Sunday, August 8, 2010

‘THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE’ (Or, ‘0 TO 51 IN 15.5 SONGS’)

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It was Jessica Tate of the ‘Country Girl’ blog who back on June 12th proposed the idea of bloggers creating a musical “Soundtrack” to their life, but it was my friend Arlee Bird who turned the idea into a community-wide blog project on July 18th.

With me always winding up “somewhere one step ahead or behind”, I’m only just now getting around to participating.

This isn’t the first time a soundtrack to my life has been constructed. Actually, it’s the third time. My ol’ acting buddy Marty Brumer did it first, when in 1981 he recorded a cassette tape for me titled ‘Ode To Stephen T. McCarthy’, in answer to my repeated claims that neither he nor anyone else would ever really know me.
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[Marty’s ‘Ode To Stephen T. McCarthy’ audio tape with my old publicity photo on the cover.]

Six years later (Sept. 1987), I took my own shot at it, recording a tape for Marty which I titled ‘What I Imagine And What Imagines Me’. It included a handwritten comment on the cover saying, “O.K., Marty . . . Now you know me!” Side ‘A’ was comprised entirely of instrumentals. Ha!

Here I am 23 years later, on my 51st birthday, creating a new “Soundtrack To My Life” with the 20/20 hindsight of fifty-one years. The following songs are not necessarily my all-time favorites. In fact, in most cases, there are other songs by these very same artists which I like better than the songs I’ve included here. It’s just that these songs seem to speak most clearly to or reflect mo’ better certain incidents and phases of my life.

According to my Ma, I was conceived on her wedding night at the El Cortez Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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[El Cortez Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.]

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[My Pa, “Charlie King”, at ‘Diamond Jim’s Nevada Club’, Las Vegas, early 1960s.]
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[My Ma, “Stevie”, in Venice, CA., 1952.]

On August 8, 1959, three weeks after the “sell by” date, I entered “this world” kicking, screaming, crying and fighting at the ‘University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center’.
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[UCLA Medical Center – red brick building at upper center.]

1964:
Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play.
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day . . .

‘Home On The Range’
by The Sons Of The Pioneers

The first song that I can remember being aware of and being entertained by is ‘Home On The Range’ by The Sons Of The Pioneers. I was about five years old then. I had a yellow plastic Colt .45 with a white trigger that made a clicking sound when pulled. I used to put my ‘Home On The Range’ 45 onto my children’s record player and run around my bedroom shooting imaginary outlaws. It’s hard to believe, but I actually still have the single:
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[Black Cole Kid]
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[Black Cole Kid’s favorite song.]

1967:
I wanna be free,
Like the bluebirds flying by me
Like the waves out on the blue sea.
If your love has to tie me, don't try me,
Say goodbye.

I wanna be free,
Don't say you love me, say you like me,
But when I need you beside me,
Stay close enough to guide me,
Confide in me,
Oh-oh-oh
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I wanna hold your hand,
Walk along the sand
Laughing in the sun,
Always having fun
Doing all those things
Without any strings
To tie me down.
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I wanna be free . . .
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‘I Wanna Be Free’
by The Monkees (featuring Davy Jones)

8/8/1967. The “Summer Of Love”. My eighth birthday. I received my first ever music album: ‘The Monkees’. There were two things that most rocked my world back then: The Monkees and Batman and Catwoman – Julie New-mmmmm!-mar. OK, that’s three things. My math was never very good.

In retrospect – after it was way too late – I came to realize that I should have made a career in the music field. I was always interested in a variety of creative paths, but the one I didn’t really explore enough – music – is the one I should have focused on. Oh well, next lifetime.

