I am talented songwriter who’s had a few of his songs played on the radio, recorded a few cds that were independently released. But my musical career has largely been playing cover tune gigs. Every professional musician knows the score. You can become a human jukebox and play the cover tunes the people want to hear and play them for the rest of your life in bars and restaurants where nobody is really listening (they’ll pay you for that) or you can play your own songs and maybe with a lot of hard work and effort, make it big or at least achieve a certain degree of success, even if it’s on a local level. Unfortunately the odds are that you will struggle in obscurity as a starving artist til you quit and get a real job or at least until your parents or girlfriend stops supporting you.
If you are a true artist i.e. totally unemployable and pretty much incapable of doing anything else, you will probably end of either dead or in prison before you give up your dreams. You can try and do both, play cover tune gigs to pay the rent while still playing your originals at open mics and “showcase gigs,” (a euphemism for no pay) hoping for your big break. But you’ll probably end up doing that as a solo artist because your band will quit on you citing “no pay, no play.”
It’s funny sometimes lightning strikes all around you while you seem to get nowhere. I was in a really good cover tune band in the 90’s. We were in the union and making decent money when the bass player said he was quitting to play with his original country band full time. We all scoffed at him. “Come on we’re making really good money, you’re going to quit? To play in a country band from Miami with a Cuban lead singer?” They were good but their success didn’t seem likely at the time. Well Bobby Reynolds and the Mavericks moved to Nashville became a big success. They had a bunch of hits and I think won 10 Grammys. Bobby later married Trisha Yearwood (who later left him for Garth Brooks.) I hear they’re doing a reunion tour, best of luck to them. Meanwhile I’m playing at the local bucket of blood every Friday night. So take it from me if you are just starting your musical career and want to play your originals take a chance while you still can. Sure you can play cover tunesand make a little money but once you go down that road, you never come back!
Ah, Florida…or as my friends likes to call it Flori-duh. Everyone knows that everything that’s truly weird comes from here. SNL’s Seth Meyers, now the host of NBC’s Late Night, recently began a segment on his show of a game show where contestants have to guess if the news story is made up or an actual news story from the Sunshine State.
“Whenever I run across a news story that’s particularly bizarre, it’s almost always something that happened in Florida,” he explained to the studio audience. “I would swear sometimes they’re made up, it’s hard to tell the difference right?” Face eating zombies, sinkholes that swallow up whole neighborhoods, the woman who called 911 because her partner wouldn’t have sex with her, middle school teachers having sex with their students, men having sex with pit bulls, all these were real events that took place in…Flori-duh. That was the premise of my new column in Cahoots, the local beach paper because while the whole state maybe be weird, I happen to reside in the epicenter of weirdness, Hollywood, Florida or as I like to call it ” Hollyweird by the Sea. “
” Hollyweird by the Sea “
” Welcome to Hollyweird, ” shouted the guy on the bike as he drunkenly careened down the Broadwalk, pretty much missing the bike lane altogether. He was wearing one of those hats made out of palm fronds and a loud Hawaiian shirt. The memory of that incident stayed with me and I heard that term bantered around town, ” Hollyweird. ” After a season or two here, I began to understand.
I’m talking about Hollyweird, Florida of course not the one in California, which people consider the ” real one ” whatever that means. Real what? Real weird? Sure, Hollywood, California has it’s share of weirdness but it can’t hold a candle to the one in Florida. Ever notice when the Virgin Mary appears on a grilled cheese sandwich it’s in Hollywood, Florida?
Or when an Alien Worshipping Cult is cloning babies it’s in…you guessed it, Hollywood, Florida.
I have a theory that this is because of it’s proximity to the Bermuda Triangle. In fact, I believe it’s location is perfectly aligned with the apex of the western tip of the Bermuda Triangle. It also might have something to do with Ancient Atlantis. You see Hollyweird, Florida is nestled right up to mother, mother ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. That means that Hollyweird, Florida has beaches and the one in California on the other hand just has a bunch of stuck up beaches. And while it maybe a tad strange at times (particularly by the Publix on Young Circle) I am proud to call it home. Space Hippie sings and plays guitar at tiki bars up on the beach. If you see him buy him a drink.