why is it wonderful? Because:

Yesterday I made my last payment to Sallie Mae. I kicked that gal to the curb! I graduated from college in the fall of 1996 (after years off because I couldn’t stand school). By 1997 I was getting bills. But I was broke. So broke I had to sell my electric guitar to pay the rent (A 1993 Gibson Les Paul Studio, black with gold trim). It was a drastic move. (Years later I bought the same model when I saw it on craigslist, but wine red. I’m holding it now as I type). But that’s business, right? Got to pay the bills.

So I’ve been on this get rid of debt campaign since about 2010. It started really slowly when I realized I was having a hard time breathing. I didn’t understand what it was. Then I started looking at my business situation. I had a lot of debt! So I started paying down my credit cards.

About 18 months ago, a wonderful singer / songwriter named Cara Wick turned me onto Dave Ramsey. I was telling her my troubles, how I’d be paying back debt forever and how could I do music if I’m paying off debt? She gave me his book, the Total Money Make Over. I immediately put it on the shelf.

A month later I was trying to record a new Album at home. I realized that it would suck if I did it all myself. I needed to work with other musicians in a real studio, all of which costs real money. Did I have a fan base that would buy this CD (to justify spending the money to make it)? Judging by my previous one, no.

So I was sitting there and I looked up and there was the Dave Ramsey book. I read about half of it and I was convinced. This was a financial plan. I knew in the back of my mind I needed a plan, but did not know how to get one. Now I had one.

I immediately listed a bunch of music equipment on craigslist and it started selling. I put it into the debt…I was on my way. Very cool!

I discovered that Dave Ramsey had a radio show and a podcast. I became obsessed, as is my nature. I started working his baby steps. I eventually told my wife that I was doing this. She didn’t think there was a problem. After much cajoling we got on the same page, and today we’re debt free (we still have a mortgage, but that will be finished up sooner than later…).

I’m sorry I didn’t document the past year. I only started blogging today because every blogger says it’s good for your career. It will take you places. I hope so! I recently discovered Penelope Trunk. I love her writing. I wish she had more youtube videos. And Ariel Hyatt. She’s a music pr person. I bought her book. She really spells it out. I need plans. People in show business need plans.

I also like Seth Godin. But I need people to tell me what to do. Like a to do list. I’m convinced I need to do it, just give me a to do list.

Show Business? What’s that? After 28 years in “Show Business” and/or the “Music Business”, I haven’t seen much business. Will I stop? No. Do I still believe? Absolutely. I’d be crazy not to…