I may have liked ‘Theme From The Monkees’ and ‘Last Train To Clarksville’ better than ‘I Wanna Be Free’ back when I was eight, but ‘…Free’ better illustrates the mind-set I would develop later in life. And because the song is not even two and a half minutes long, and because its vocalist, Davy Jones, stands only 5 feet 3 inches tall, I’m counting this as only half a song.
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[The Monkees' first album.]
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[Stephen on his 8th birthday, with Monkees guitar and ‘The Monkees’ record album in background. Flanked by sister Bonehead and brother Napoleon.]
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1974:
Ridin' 'round town with all the windows down
Eight-track playin' all your favorite sounds
The rhythm of the bongos fill the park
The street musicians tryin' to get a start

'Cause it's Summer
Summer time is here
Yes it's summer
My time of year
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Stretched out on a blanket in the sand
Kids of all ages diggin' Disneyland
Rappin' on the C.B. radio in your van
We'll give a big "ten four" to the truckin' man

‘Summer’
by War
[*This song also appeared on ‘What I Imagine And What Imagines Me’.]

I enjoyed a wonder-filled childhood, and in my early teenage years, I spent most Summer days at Santa Monica Beach, near lifeguard station #26. It was all about body-surfing, girl-watching, body-surfing and “Bain de Soleil for the St. Tropez tan”.
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1978:
I've always been crazy and the trouble that it's put me through
I've been busted for things that I did, and I didn't do
I can't say I’m proud of all of the things that I’ve done
But I can say I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone

I've always been different with one foot over the line
Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind
It ain't been so easy but I guess I shouldn't complain
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane
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In 1978, I heard Waylon’s ‘I’ve Always Been Crazy’ played on my FM Rock ‘N’ Roll radio station of choice [KMET – “The Mighty Met”], and immediately bought my first non-Rock music album (back then, radio stations played a far greater variety of music than they do now). ‘I’ve Always Been Crazy’ became my personal theme song because I had already recognized the fact that I was different from y’all.
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1980:
I saw a young girl in a parking lot
Preaching to a crowd
Singing sacred songs and
Reading from the Bible
Well I told her I was lost
And she told me all about the Pentecost
And I seen that girl as the road to my survival

Just later on the very same night
When I crept to her tent with a flashlight
And my long years of innocence ended
She took me to the woods sayin'
"Here comes somethin' and it feels so good!"
And just like a dog I was befriended
I was befriended

Oh, oh, what a night
Oh, what a garden of delight
Even now that sweet memory lingers
I was playin' my guitar
Lying underneath the stars
Just thankin' the Lord for my fingers
For my fingers
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‘Duncan’
by Paul Simon

I always had a fairly pronounced moral sense and strongly felt that lovemaking was not something to be taken lightly. I never believed in free love and one night stands. And that is the reason I decided to lose my virginity in a whorehouse.

Now wait a minute! That’s not quite as crazy as it sounds when you apply a little pretzel logic. You see, I had reached a point where I was determined to put my “virgin” label to bed. And I knew a couple of girls whom I believed would sleep with me . . . if I begged enough. But I didn’t want to make love and run; I didn’t want to give some girl the false impression that I had genuine feelings for her.

So, it seemed to make sense to me that I should lose that label in a businesslike manner where emotions were not involved and no misunderstandings possible. One night, I played Paul Simon’s song ‘Duncan’, I drank a couple of St. Pauli Girl beers (because “You never forget your first girl”) and drove to a cathouse on La Cienega in West Hollywood, located in the shadow of the Playboy Club on Sunset Boulevard. And there I took care of business, doing the wrong thing for the right reason. (Ya see? I told you I was different from y’all!)

And so that’s the story of how I misplaced my virginity. I had entered that house of ill repute, laid it down somewhere, and I never saw it again.

Innocence Lost; Pairadice Found.
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[Whorehouse in the foreground; Hugh Hefner’s Sunset Boulevard ‘Playboy Club’ in the distance.]
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1981:
I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don't talk of love,
Well, I've heard the word before.
It's sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

‘I Am A Rock’
by Simon And Garfunkel
[*This song also appeared on ‘Ode To Stephen T. McCarthy’.]

The first soundtrack to my life, created by my dear departed friend Marty Brumer, included a couple of songs that have also made this third installment. ‘I Am A Rock’ is one of them. How strongly did Marty associate this song with me? The entire first side of ‘Ode To Stephen T. McCarthy’ was nothing but ‘I Am A Rock’ recorded over and over again. 30 minutes of ‘I Am A Rock’. Pretty funny stuffs, Marty!

