Monday, July 21, 2014

An Open Letter To Butch Walker

I always seem to get e-mails asking for product feedback.  They ask for your input under the guise that you are helping to shape your experience with this product.  A customized experience.  The problem is that it is never really anything that I care about.  What I do care about is music.  I get to give my input every time I make a purchase.  If it sells it must be good.  If it doesn't sell then it is back to the drawing board.  But is this input really a customized experience?  Am I really getting to help shape my music experience.  What I'd love to do is sit down with an artist I love and tell them what I really think.  There is a problem with that.  I believe that music, like art, is a moment in time.  That moment is sometimes created to please the artist.  Sometimes it is for the observer.  Sometimes it is for a release.  Those are things that can not be tampered with.  But what if your advice could change a course of events.  Like giving directions at a fork in the road.  What do I know about creating music?  Not a thing.  I am merely and admirer.  But I know what makes me feel good and what does not connect at all.  Just once I would love the opportunity to share that.  It will, more than likely, never happen.  But that does not mean I have to keep it bottled up.  Instead I will release it into cyberspace, like a message for an alien race, and let it fall where it may.

Dear Butch,

I am one of your many biggest fans.  I'm not a longtime fan but I am a big fan.  A good friend introduced me to your music about two year ago and since then your music has become a large part of my life.  I have bought your music, your movie, your book, and have even seen you live.  For everything that you have done; been in a metal band, toured China, been a one hit wonder, written top hits, produced top albums, worked with big artists, and sustain a successful solo career, your music is relatable.  It gives you the impression that you are just one of us.  That we could be sitting next to you right now in a bar.  That is what is special.  You let us in.  Your share your past and your feelings and let us know that you are going through the same things we are.  The think that the Spade was the pinnacle of this continuing into Peachtree Battle.  They are a celebration of your past.  The triumphs and the struggles.  Here is the big question thought.  Where do you go from here?

This is where I get concerned.  The next step.  Which path do you take?  If I could say just one thing to you it would be this.

Don't tell me what you've done.  Tell me what the future is.

You've shared so much with us.  I think that it is time to move on.  Many of your lyrics are personal and self reflective.  I'm not asking you to change that.  That is who you are and what we love.  We get your trials and what they mean.  All that being said I think it is time to move forward.  When you were young and moving to LA you didn't sit around and dwell on your time in a cover band, did you?  I am sure you were focused on what you wanted to be and where you were going.  Where are you going now?  We want to go with you.  You've sold us.  We are along for the ride.  I don't want to see you cheapen the experience by becoming a bitter cliche of yourself.  I'm not saying this is a situation exclusive to you.  Every great band or artist reaches this point.  Remember, at some point in the early 90's there was a time that people thought the Ramones had become a joke of themselves and that David Bowie had inbred his sound.  I don't want to see that happen to you.  You don't need to keep name dropping either.  You are a headliner my man.  You are better than that.

I know you've had your issues with the industry and that they will continue.  You're a survivor though.  You've lived through it.  You've surrounded yourself with good people.  You've made your result.  You've shared your frustrations.  I think it's time to move on.

I know that this is entirely selfish of me.  I love your music and I do not want to lose it.  I don't ever want to buy your next disc and have it not connect.  Granted, that lack of connection could be me.  Maybe it's you that remains constant and it's me that changes.  Maybe it's me that could move on without understanding the genius of you.  Maybe I am messing with a winning formula.  Perhaps I am even jinxing it by talking about it.  Like mentioning a no hitter in the ninth.  But make no mistakes, I love your music.  Enough to say these things.  Even if it is like a stalker driving by your house at 2 in the morning.

Thank you.  Thank you for sonically and emotionally connecting with us.  Thank you for doing what you do regardless of what it takes to create this.  We appreciate.  Whatever step you take we will be there waiting.  I can not wait for your next offering.

Yours Truly,



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