I have an unusual story to tell. It’s about a legendary band that I happen to be in. No, not Negative Tendencies which is at least somewhat legendary but has been floundering for around a year now. No, this is about another situation altogether. I don’t know where to start this story or where to finish it. I guess I can start at the beginning, wtf. Then it occurs to me that I’ve blogged about this before, on my old FT blogsite, I linked to it on facebook but never got any comments, I doubt anybody read it. Anyway I just went and looked it up, here it is, it tells the first part of the story and from a previous vantage point so in some ways it’s more informative than if I wrote it anew now.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
So anyway, the musical project known as Father Time and BEATLESEX released its 9th song in a fairly short time today, all quality songs I might add, and it occurred to me that unlike my usual transparency, I never really explained what this is all about, how it came to be.
So it all started in early 2016. I was sending out emails to previous members of IMP just to let them know we had gotten the site back into shape where it was happening again, and I got this email from a strange character wanting his log in info. He was demanding, critical, obnoxious. He had 2 artist pages, American Lesley Jane and BEATLESEX. I hadn’t really heard of him but he eminated self-importance. haha I patiently handled his inquiries and then received in response another dose of wacky emails. This back-and-forth went on for awhile and for some reason I came to look forward to looking in that email box to see what kind of bs from him I would have to deal with that day. Eventually he uploaded some songs and I got to hear his music but the songs he had put up were very loud, it was hard to get past the production. Then I heard one that was to my surprise undeniably good called Venus Girl, and I featured it. I told him he has some talent if he could make his songs not so hot when mastering. He didn’t take too kindly to this at the time but I think I was getting through a little bit. We continued to correspond and one day he heard my band Negative Tendencies and was really taken with the song Not Far From The Fork In The Road. Called us the best band on earth which pleased me because I believe it myself I guess. heh In the meantime I had heard more of his music including one song that literally sounded just like the Beach Boys. I came up with the idea to ask him to cover 1 or 2 of my songs, which he did, and his cover of Placebo of Love delivered this great 50s rock authenticity. So I got to thinking about this song I did unplugged at live shows and how good that would be with a similar backing, sent it to Lesley to see what happens.
During this time we didn’t always get along so good. He is ultra-sensitive. On top of that he occasionally manufactures drama guessing about things. I told him he is high maintenance. At one point I was so sure i was done with him that I blocked his emails. We’ve had at least 3 fights where I’d basically had enough of him. He’s sort of half-man half-woman and the woman half openly had a thing for me which i wanted no part of which added to the difficulties. All that said, when he delivered the backing for There Used To Be A Thing, it helped me make the song better than I ever imagined it, turned out to be one of the best things I’d ever been involved in. Musically Lesley possesses some kind of major magic. He also provided backing for another song that I was done but never satisfied with, I’ve tried myself to add percussion after the fact and I have no idea how he does what he does.
Some people have issuws with Lesley cause he has a high opinion of himself, he also claims to channel dead Beatles, Buddy Holly, etc. Maybe he does, who knows?
So we’d had some success, Father Time and BEATLESEX had a growing page of songs. Lesley sent me one of his he was excited about and wanted me to sing in tandem with him. I listened, it was a pretty great summertime song called Pink Vanilla Corvette. I immediately liked it and in the days prior to recording my vocals it ran thru my head a lot. Some people around me have questioned why I would work on songs that are not mine. Well my singing has taken a lot of abuse over the years. Many have said they don’t like my voice and pretty much no guys have ever complemented my singing, with the exception of Neg Tendencies bandmate WeaponX calling me the king of harmonies. Being asked to sing on these songs that are most resembling Brian Wilson songs in his prime i see as an honor, why shouldn’t I want to be a part of that? We finished Pink Vanilla and also In The Sudden Rain which is just as good or better, along with a few more of my songs, including a Dylanesque tune that belongs on one of his great records in 65 or 66.
Yes Negative Tendencies is still my top project but FT and BEATLESEX is clearly having a great run. Lesley sent me a song to sing a couple weeks ago that is just epic but I didn’t like some of the lyrics. It sat for awhile but yesterday I wrote new lyrics which he likes and this may be our best one yet!
So there you have it..
The song at the end I was talking about turned out to be Kara’s Song by The Coming Of Age. What? Well many already guessed that band was us, at least recognized my voice. Not to mention my public adoration of Supergirl which sort of made it obvious, I think. Before I get to a deeper explanation of this, let me pick up the story where it left off. Basically, not long after I wrote that blog, FT and BEATLESEX broke up due to a huge fight that I don’t even remember what it was about, other than that he was being abusive on the pipeline, I ended up banning him. I should add that this was not a controversial idea, I had been pressured by shareholders and others to get rid of him numerous times up to that point, his long meandering posts get under some people’s skin.
1/2/2017 2:47:20 PM —- Updated 1/2/2017 3:26:29 PM
I made a decision
Lesley is banned from the pipeline. I just can’t take him anymore. If anyone other than Lesley has a problem with me doing this, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and Lesley, if you haven’t yet read the email I sent you informing you of this, do not post on this thread or any other with any of your names, if you do I will start removing your music pages from the site.