Regardless of how many times I told Marty that neither he nor anyone else would ever REALLY know me, I gotta say, he pegged my personality pretty darn well. In truth, his soundtrack to my life was no less accurate than my own version recorded in ’87.
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[Marty in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by STMcC.]

1982:
Now the doctor came in stinking of gin
And proceeded to lie on the table
He said “Rocky, you’ve met your match”
And Rocky said, “Doc, it's only a scratch
And I'll be better, I'll be better, doc, as soon as I am able”

And now Rocky Raccoon he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon's Bible
But Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rocky's revival, ah
Oh yeah, yeah

D'do d'do d'do do do do
D'do d'do d'do do do do
D'do d'do d'do do do d'do d'do d'do d'do
Do do do do do do
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‘Rocky Raccoon’
by The Beatles
[Make sure you watch THIS video. I LOVED IT!]

You’ve heard of motorcycle gangs, and you’ve heard of street gangs, but in the early 1980s, I was a member of a drinking gang. We called ourselves “The League Of Soul Crusaders”. Our hideout was located on Bay Street in Santa Monica. The Wild, The Innocent, And The Bay Street Shuffle.

On the mornings after the nights before, we would always play side two of The Beatles’ “White Album” and do a dance we called “The Hangover Waltz”. And the one song that best epitomized the spirit of the Hangover Waltz was ‘Rocky Raccoon’. To this day, I can hardly hear that tune without feeling hungover (and a bit drunk, too!)
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[The League Of Soul Crusaders, left to right: Twinkie, Nappy, Wally, Torch, STMcC, and Pooh, on the roof of a bank in Brentwood, Calif.]
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[STMcC taking his lumps during “the Bay Street days”.]
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1983:
I looked for trouble and I found it, son
Straight down the barrel of a lawman's gun
I tried to run but I don't think I can
“You make one move and you're a dead man, friend.”
Ain't livin’ long like this
Can't live at all like this, can I, baby?

He slipped the handcuffs on behind my back
And left me reeling on a steel reel rack

They got 'em all in the jailhouse, baby
Ain't living long like this
Can't live at all like this, can I baby?

Grew up in Houston off the Wayside Drive
Son of a carhop and some all night dives
Dad drove a stock car to an early death
All I remember was a drunk man's breath
Ain't living long like this
Can't live at all like this, can I, baby?

You know the story how the wheel goes 'round
Don't let them take you to the man downtown
Can't sleep at all in a jailhouse, baby
Ain't living long like this
Can't live at all like this, can I, baby?

‘I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This’
by Waylon Jennings

One weekend in April of 1983, four of us members of The League Of Soul Crusaders drove south of the border to Ensenada, Mexico, where I was arrested and jailed for “intoxicación pública y conducta desordenada”, which is just a euphemism for “Drunker’n hell and fighting in the street”. A real HIGHlight in my drinking career. Well, at least it answered that question, “Where am I going to stay tonight?”

Where’s one of these when you really need it?:
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[Back in Mexico, two years later. STMcC with friends at Tia Juana Tilly’s Bar & Grill & Dance Hall in Tijuana, Mexico; 1985.]

1984:
Oh, it's all flying and waving
For you to keep trying
You're so close.
So close.
All the returns
One of these days,
One of these days,
One of these days,
One of these days.

‘The Returns’
by Rickie Lee Jones

I can still remember the night Marty and I walked from his apartment to the Palisades bluffs in Santa Monica. Returning along Wilshire Blvd. he suddenly put his Walkman headphones on my head and played me the Rickie Lee Jones song ‘The Returns’. It was his way of saying that all of the time, hard work, and money we had both been investing in acting classes and acting workshops would eventually pay off. We would someday receive “The Returns”.

Sadly, he got that part wrong. There would be no “returns” for Marty, because he would be dead 5 years later, and my own career would never make it out of the fringes.
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[Palisades bluffs at Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California.]
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[Marty at the Venice Canals in L.A. Photo by STMcC.]

