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Getting Ready To Leave...


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Well, I lost my day job. It’s tempting to consider just going out and being an unemployed musician—but I’m not well-known enough, and haven’t been making money at it, just having fun. Last time I had a shot at supporting myself as a musician was when I played with The Dodson Drifters—and that was 25 years ago, and even then I had a day job.

Not having a job, of course, means having to move—southern Oregon’s too expensive a place to live without an income. The monthly bills alone are two thousand dollars—and eating and driving are extras on top of that. And nothing better happen to the old car (which has had its share of repair bills over the last six months).

But before I go, I want to put on a show—a Farewell Joe Concert, as it were. The place to do it is probably Johnny B.’s in Medford; it’d be nice to do it in the old temporary home town of Phoenix, but I don’t know any places—Roscoe’s, the only venue with a stage (left over from its days as a wild bar), books jazz and blues, trying to attract a mature crowd. Mature crowds probably ain’t me.

Invitations by e-mail, of course—no cost, there—plus posters, again of course. Friday or Saturday night. Band? Bass, lead, fiddle, harmonica, and mandolin, maybe? (I know a few people.) It’d be easy to do a 3-hour show. Publicize the heck out of it, and go out with a bang.

AMERICAN IDOL announced they’re doing another song contest, for the 2008 season—and again, I just might have a candidate. They want an upbeat, hopeful, aspitational, uptempo song that can be sung equally by a boy or a girl, and of course they don’t want it to mention American Idol, or singing, or playing on stage, or making it in the music business. I might have one that fits those parameters—“When I Jump Off the Cliff I’l Think of You.”

Of course, we know the American Idol folks don’t want country music, but this is one song that transcends genres well—the version up on my Soundclick site is rock ‘n’ roll, with me playing lead Strat, and probably the best rendition ever of the song was done by an electronica artist, zonemusicinc. Wonder if Screamin’ Gulch would be interested in recording it? They’re a punk-rock band with a hillbilly patina. It’d definitely be different.

RECORDING WITH THE ALL-STARS may be out—when I’m poor, I don’t want to spend money on frills like studio time. I’ll have to do something simple instead. Dan Doshier’s invited me to come by and test out his 8-channel Tascam (which I’ll no longer be in a position to buy), and we could layer a whole band that way. Alternatively, there’s Screamin’ Gulch, which Wayne has the ability to record, or I could do something simple on my own 4-channel Tascam.

ANOTHER SOSA POSTER, using photos from the archives this time; I probably could do posters through the end of the month with what I have. Finally got my computer’s “virtual PC” (hight “Old Alice”) to do PageMaker-to-Acrobat conversions, so I didn’t have to keep e-mailing them to a different computer. “Old Alice” is completely imaginary, running Windows 98—necessary to do those conversions, because my graphics software is old—but she doesn’t realize she has high-speed Internet or a CD-rewritable drive, because those things didn’t use to exist, so there was no way to get files out once converted. I knew there was a workaround for this, and I was right. It’s a little hokey, but that’s because the “Virtual PC” software isn’t supposed to work with my version of Windows XP. But it does.

Maybe St. Leif’s Day would be the time to do the Concert. March 29 is a Saturday this year, and I’ll be around, I think, till the end of the month because I won’t get to pick up my last paycheck until then. Gives me two intervening weekends to plan the thing (and the days, too, since I won’t be working).

Joe

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