Why Me? Why Write? Why Now? Why Not?

The Me is Doug Curran…Douglas M Curran…Douglas Metcalf Curran. Douglas is Celtic for “dweller by the dark stream”. Curran in Gaelic means “little spear”. And Metcalf? Scottish for “I met a calf”? Hey I don’t know! I don't have all the answers. I'm still trying to get the questions right. At least I seem to be a spear fisher by some dirty water. Or maybe I'm a Druid. And that Curran thing may not even be as Irish as my Irish American wife, Colleen Fitzsimmons, hoped it was when she married me. Ok, I might be a Viking. It's like this. I was reading this book, The Lion Of Ireland, see, and the author, Morgan Llewellyn, recounts a last battle between Brian Boru and the Viking invader king, to regain Irish dominance again throughout the island and kick the fureners out. The Viking king's name? Olaf Cuaran? Cuaran? Curran? I'm a Viking now, so I am? And a descendent of one of those marauding and murderous pillagers and plunderers? I've never pillaged a thing in my life...well, maybe a book or two from somebody. I'm really just a gentle giant who loves books and music. Ok, I bought a sword recently, but only as a wall decoration to enhance my Irish family history coat of arms! Honest! Viking, Schmiking, so rest my Irish soul! Or my wife will have my old bald Irish head!

August 22, 2010

No Money Singing...Or Drinking For That Matter!

Ok, finally figured out why I never made any real money signing...I mean singing. I was sitting in the bathroom see...no it was the doctor's office...ok it was the bathroom...no it was the dentist's office...ok, ok...and the newspaper on the floor was advertising the next big SCERA concert down the street, a big lovely outdoor theatre in the neighborhood. It was John Michael Richard or Richard Michael Bob or John Billy Bob Michael or some such country singer. And there he was smiling with his guitar and a whole list of his hit songs next to him to entice me to the concert, most of which...no, all of which I'd never heard of... ever. But we're going to have to hear him anyway just from living a few blocks away. The sound carries quite well on these cool Summer nights.

And I started thinking, no wonder I never made any money singing! If I had ever had a hit record, I'd have had to go around the country to as many places as I could to get people to spend their money to listen to me sing my songs over and over and over and over and over and over...and over...and...hey wait a minute, that's what I did when I had a hit record in 1969 with The Lettermen. And I was done by the third traveling show! Done, I tell you, D-U-N, done!!! I was a freaking robot after that, on remote control or auto pilot or whatever being a smiling singing zombie is! I don't know if making money that way is worth it. I really don't. Unless I just write them and someone else sings them over and over and over...

Colleen and I used to sing for our supper, yes, in dinner theatres, lounges, military bases, wherever we could make a buck in our younger struggling married years. She had come from doing a folk duo with Dave Webber out of Omaha, loved the crowd and singing those same songs over and over and over. I think the fact that she was a drinker in those days and could handle the monotony with a little light inebriation sure helped. Whereas I, a non-drinker, hated singing the same songs and stopping one after another so much that I started putting our soft rock repertoire into medleys we could sing without stopping for 15-30 minutes sometimes. She had also became a teetotaler like me too. But it was just another way for me to avoid the stop and go, the over and over, and sing ourselves into yawning la-la land until the night was mercifully over.

To me, singing a song is a possibly one-time experience, not something to be sung over and over and over and...unless it's like some scriptural truth you want to repeat over and over and over to really drill it in there. Now those songs might bear repeating a few times. Even Christmas carols, for example, which are like heavenly revelations to me. But some sloshy, gooey love song? Now I'm so glad I've only written Christmas songs so I only have to sing them once a year, questionable as they are, unless most of you forget and give me a reprieve and then maybe I skip a year or so and get by with only doing one of them. Unless it's at a 40th anniversary show and someone actually wants to sing one of them for old time's sake.

Do you know that the word "sake" and the Japanese alcoholic beverage "sake" look like the same word? So the Japanese say "For old time's sake" and have a big old toast I guess? And if you put an "h" in it, it's "shake" which I happen to be drinking one of right now. And no, there's no sake in it to cause these inane ramblings. Just writing things down - like I asked my kids to do sometime, ok? Even if if sucks, right it down. I mean "write" it down. See how spell check doesn't work on words that are homonymish to some degree? I'm on this new med to help take nerve pain out of my face and it makes me drowsy and stupid at the same time. Singing off - check that, signing off.

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