1986:
At The Firefly we all tell lies
And the cleanup kid hangs his head
He's the quiet type, came to L.A. to write
But he never made it out of the fringes
Keeps a low profile, you kick him he'll smile
Thinks blood is his payment for losing

While me, I'm hiding here, pretending that my mind is clear
A rock for the forgotten
But when I pour they smile and say to me that I'm
A rock for the forgotten

‘A Rock For The Forgotten’
by David & David

In my efforts to build an acting career, I had managed to get a few “microscopic” roles in TV shows, but then in 1985, after writing and acting in a friend’s film school movie project about Doors singer Jim Morrison, I decided to give up the acting dream and move on. But move on to… what?

In 1986, my other best friend, Andy “You Know What Merle Haggard Sez” Anderson, put a bullet through his head. He was the second friend to commit suicide on me in 10 years.

’86 found me in a mentally dark place, and it was the same year that an unknown music duo, David & David, released their one and only album ‘Boomtown’. The music in that album was dark, but also contained a few small glitterings of hope, and it seemed to perfectly reflect my mental state at that time.

In ’86, I undoubtedly played ‘Boomtown’ more than I did any other album that I owned, and to this day, I still consider it one of the very most underrated Rock albums of the 1980s, if not one of the most underrated albums in all of recorded Rock music. It had a raw guitar sound, cool percussion accents, very imaginative instrumental arrangements, and, of course, lyrics that seemed in sync with the trajectory of my life at that time.
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1989:
Hey, barkeep, what's keepin' you? Keep pourin' drinks
For all these palookas. Hey, you know what I thinks?
That we toast to the old days and DiMaggio too
And old Drysdale and Mantle, Whitey Ford and to you

Guess you heard about Nash, he was killed in a crash
Oh, that must have been two or three years ago now
Yeah, he spun out and he rolled, he hit a telephone pole
He died with the radio on

‘A Sight For Sore Eyes’
by Tom Waits
[*This song also appeared on ‘What I Imagine And What Imagines Me’.]

In 1989, my buddy Marty, a professional actor, was killed when a car thief being pursued at high speeds by the Los Angeles police, ran through a red light and struck Marty’s car in the intersection. It seemed so senseless. And yet, Marty had evidently had some kind of premonition that his time would soon be up. (He wanted me to inherit his camera.)

I had begun to think about pursuing a writing career. After all, wasn't it Marty who had said that even though he thought I was a very good actor, he felt I had the solitary personality (not to mention the drinking capacity) of a writer more than that of an actor?
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Some nights, when I got off work, I would drive to a hotel bar in downtown Los Angeles, where I could have a couple of drinks, sit alone, think, and not have to talk to anybody. I just felt I needed a little bar “where nobody knows your name”.
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[My anonymous hotel bar. Bottom center, tan colored, 9 stories high with a penthouse at the top and a dark red, rounded Baroque-style roof.]

1990:
I’m not about to come unhinged when everything goes wrong
A fact is something to be faced
But not for very long

The good times are comin’
They’ll be comin’ real soon
And I’m not just pitching pennies at the moon

The good times are comin’
When they come I’ll be there
With my both feet firmly planted in mid air

There’s gonna be a place for us
A place where we belong
To stand outside just looking in has got to be all wrong
The good times are comin’ . . .

‘The Good Times Are Coming’ (Theme from the movie ‘Monte Walsh’)
by Mama Cass
[This video is a short scene from ‘Monte Walsh’ with Mama Cass’ song playing softly in the background.]

This song is just marinated in irony. The irony being that the good times are NOT coming because the good times have already come and gone.

One night, my girlfriend, Kat (the most beloved of my “better halves”), and I watched the 1970 Western movie ‘Monte Walsh’ starring Lee Marvin, Jack Palance, and Jeanne Moreau. It was a pretty amazing experience for me because I so identified with Marvin’s Monte Walsh character that I felt I had just seen my life portrayed in a film. [“And I know my life would look alright, I can see it on the silver screen”.]

I was so knocked out that the very next morning, I watched the film in its entirety for a second time (that was now twice in about 12 hours), and I immediately nicknamed my girlfriend “Countess” after Moreau’s character.

