THE AWE(FUL)-INSPIRING TRUTH: A BRIEF EMAIL EXCHANGE WITH A FRIEND

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Sunday evening I sent a few pre-master mixes to a wise, worldly, hip and profoundly talented friend; we usually discuss Lit, but I’m looking for more conversations about Music at the moment. I’m almost ready to master the 12-14 tracks we’ve been working on for three years, I’ve lost 10 Kilos (working on another 5), I’ve got some serious and well-known musicians guesting on the project and this is all against the luminous backdrop of the improbable fact that I’ve never felt better in my Life. I feel I could run across a field of quails’ eggs without cracking them… or break bricks with my _______ ! [I turned 60 this March]

 

1  AUGUSTINE: On Sun, 1 Sep 2019 at 01:27,  <the_augustine_authorityATyahooDOTcom> wrote:

Check out the words on this one, Chum…

 

2  FRIEND:  On Monday, 2 September 2019, 00:51:34 CEST, S <s_____@gmail.com> wrote:

Another stoater (Scottish word; good thing). Your voice is younger than ever on that one. Don’t know how the hell you manage that.  (You could pass for early forties in that pic. Ridiculous.) 
Just seems odd that you’ve waited so long to be the front man. 

3 AUGUSTINE: On Mon, 2 Sep 2019 at 06:28,<the_augustine_authorityATyahooDOTcom> wrote:

The bleak Truth is that I waited for a very long time for all the cultural conditions to be right… people (not even the audience, I mean professionals of The Music World) had a very, very narrow conception of what a Black musician should or shouldn’t (“authentically”) be doing. I literally waited 40 years to find a co-producer. I had professional management already in the 1980s but they pushed me toward being a Prince knock-off (choreographed dancing, me? Never)… then in London, c. 1990, the music people I knew were only interested in finding the next Keith Sweat! Then, in Berlin, 1990-1998, people were only willing to see a Black guy either Rap or do (idiotic/ banal) Techno Pop. So I tried putting together groups to perform my songs with someone else (much younger) singing, but the singers were never quite right, the bands unreliable or plagued with Visa issues  (a story in itself).
The Internet has really, really opened people up musically; traditional boundaries are melting away or burning off… I noticed in the early 2000s how rapidly the musical landscape was changing, but I still couldn’t find an adequate producer or recording studio for my music. FINALLY happened 3 or 4 years ago, after the project with the Mysterious Hot Chick fell apart… I thought FUCK IT, FACE IT, I’M THE SINGER and a brand new recording studio magically appeared on the scene to accommodate my decision to sing myself. A whole cluster of necessary factors coalesced, for me, for the first time in 40 years. (But, you know, people resist this statement but it’s true: if I’d been White and could sing/write/ arrange as well as I can, while looking as fucking cute as I looked back then, I’d have gotten plenty of professional help to do my thing when I was 23! I was always just too odd/multi-faced,  to fit in the stereotypical ‘Black Guy’ slot a lot of Show Biz pros love condescending to; I watched a dozen teeth-grindingly untalented White guys zoom ahead of me when I was in my 20s, but I was helpless to do anything about it but keep my head down and improve, improve, improve…  for Existential Reasons which seemed less and less likely to mean anything, in The Real World, as the years accumulated (or dispersed). When I hit 40 it seemed like the time to finally, finally, finally fucking quit… but I was too nuts for that, wasn’t I? Quit, me? )
Even now, maybe no one will buy or even notice what I’m doing, but you have no idea how gratifying it is to finally hear the sound, that’s been so glorious in my head, all these years, existing outside of it!

4 FRIEND: On Mon, 2 Sep 2019 at 22:50, S <s_____@gmail.com> wrote:

A genuinely depressing story, Steve. Fuck me, min. I hadn’t picked that up from the stories you’ve told.

AUGUSTINE: On Mon, 2 Sep at 23:17,  <the_augustine_authorityATyahooDOTcom> wrote:

Nah, chum, it’s not depressing… it’s heroic! Blocked from using the elevators, escalators and even the internal stairwells, I climbed up the side of the skyscraper and now I’m busy punching my way through the outer wall

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