Sadness, without it you’d never know happiness. My best friend, Blue died, actually held him as he went to sleep for the final time, he was my dog. So many friends/family gone now only a few left. Almost forgot about another song. I wrote the words on the Laff Inn bar the night I was locked in. “Taking Care of Business”, Bachman, Turner Overdrive, thank you, you captured my intent perfectly. Another song passed to Bruce the night at the 7’11’. Used to take the train/ferry/2 subway trains each way to work for a short while in ’72/’73 in Manhattan/Staten Island.

Life’s slowed so much, I don’t allow any bullshit ’round me, I try to do the things I enjoy, pursue my interests, love those in my life and all-knowing time is getting short. Done most everything I set out to do in my life, accomplished the goals I set for myself. Now just watching how things play out. I like to sit unnoticed watching the world ’round me. Just sitting’ under a shady tree on a wall nearby. Watching the Hall of Fame show, the Beasty’s awards, never hardly heard their music when they were around, never affected me much kinda glad to say. though white boys did start-up the rite of rap in the beginning, wiggers/niggers.  Such as REM’s “End of the World As We Know it, but I Feel Fine”, that was rap the words I wrote for them. Words spoken fast so as you say your piece before any one can shut you down and make sure they listened and understood what you were saying. I think a lot old fart musicians from the older days not getting the nods anymore really enjoy the accolades once more for the band again. Feels good being loved once more, why not. Havin’ a beer and a laugh once more feels good any time, so why not. Its good seeing the ones we loved when we were kids again singing like they did when they were young. Havin’ a Party .

Didn’t know Donovan wrote “Season of the Witch”, I used to love playing the song years ago with a blues feel in a dive bar, put the show over the top for the night. Then quite a few things I missed off chasing horses but a lot everyone else missed when they weren’t paying’ attention. Lots of deals made ’round the corner, under the table, in the back room, away from prying eye’s & ear’s. Money changed hands in the black of night, careers set on fire no one needed to put them out. It’s just wrong , people singing other people’s songs to win karaoke contests it ain’t the way to make it in my life. You play an instrument well, you sing well, you join others similarly doing the same thing, you write some good songs,play bars get a following make a record on your own if needed to hell with the music assholes, and if you got luck, personality, good songs, good singing you have a chance of being heard, making some money and getting’ in the Hall of Fame. Talent contests, hell you should at least play your own music.

Even Bruce will tell you of playing gin joints, dirt floor bars, house parties, barnburners, I did. And you played hot grooving rocking/soul music that got people dancing, drinking, having fun. You put on a show, got paid, went on to bigger places, bigger paydays, made another record, played bigger places. Got Rich. Got Poor. What else is new, you’re a musician not an accountant.

So lets end up this tale of the night, summer ’74, the future changed hands. Yes, I held the future in my hands,, those few pages of words, feelings, thoughts have affected the lives of countless people and when the truth is known, as it will be in the not too distant future, may everyone be ready. I’ve lived my life, not thinking of the past very much till now, very rarely did I tell/discuss my dealings with Bruce , those who knew/know about it knew not to bring it up. I’d be working, have a radio on, a song comes on, the words flip a switch and I’m remembering everything about the song, that I wrote it, where, for whom/why, etc. Then I’d keep on working. I told John Hammond that the songs were Bruce’s to keep for himself, even the ones I said give to certain people, if he so desired to keep them. He also was given permission to change a word or two if he thought it was required. He asked about what to do with any money they made, well I just said what ever they make, $25,000/$50,000 Bruce was to keep for me. Now obviously these songs made a lot more money than that and the one’s given to other’s made money for those singers. Well like I said those people don’t owe me anything but a handshake/thank you. Do something  good, help someone else out/do for other’s. 

Over the years Bruce has done a lot for the hungry, well I asked him to help the hungry every town he plays and he has kept his word on that count. But, of course, there’s a problem. I’m writing this story so as there is a true accounting of all that passed that summer. And other events in my life, in this day & age I’d of had no problem getting my songs recorded, I would not have to deal with record company’s , they would have come to me. There was a bar on Route 9 just south of Freehold that I’d go to sit, have a beer, talk with farm people,etc. I’d listen to the jukebox, writing words on what ever paper ’round, even bar napkins, they always worked great. Of course one or two people would get interested in my writing, so I’d read them my words, then they’d like them so much they’d have me reading to the whole bar of 15 people. Got me free beers but back then beer was cheap. Wrote a few lines in that  joint, of which one was “Something In the Night”. Not much to it really but you’d have to imagine someone singing it the right way and Bruce got it right, with the feeling coming from his gut of heartache, sadness and disappointment.

So it’s done, I’ve won, getting Bruce to accept my words as his own. One thing , I had music for some of my songs but he only asked for certain songs music, but as I’d explained, the way I wrote the words/lines just naturally lent themselves to a rhythm, a tone, a sound you’d hear when you started saying /singing the words and I made up some on the spot..  Now I would like a beer to celebrate my night but as is custom I was tapped out. So I ask Bruce to spot me a ten, he gives me a funny look and tells his friend who came along with him to just give it to me. I reply he could take it out of my money he’d be holding for me. And as I wrote the words for “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do”, for Steve Winwood whom I also saw at the Fillmore East, I went next door to the liquor store and got a 6-pk of Michelob Beer and a pack of Winstons. As I walked back to the stable gate I could see they were still in the store talking, but I wanted quiet/peace sittin’ in the shed row talkin’ with a horse lookin’ out at the night. I’m on my second life, having  died, then zapped back to life, guess you could say my feelings on many things have changed now.

And I did tell him how/when I wanted my money. Damn if I didn’t also tell him what would happen if he fucked me. Let’s just say it ain’t pretty. The main point being if he didn’t come thru then his Word, his handshake mean nothing. He will have become what he so rails against now. Things he resisted against at various points in his career become meaningless as he is no better than those he fought so hard against. And more importantly the common man, injustice, hopelessness, the very words he sings become a lie. He will have become the very essence of what is wrong about the recording industry, government in this country.

I just got back out of the hospital, again for my heart, thought it was over again, but I’m back today, what a wonderful feeling, still being here that is! And yes this story I’ve told is true, I’ve written the words to Grammy, Oscar-winning songs, so many # 1’s, all in other’s names. I’m laughing believe it or not as I write this for even if I pass on, someone will take care of business for me, concerning Bruce. For as they say Jesus forgives sins, debts, I don’t.

People, you should give the Alabama Shakes an ear, the singer ain’t exactly a pinup but who said a voice always comes in pretty packages. “Hold On”, is a good tune, they might be going places! Also have you heard, “Midnite in Harlem”, Tedeschi/Trucks Band, Duane would be watching/listenin’, saying “Damn”. Actually met Derek years ago, think he was 13. Place I used to play down here, blues club, he had a show so I asked him to pass a letter to Gregg for me. He’ll be in the Hall one day, Derek that is.

It’s that time again, good luck to you all trying to change America for the better. May you succeed in getting’ rid of crooked politician’s/banker’s, etc., etc. May Obama be reelected, and the tax laws be finally  changed rather than just talked about every 4 years.