It was probably right then that I subconsciously recognized that the Countess and I would never be married and I would grow old relatively alone and wander off into the sunset talking to myself.
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To this day, if anyone ever suggested making a movie about my life (but seriously, why would they?), I would tell them, “It’s already been done! Watch the original Monte Walsh” (not the Tom Selleck remake).
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[The Countess: half Mexican, half Irish, all “Lady”.]

1992:
I hear Mariachi static on my radio
And the tubes they glow in the dark
And I'm there with her in Ensenada
And I'm here in Echo Park

Carmelita, hold me tighter
I think I'm sinkin’ down
And I'm all strung out on heroin
On the outskirts of town

…Well, I pawned my Smith-Corona
And I went to meet my man
He hangs out down on Alvarado Street
By the Pioneer chicken stand

Carmelita, hold me tighter
I think I'm sinking down
And I'm all strung out on heroin
On the outskirts of town
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‘Carmelita’
by Warren Zevon
[*This song also appeared on ‘What I Imagine And What Imagines Me’.]

I had written a screenplay titled ‘Billy & Billie’ and attempted to draw Hollywood’s interest in it. The closest I got was a one-on-one interview with the famous producer/director Tony Bill at his Venice Beach production office. Evidently someone there had read the screenplay and, thinking it held some potential, passed it on to Mr. Bill who called me in.

But I went into the interview with an “anti-” attitude. After years of trying to display and sell my “acting personality”, I felt that what I had written should sell itself. “Why should I have to put on a personal performance for a producer when the performance is IN THE DAMNED SCRIPT?”

So, when Tony Bill asked me what the story was about, I literally told him, “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back.”

I can’t remember if I also mentioned to him that it was an interracial romance that takes place entirely at Venice Beach involving a Black girl and a White boy.

Anyway, after my screenplay failed to generate any genuine interest, I raised the white flag, cried “Uncle”, folded up my tent, symbolically “pawned my Smith-Corona” and moved to Airheadzona. (Dumbest thing I ever did!)

But . . . Stephen T. McCarthy wasn’t quite finished yet! Like boxer Robert “Rocky” Balboa in the first ‘Rocky’ movie, I would eventually rise from the canvas and make another attempt to “go the distance”.
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[“I pawned my Smith-Corona...”]

1994:
Satan is a liar and a conjurer too
If you don't mind out he'll conjure you
If I could, I surely would
Stand on the rock where Moses stood

Elijah Rock, shout-shout!
Elijah Rock, comin' up Lord
Elijah Rock, shout-shout!
Elijah Rock, comin' up Lord

Ezekiel said he saw Him
A wheel in the mid' of a wheel
John talked about Him
In the book of the 7 Seals
Some say the Rose Of Sharon
Others say the Prince Of Peace
But I can tell this ol' world
He’s been a Rock and a shelter for me
Hallelujah!

You can call my Rock in the morning
Call Him late at night
He's always with me
And all my battles He fights
When I'm in trouble
I can call Him on the line
He put a telephone in my heart
And I can call God anytime
Hallelujah!
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‘Elijah Rock’
by Mahalia Jackson

On April 6, 1994, after moving back to Los Angeles (for 15 months), I had a religious experience, during which I accepted the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Atonement for my sins. This altered my view of the world and my approach to it. Largely gone now were my bouts with depression.

During that time, I discovered the music of the great Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. I can still recall the time while listening to her sing ‘Elijah Rock’ through headphones that my eyes began to well up with tears at the sheer power of her voice and the beauty of The Truth that she was expressing.
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In 1995, I moved to Phoenix, to be closer to my family. My Pa passed away the next year (my Ma would pass away in 2005).
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[Hope Street, downtown Los Angeles. Photo by STMcC.]

