So, like I said earlier, I’m getting ready for a trip to Los Angeles. I’ve been there before…in November of 2008. I was there for the same reason I’m going now–the TAXI Road Rally.
When I went before, I had some homemade CDs with labels and jackets printed with my inkjet, with a few of my latest songs on them. I think they were Melt, Beg, Get Outta There, and the special ones also included From Here to Her and Something Worth Doing. I gave them out to everyone I could think of…which probably amounted to about seven people. I was not the biggest social butterfly in that huge spectacular hotel conference room. But it was easily one of the coolest things I had ever done in my life.
Usually, conferences are something I attend on someone else’s dime. And usually, the impetus to go is to get a few CPE hours and maybe get out of Great Falls for a few days and see a big city for a nice change. But this–this is my passion, and worth every scrupilously-saved penny it costs me to go.
This year, I will be taking a nearly-complete collection of my early work, either to pitch to opportunities, or just hand out as teasers for my upcoming release. But, I’ll have something REAL, and tangible…and well-done, for a change. Not that I put subpar recordings on my CDs last time, but by myself I hadn’t been able to do anything like what we’ve done in the studio this year. I feel like this time, I have something to be proud of–and that I’m not just going there to take it all in.
In some silly way, it helps that I didn’t set out much to build upon last time, because my name has changed anyway.
I’ve been thinking about what to take with me aside from CDs. Last time, I hardly left the hotel. I didn’t really know anybody…I didn’t know where to try to go. Now I know several people who live in or are at least familiar with L.A., and my buddy Mike Beeson will be there as well, so the outdoor temperature may actually have some bearing on what to pack. I don’t think I should take my guitar…too risky. I might accidentally break out into the Freebird solo in the lobby if I have too much to drink. (And boy, would THAT be embarrassing!) I also shouldn’t need a guitar, unless inspiration strikes in the middle of the night (which is likely) and I find myself needing, desperately, to chord out a song before I lose it. But then, that’s what iPod apps are for.
I was sort of thinking about packing all my clothes in a guitar case, just to be misleading. I could roam through the airport with nothing but a “guitar,” looking like a weary troubadour ready to sing for my supper….if not a nun-turned-governess who might turn your linens into play clothes. Then if someone stole my luggage, expecting to find a bright shiny Gibson (something I don’t have anyway), they open up the latches, and *poof*….out pops a bunch of underwear. If I could only see it happen, that in itself might be worth being without my underwear. But, let’s be real here, I can’t pack 4 days’ worth of clothes in a guitar case. A cello case…possibly. A string bass case….well, maybe. The cowboy boot count would have to go up, though.
I also need to record at least one song I would like to have critiqued by a successful songwriter–like Pat or Pete Luboff or Jason Blume or Jeffrey Steele…as if Jeffrey Steele will have time to sit at TAXI critiquing no-name writers’ songs. But…it might help to get in line early, just in case.