I’m a sell out / Nasty

I’ve been away from reading/commenting on blogs because last week some nice guy out in L.A. bought a copy of the Thunder Road chapbook I made and was so smitten with the book and the story behind it, that he did a great write-up for Backstreets.com, the all-Bruce Springsteen, all-the-time fan website. He even skewed one of Nick Hornby’s book titles for the article headline and linked Springsteen’s cameo from the film adaptation of Hornby’s High Fidelity. Oh, that’s clever!

The piece is so compelling and so well-written that it resulted in a tsunami of orders. I’m a one-man fulfillment center so I’ve spent the last five or six nights hold-up in my basement packing and shipping books. Here’s the article. Just scroll down a bit. The books are now sold-out, which was never a guarantee, so thanks, Jon. I’ve also had to spend time refunding money that keeps pouring in. People are disappointed. Additionally, I was contacted by a DJ from E Street Radio on Sirius Satellite who was going to play Thunder Road and then do a story on the book to try and move copies, but that’s no longer necessary. I’d also like to publically thank Mrs. Wife for taking all 200 packages to the post office for me. Do you think that was easy?

Backstreets.com is a huge, influential website. They linked my blog post that tells the story of how the book was made and my stats went through the roof. My usual puny 50-70 hits per day ballooned to about 300 per day since last week. Many orders included congratulations and messages of admiration which, for an egomaniac like me, couldn’t be more satisfying. I keep re-reading them over and over. It’s like pushing a lever and getting a peanut M&M.

* * *

Last week, Mrs. Wife impulse-purchased a pair of deeply discounted tickets to see Janet Jackson. I’m not a huge Janet Jackson fan but it certainly beat the hell out of another fruitless scroll through Netflix. It was an outdoor venue and the concert sold so poorly that everyone who had a lawn seat was given a seat inside the pavilion. The back parking lot, where we usually get stuck, was completely empty. Not one car! Hence, the discounted tix, I suppose.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that about 70% of the concert was lip-synced. But I don’t fault Ms. Jackson. The show is so intensely choreographed that I decided it’s not meant to be a concert of just singing. It’s about the dancing and visuals, too. And you can’t put on that kind of show and still sing live. It’s just not possible! Especially at 45 years old.

Her want to please the audience seemed genuine to me. To turn around and say, oh, for shame, she lip-syncs, would be in poor form and belittle her efforts. She was working her ass off. What more do you want? So I will grant her a pass, where many others would cry foul.

There was a mini-tribute to Michael Jackson, which left me unexpectedly sad. A photo montage that featured the two of them since their childhood was played on a screen behind her while she sang. It dawned on me that although he was an oddity, he was also her brother. And he died tragically. She lost her big bother, whom she obviously loved. Do you have siblings? Can you imagine watching one of them die in the manner he did? I was so blue.

17 thoughts on “I’m a sell out / Nasty

  1. Well done you! I shall tell people I knew you before you were (rich &) famous!As for lip-syncing, if a 50yr old bald guy can sing & dance (& smile) LIVE for three hours, well….:¬)(Ha! WV = iscraft!)

  2. dinah: Thank you, dear. I still can’t decide if the whole thing was worth it.map: My friend, I would never want fame. I’ll take wealth, but I think fame could spell trouble. I am anti-lip-synching as a rule, but I don’t know how else she could have done what she did on stage.

  3. Congratulations on selling all of your books, although Hubby was disappointed he didn’t get one for his brother.Michael Jackson was weird, but he was a brother, son and father too. Many people loved him and miss him.

  4. you had a vision, and created something from nothing. and it was valued and appreciated by strangers – for many different reasons. it moved people.this, to me, is oretty much the definition of “artist”.worth it? only you can decide that… congrats on the sell out. and i mean that in the “empty boxes, no more trips to the post office” sense of the phrase…

  5. Oh, how excellent on the books! I’ll bet you’re still on cloud 9!!!Not a big JJ fan either, and probably would not have gone to see her even with discounted tickets, but I totally understand her tribute to Michael. Having lost my oldest sister, with whom I was very close, one really does have to consider all dimensions of a person’s life before even thinking of mocking them. Almost everybody means something special to someone else.(I agree with the rich but not famous bit.)

  6. Cat: I’m sorry about your bro-in-law but at least hubby has one on the shelf. Maybe he can share his copy.daidy: I agree. It’s oretty much the very definition of an arteeste. Ponita: It was a hell of a show, really. You would have enjoyed it, I’m sure. Especially if you had gone with us. We were dancing in the aisles!

  7. I rejoice for you and your marvellously supportive spouse.So glad you can find it in your heart to be compassionate regarding the Jacksons. One thing I noticed about the family was their excellent manners – all too rare these days.

  8. nurse: It’s shocking, isn’t it? Remember how huge she was!? You couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing her stuff.Pat: What an astute observation. They really are a well-mannered family, aren’t they? Not a vulgarity amongst them.

  9. You’re not a sell out, simply some one whose work has sold out! Congratulations. Your blog answers it appears a question I had seen pop up in a thread on BTX over the weekend re: efforts of folks there to order your book. While I was not a fan of Michael Jackson’s music, your point re: his sister’s show and the video montage to him is well-taken. Long before he became whatever it was he became, he was her big brother. I watched my father-in-law (age 78) and his brother (age 80) bury their big brother (age 93) yesterday and saw the emotion etched on their faces. Regardless of age, the bond remains it seems. Congrats again.

  10. I’m a long-time subscriber to Backstreets, a great magazine for any Springsteen fan. Glad they did a nice write-up on the chapbook and so glad I have my very own copy.

  11. Thanks for the shout out on your blog! I am glad to have been able to help in getting the word out there. So happy that everything worked out and that you were able to see this all the way through! Congratulations!

  12. Brilliant – the way that your efforts have provoked such appreciation in others, and I like the way that the project just started pretty much by chance, in a back of the envoleope idea. Well done, a pint of English ale raised in a westwards direction, clink!

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