2003:
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
You been out ridin' fences for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you
Can hurt you somehow

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can't get

Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh freedom - well, that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking through this world all alone
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Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're losin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?
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Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it's too late
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‘Desperado’
by The Eagles

In the late 1990s, I wrote a manuscript for a children’s book titled ‘The Misadventures of Muddy, A Dirty Yellow Dawg’. After completion, I put it away and pretty much forgot about it. But some years later, my Sister began teaching little kids at a Montessori school. When she read them my manuscript, there was an overwhelmingly positive reaction to it. In fact, the kids wrote me letters and my Sister asked me to come in and speak to the class and show them the “real” Muddy.

Muddy was my new best friend; a friend who could not commit suicide or die in a car crash:
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[Muddy with a famous rat.]
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[Muddy with one of his biggest fans.]

Seeing how much the children enjoyed my story, I sent the manuscript to Barbara Firth, the great illustrator of the children’s book ‘Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?’ She liked it and forwarded it to an editor she knew in London who worked for the parent company of the book publisher that produced all those ‘Where’s Waldo?’ books.

I received a response, suggesting I rewrite portions of the manuscript and resubmit it, which I did. The publishing company then held on to my manuscript for a full 8 months and put it through multiple readings by various editors. Finally, I got tired of the wait and, in so many words, asked them to either commit to it or return it. They returned it.

I had now come to the realization and accepted the fact that when it comes to creativity, I have only “Warning Track Power”. That is to say that I haven’t quite enough talent to hit the home run, but can manage just enough pop to produce long fly ball outs.

So I shelved ‘Muddy’ and resigned myself to “a quiet, normal life” (well, as normal as I’m able to muster). And that’s how I became a blogger rather than a “real” writer.

In the end, I couldn’t bring myself to settle down with any woman I had settled for and, with God’s help, this ‘Desperado’ accepted his life and has learned to be relatively content. (Although I’d still love to move out of Airheadzona!)

My life is what I’ve made of it, and it could be much, much worse. But I know that someday, when my God calls me to leave “this world”, my life will be much, much better.

And that brings us to . . .

2010, August 8th:
I am not frightened of dying; any time will do, I don't mind.
Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it.
You've gotta go sometime.


‘The Great Gig In The Sky’
by
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[*This song also appeared on ‘Ode To Stephen T. McCarthy’.]

And in the end, ‘The Soundtrack To My Life’ is reduced to wordless wailing.

It wasn’t until after I had finished compiling this song list that I dug out Marty’s 1981 ‘Ode To Stephen T. McCarthy’ audio tape and rediscovered to my tremendous surprise that Marty’s soundtrack to my life likewise concluded with Pink Floyd’s ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’.

Well, dang if that cat didn’t know me after all!

And that, People, is the story of my life in fifteen and a half songs. I hope you enjoyed the music, if not my reminiscing.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Link:
My full-length review of the 1970 movie ‘MONTE WALSH’.

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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15 comments:

Mr. Paulboy #VI said...

Wow.

Wow.

That was great. And that was a MUCH harder list to compile, I am sure, than merely picking 15 desert island discs.

How do you tell the story of your life anyway, let alone by having such an encyclopedic knowledge of music as to tell it through songs of others?

Thanks, McBrother.

Lisa said...

I didn't read all of this Stephen, but I did read enough to see that today is your birthday. Happy Birthday my friend. I hope it was a great one for you!

Here's a birthday hug:

(((((((((Stephen)))))))))))

Lisa

DiscConnected said...

Stephen-

Some interesting stuffs here.

The Countess was a pretty lady-mebbe you shoulda oughta held onto that one.

It is a testament to your faith that you had "a religious experience," accepted Jesus Christ, moved to Airheadzona and still held onto your faith.

If there's a place that can sunburn your sould, Phoenix is it.

Good post...nice plug to Stallone there!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Wow that was awesome Stephen, I recall the hotel at Las vegas from my visit a few years back. These songs are excellent choice and I applaud your post whole heartedly.
Wonderful 10/10 for keeping one's interest and content.

Yvonne.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. PAULBOY VI ~
Hey, thank you, my friend!!!
I was just afraid it would bore everyone to death.