And if you upload any more abusive songs, I will remove them from the front page.
I deeply apologize to everyone here for not doing this a long time ago. I’m locking this thread also.
I’d also like to say I’m embarrassed about how I’ve handled all this. Am probably going to take a breather from the pipeline til I find some semblance of my self esteem. It will probably be a little quiet around here so I hope some of you pick up the slack.
ok the bottom line is this. Lesley may be about the most difficult individual I’ve ever met, in my life. I can only think of one other who might compete, this utter wackjob woman named Swannie. Anyway, I heard zero complaints about banning him even though some at IMP definitely seem to like him. Things that seem unimportant to me he will fight to the death about. He’s also just not socially adapted to the world, to put it in a kinder way than I usually put it, so there’s always a danger of him starting problems in social media. Anyway the thing that really devastated me about this relationship was that basically out of the blue when I thought we had a working partnership, Lesley told me in the midst of another quarrel that I can’t have the songs we worked on online anymore. I carry the songs I finish around as part of my life persona so this was something I couldn’t reconcile. I hated him. I didn’t even work on music for months after this bad experience. He was still trying to contact me, I told him to come back in 10 years and I might consider working with him again.
So, that’s where we stood when 2017 got underway. He saw me list a support email and started to write me there (I had blocked him on my personal account). I had another issue with a close artist friend (Zeeza) on the pipeline and people were giving me grief about the moderators, so I decided to open things up on the pipeline and wrote Lesley to inform him he was no longer banned.
Let me tell you I’ve mostly found knowing Lesley to be entertaining, he’s as creative as anyone you’d ever meet. When we lock horns it gets bad fast but I have to admit I missed his wacky letters somewhat, even though they are more like an endless flow of conciousness that basically doesn’t stop flowing, it’s more than anybody could reasonably handle to be honest but I’m an oddball, what can I say? So I slowly started to communicate with him again and he assured me he had changed, that the feminine side was stepping back, according to Lesley, she was the cause of the issues between us. He really did seem different though, and there was this absolutely amazing song that I still wanted to finish, that was a huge factor in me dealing with him again.
I’m adding this paragraph to this blog after the fact, after finishing it. I should mention something else. Lesley has a big heart. You may not notice this sometimes because of his way of entering a thread and basically taking it over. But he cares about people and he cares about right and wrong and he sure as hell cares about the community that he makes home to his music. I only mention this briefly but it is very important. Starting in a few weeks Lesley has agreed to sponsor IMP fully, take care of the entire bill for its operations. Now since this has not started yet it is not really a total given but I believe it is going to happen. And I think the impetus of it happening was me expressing to him that I may not be long for running the site anymore. I don’t mind doing all the other stuff but sweating the server bill and often having to pay it myself was something that has been making me very unhappy so in that sense, Lesley’s offer has been a godsend and I appreciate it more than he’ll ever know.
So anyway, back to the main plot of the story, Lesley and I had done some really good songs before our split which haven’t seen the light of day since then, those are about to get added to our current page. To be honest I didn’t feel like they got their due, generally my songs don’t get added to many stations at IMP, I believe at least in part due to the fact nobody much likes the guy in charge. When Lesley and I got back together as a team I wanted to try a different approach. We came up with the old guy concept since we are both pretty old and The Coming Of Age was born. I think we’ve been pretty successful (in terms of exposure, anyway) as 2 of our videos have 300 plus views. I just feel like 2 weird guys like ourselves deserve to have our music viewed for what it is, not as the product of these personas. Various people cornered me to say hey that’s you singing and I would affirm privately. Lesley was asked about it on the pipeline and blatantly denied COA was us but he did nothing wrong – I consider this artistic license, we tried to make it a more interesting experience for music fans and observers. Even packed our domain site thecomingofage.rocks with some very interesting, creative content that this generation of social media didn’t have the energy to seek properly. That was disappointing but is really the current state of the listening audience unfortunately. Other than this blog we’re not intending to take final responsibility for the band either, we like the freedom of the 3rd party branding. The Coming Of Age is not us, it’s magic, the music is all that’s there, end of story.
So anyway The Coming of Age finished 4 songs we’re pretty happy with and we were working on a great 5th song which is the catchiest sort of bubblegum song when we started to clash again. That’s the interesting (for lack of a better term) thing about working with Lesley, it could end at any point, like tomorrow. We continue to have difficulties usually relating to him being in his own world at times. Lesley suspected that the whole band/performance art thing might have been my way of avoiding any association with him. Not so. I think his music has gained a lot of acceptance at IMP in the last several months. I credit myself for getting past the unusual persona because I always hear the music that is good. I’m also not sure what would’ve transpired had I not gone there. I’m kind of proud of him and how he’s justified the faith I’ve had in his music since I first understood what he brings in that realm. And of course Father Time has never been a slouch in that regard either. Thus, you better believe that I’d put the 13 songs we’ve done against any 13 songs by any act done in the last 20 years at least. I believe at some point our musical project together will indeed be legend, and not just from our vantage point.