September 1st, 2003

Living on the edge, not knowing if I will be able to pay the next months rent and playing music for tip money swirled around in my little brain like two dice and when they rested it came up seven. At least I hope so. You see I got to thinking that if indeed I was homeless and feeding myself by busking and living in my van I could probably travel cross country to a new town where I was more likely to find work, by stopping at truck stops and rest areas and playing for gas and food money. I don't think I ever truly believed it would come to that, but the idea had a kind of romantic feel to it and it wouldn't go away. Another popular fantasy for me involved traveling cross country to set up and play music in front of radio stations in every town that had one to promote my next CD. Recently the two ideas merged into one new idea. Why not record a CD of my Country tunes and promote it at truck stops across the country. I would sleep in the car or camp out and hit every truck stop between here and the east coast playing music for an hour or two and selling my CD. Hopefully I could persuade the location management to buy 10 CDs to resell and move on to the next one.

So that was the first draft of the idea as it appeared to me. I tried to let the idea go, I thought it sounded good on the face but would not hold up over time. My mind has come back to it on a daily basis however and now I am at the point of working to bring it about. First of all, it provides sufficient motivation to get me back to work in my studio; Nothing happens if I don't deliver the goods. Secondly, its just a good idea that so far as I know no one has done before. thirdly now is the time for something like this; the record companies are dying in the shadow of the internet and the independent artist like myself has the opportunity now to rise on the strength of their art and ingenuity and the World Wide Web to bring their art before the people. So there is the next question how does the Web fit into this plan. First, I will document the process from start to finish in a journal which, as you can obviously see, I have already started. Part of this journaling process will be the creation pages where pictures, video and music can be posted as the journey progresses. Third, I hope to find sponsors for this project and I will create pages that describe their contributions and link to their web sites. Fourth, I hope to accumulate email addresses for a mailing list that will notify the members of where I expect to be and what time so that when I am close to their locations they can come to see me and say hello. Of course I just have to hope that people will find myself and my music sufficiently interesting to want to show up when I do.

So there is the plan such as it is. I have thought about choosing a charitable institution to ally myself with and use this project as a means to raise money for them. I have a concern regarding this however. Clearly I am looking to promote my music, my songs and myself with this effort. It just seems ingenuous to me to seek publicity under the auspices of a charitable institution to further my own career. There are several that come to mind however, the Camp in Scotts Valley where I received the help I needed to start my recovery would probably be my first choice. I had no insurance and no savings account but I was sponsored by a staff member and given the gift of 12 days in residence at no cost. Raising money for them would be very rewarding for me but I am afraid that the anonymity tradition would make this unworkable. Travelers Aid International seems to be a logical choice. I would be able to raise awareness of this group and the work they do to help stranded traveler's get to their destinations. While I believe they are deserving of help based on a little research, I can't say that I have any real connection to them; I never used or required their services. Now on the other hand, if an institution were to hear about my project and seek me out to include them then I could take a look at that and see what i could do. For now its a non-issue, I won't be seeking to include any such organizations.

I will however be looking for sponsors for this trip. A few possible sponsors come immediately to mind. Travel Centers of America is one that makes a lot of sense. I would approach them for help with Gas and Food costs and selling my CDs in exchange for promoting their stops. I could agree to make them my exclusive stops and include them in my website etc. It would be a small cost to them and could result in good exposure. Perhaps Apple Computer would be willing to provide a laptop for the trip. I could do all video processing, web site updates, recording and music production on this laptop and it would be good exposure for the versatility and power of their laptop computers. I could leave my PC laptop at home and use Apple products exclusively. Perhaps I could get a Rental company to provide a vehicle for the trip, wouldn't hurt to try. Perhaps AAA would like to contribute route planning, insurance and accommodation support. There are certainly a world of possibilities in the beginning phase when no one has had a chance to turn me down. I think the order in which I approach these folks for help is probably important.

So there it is. My next tasks are to create a prioritized to-do list and get to work on the recordings. My good friend in Woodacre will be helping me with production, recording and arrangement advice for my recordings; yet another way the internet makes this project possible. I have some songs picked out and so I begin. Thanks for tuning in and there is an email link below to become part of the mailing list for updates and more to come