>>having such an encyclopedic knowledge of music<<

Ha!-Ha! Think so? Try having a conversation with me about Classical music and Opera and see how "encyclopedic" my "knowledge of music" is.
:-)



LISA ~
As birthdays go, it wasn't too bad. Went to the Claim Jumper restaurant and later watched "Singing In The Rain". Stayed out of jail. What more can one ask from a birthday, eh?

And thanks for the "birthday hug". I could feel it all the way from here (((((((((almost))))))))).
;-)



DISCDUDE ~
>>It is a testament to your faith that you had "a religious experience," accepted Jesus Christ, moved to Airheadzona and still held onto your faith.<<

HA! But ain't dat da twooth!

>Good post...nice plug to Stallone there!<<

Thanks, Bro.
Now let's see how long it takes him to "show me the money".



YVONNE ~
That's great to hear because, honestly, in composing such a LONG post, and having the subject matter be "all about ME", I was truly concerned that this was just going to bore readers and send 'em runnin' away.

Really, I was writing this while thinking: Oh, who's gonna give a damn about all this?

Very pleased to hear that it held your interest. I don't know how it did, but I'm glad it did. THANKS!

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

Judy Harper said...

I skimmed past the songs as I was caught up in the story. I don't know what to say except that it was good, interesting,grabbed and held my attention! I'm at work on my lunch bread and will have to go back and read again when I get home this evening! Happy belated birthday! Were you given a surprise birthday party? Or even a nonsurprise one?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JUDY!-JUDY!-JUDY!
Hey, thanks mucho. (That's a euphemism for: "Yo! Thanks a lot!")

>> Happy belated birthday! Were you given a surprise birthday party? Or even a nonsurprise one? <<

The best surprise is no surprise, just as the best birthday party is no birthday party.

Nah. No party given, no party desired.

My brother Nappy threw a surprise birthday party for me one time, in perhaps '82, and it didn't go so well. My friend, who was supposed to be keeping me away from the house while things were being set up, arrived back with me a bit too soon - just as the keg of beer was being unloaded from Nappy's van.

Doh! 'Bye-'bye surprise.

Then later, lots of cops. Lots and lots of cops (and we never even invited them!)

Just thinking about birthday parties still makes me break out in a cold sweat.
[:-)

I appreciate your comment, my friend!

~ D-FensDogg
(President of the 'Anti-Party Party')

arlee bird said...

I already wished you happy birthday once this year but I guess everyone's entitled to two. I really enjoyed this account and the pictures. Not sure exactly what to think about all of it but perhaps you've been a been hard on yourself sometimes. I still think of you as a real writer and think you should just keep going.

I still plan on finishing the reincarnation posts-- just trying to get caught up here. I had to hit this soundtrack though. Glad you posted it..

Lee
Tossing It Out

Nin said...

Stephen,
After reading Soundtrack to My Life, music wise, sounds like we have much of the same collection, but I only wish I had a thimble of your humor, introspect, wit and candor. You can add me to that 2.5 percent of regular readers!
So sorry, but I found your blog through the "bovine pastures"! I was searching for the Allen Street Rose CD, by Pat Berrington. Over the last 10 years I've tried the tombstone sites, going back to Tombstone, and more.
A couple of merchants there, told me the City and Berrington had a falling out and they were unable to use her CD. You seem to be the ONLY person, elsewhere who heard it, owns it and enjoyed it as much as I. You couldn't have been more perfect in your review.
Do you know of any other vendor who may have a copy?
Don't know too much about this comment biz, but I had to make this effort. Please email, as I know this is too much info.
Nin

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

LEE ~

>> I already wished you happy birthday once this year but I guess everyone's entitled to two. <<

Ha! Yeah, but heck, that was way back in April. That was pretty funny. It was a nice gesture and your heart was in the right place, but that was one of those "DOH!" moments, eh?

>> I really enjoyed this account and the pictures. Not sure exactly what to think about all of it... <<

Try not to think about it. Just let it be what it is.

>> you should just keep going. <<

This Energizer Bunny is plumb tuckered out.

>> Glad you posted it. <<

Thanks. "Rocky Raccoon" is a bit slow on the trigger, but give him enough time and anything's possible.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

NIN ~
Wow! What a complimentary comment. Thanks!

