" Better stay away from him / he’ll rip your lungs out Jim…" - Warren Zevon, Werewolves of London
I’m waiting for my bad review to come in.
Fate has brought me here, Stanley, because this is this.
My gig started out the way all gigs start … coffee, a random passage from the pages of my preferred motivational personality - Henry Hill- and vocal runs from the “Sound of Music (hey! the inherently satirical can be whimsical too).”
Due to the nature of my work, I’m one of these lucky cats who can penetrate the “Buyers Request” section with pretty positive results. This is where I ran across an ad requesting an original composition in the same makeup of a wrestling theme song. The buyer also included an example of the song he wanted- a wrestler theme song. I don’t mean to be shocking…but this wrestler’s theme song was about…wrestling.
Now… here’s a non interesting, very useful, side note: I’m a wrestling fan…because I know the true secret to fandom. To love something, you must absolutely hate it. How can you not? The pure brutality of for- hire hucksters… the manic absurdity of real pain and fake wins. It’s jazz with blood stains. It should illicit cerebral hemorrhaging. It’s good for you.
After inquiring about the potential customer’s fandom he immediately accepted my request. In his description he stated that the material was for a podcast. He also specifically required that the custom song be thematically similar to his example - including a request to make the song of the same name.
Now, his example song was a fully produced, multi instrumentation having, vocally massive, mixed and mastered song. The kind of song you’d pay thousands for in a studio.
I do offer a reasonable package for totally arranged, complete instrumentation, full length mixed and mastered original material but that’s not what he purchased.
The buyer… we’ll call him Freddy FruitCup McMuffinnugget… McMuffinnugget purchased a five dollar order. That includes a 30 second, piano song.
But before I had so much as a chance to curb it, the melody had flooded in. Sweeping guitars. Huge harmonies. I could see it…
Visions of fine robes swaying from the frame of a roided mongoloid…the eruption of a crowd, the screams lurching from their twisted faces…frantically pulsating like a drunken marionette…all while the song in my head beat through their skulls…
Now I HAD to hear it.
So I created a full song. Twenty tracks of instruments, ten vocal passages and oodles of lengths beyond what he ordered. I contacted the buyer and explained my situation.
“Not to worry,” I said, "I’m gonna do this gig for the five dollars… I just want to hear it."
The buyer didn’t respond and so went the countdown. Until there was one day remaining.
And that’s when it happened.
The delivery was denied.
“I’m dead but I don’t know it / He’s dead, he’s dead” - Randy Newman
Description perfectly adhered to? Check.
Every extra in the Rolodex? Check.
How can this be? What type of monster … what thick headed sycophant, treacherous, destroyer of humanity would do this?
The New World Order.
The actual one. I mean, the actual fake one. That is, I mean, the one that tin foil top wearing, conspirators subscribe to.
His modification request said to include lyrics regarding the fight of the Lord, that’s Jesus Christ, son of God, Mix Master J himself - versus Satan… and of course he needed lyrics about tossing fists with the New World Order. That’s known as the instrument of destruction, round these here parts. Satan’s posse (depending on your interpretation, of course).
Well… imagine my surprise. Not only had I not been informed that the thematic example should be considered from the perspective of the almighty (and actually been instructed on EXACTLY what to write)… but my client was none other than the fist of he who is I AM. The Jack Dempsey of evil dilution. The Sultan of Swinging at Satan… so to speak…
Let’s not venture into the murky ironies of a coordinated troop of real people throwing metaphorical darts at the supposed on-goings of shadow people.
After all, life is the constant study of what you know to be true - being proven false.
So fudge them apples hoss. It would be just my luck that the high priestess of the totalitarian undercurrent (otherwise known as Julia Roberts) would be paroozing the podcast circuit, just begging some chucklehead to challenge their existence through the magic of power rock.
Sorry man… I’m just a pianist.
I felt pretty solid about my case. I was given specific instructions that I followed and more than over delivered on. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have inquired about the request had the information not been specifically about creating a theme like the one in his posted example. Regardless, I made some alterations and resent the material. Rather than include strange references to topics unrelated to lyrics I had written, I removed some lines about internal battles and such (as I was told emphatically that 'the battle wasn’t inside of him, it was between Jesus, Satan and The New World Order). I also sent an instrumental copy of the song (that’s still tons more work than purchased…TONS) with a detailed description of how to inquire to another lyricist while getting a fully produced song out of the deal. I completed the order as was written in the request and the description. Three times.
I felt good. Helpful, even. I had even exceeded the modifications on the gig. I had surpassed all expectations the buyer’s initial request had wanted and then some.
On the third day, while Mooch didn’t rest and was busy writing music, the buyer sneaked up and this time… he wasn’t so friendly. He chastised me for the instrumental. Said his “listeners” wouldn’t go for 90 seconds of a chorus. I’m assuming he missed the part (and by part I mean THE ENTIRE MESSAGE) where I explained the two modification versions I had sent.
By this point I was making a list. Logic prevailed and I didn’t use it - but here’s where I was before deciding against it:
Song Names to record and send this buyer:
- The Ballad of the kneecap fetish
- I love her more than ever, now that her name is Trevor
- Consensual Love by the Sea
- To all the Trees I’ve Hugged Before
- She works hard for her money, so give her equal pay
Something tells me my forever client wouldn’t be a fan of any of these. Sadly, none of them got recorded. I shortened the song and now we wait the three days until either: another modification comes in, I get ravaged on the review side or the buyer mysteriously disappears into the long night… where those who question will be spilled with truth forever.
On the bright side - I think I have the makings of a new album.
Coming this fall…His songs burrow into your core…his voice burns into your heart…his words are the whispers on the lips of lovers everywhere… Mooch presents a new classic just in time for the Holidays, with “Consensual Love by the Sea.” Preorder it now where all by- god amazing music is sold.
note: This post is not intended to slight anyone’s beliefs -whether totally kooky, dingbat nutty or not. It has more to do with unclear expectations than unrealistic realities.