Welcome to my group of "Followers". Glad to have you aboard. You'll find you have lots of elbow room and plenty of space to stretch out your legs here. There's been no crowding into this group, so it's open and spacious (just like "The West").
;o)

NIN. Hmmm... A nickname? An abbreviation? A Nine Inch Nails fan?

>> So sorry, but I found your blog through the "bovine pastures"! <<

Bovine Pastures? I've never heard of it. What is that? A website where they collect Internet writings that they consider to be B.S.? If so, I would think it a great honor to have made their list. (Or is "bovine pastures" just the country version of "the grapevine"?)

Oh, wow! "Allen Street Rose" - we must be 2 of 100 people in this whole world who know about that!

Yeah, last time I was in Tombstone (4, 5 years ago, maybe), I was told that Pat Berrington and the owner of The Birdcage had some sort of falling out, and like you, I didn't see her CD selling anywhere in town.

Sheesh! I hated her book so much; it was as bad as her music was good. (Have you read the book?) But, dang, for about a year or so, "Allen Street Rose" (ASR) was just about the only music album I listened to.

NIN, I'm sorry but I really haven't any idea where you might be able to find a copy of ASR. Some years ago, I did some Internet searching, figuring that Berrington had her own website somewhere, but I came up empty. Of course, that may be a different story now. However, I'm sure you've probably already tried Google searching for her. (If I remember correctly, she was living in Colorado at the time her book and CD were first published.)

>> You couldn't have been more perfect in your review. <<

My review? The only time I can recall having written anything about ASR was in some guide to things Western that I created for Amazon.com ages and ages ago. Is that what you're referring to?

How is it that you know of ASR and love it but don't have a copy of it?

I orignally bought ASR in the cassette format, but when I found myself addicted to it, I went back to Tombstone and got the CD. I'll bet I still have the cassette tape, and if so, I'd be glad to give it to you.

Also, my buddy, The Great L.C., sometimes makes...

...for me.
I'll bet if I begged and pleaded, he might...

...for me.
And then I could mail it to you.
[*Read between the lines there.]

If you want to take this offline, send me your Email address in another comment, and I'll just write it down and then delete the comment rather than post it.

Thanks again for the great compliment. (ASR. Pat Berrington. Dang. I'll have to put that on right now. Haven't played it in quite some time.)

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11


POSTSCRIPT: I just checked, and indeed I do still have the ASR cassette. It's yours for the asking.

Robin said...

I see from the comments that just about everyone who commented on this is no longer with you (Hello LC, you are the exception!). Ergo, you could recycle this post one song and story at a time and do it again. The real kick is that you wouldn't be limited to 15 or 15.5 songs. You could fill in those places you left out. We all know that there were important events you left out. And you could add your most recent move to Reno. So, think about it. I think you're a gifted storyteller... even if the only folks who know it are your blog readers.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

GIRL WONDER ~
Thanks! Today, on my 'STMcC Presents BOTB' blog I mentioned you by name as one who has been complimentary about my writing. (And that was BEFORE even seeing this latest comment.)

Hmmm... My first impulse was to respond: "Nah. This 'Soundtrack' thing was done. It's ancient history now and time to just move on to my next blog bits... whatever they turn out to be".

But then on second thought, I thought: "Hmmm... Girl Wonder is RIGHT! I could re-post this thing, one song at a time over a period of time, on my one remaining blog."

After all, it IS all about music (as is my 'BOTB' blog) and it WOULD be new to most of my readers today, and it COULD come in handy when I feel I ought to post something in-between BOTB installments, so... Hmmm... Thanks for the suggestion! I'll give some serious thought to it.

Incidentally, I PROMISE to get that overdue E sent to you sometime before I hit the sack tonight. It might be late, but I'll hit "Send" before midnight tonight. (Ha!)

~ D-FensDogG

Robin said...

I feel faint. You just uttered those three little words that every girl longs to hear more than any others:

You were right.

Oh, please, say it again.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I've always been sensitive to a woman's needs.

However, on the other hand, I don't wanna spoil ya.

~ D-FensDogG