Friday, April 3, 2009

Goodnight Kiss

Janet Fisher
Goodnight Kiss Music

Dear Janet,

I was blessed to participate in the March 31st Annual Songwriters Showcase at Britannia Arms in Aptos. The hand of the Big Songwriter in the sky was definitely present as songwriter after fabulous songwriter went up to the mic.

I am proud to say that I was one of them.

When I read your eloquent letter to the songwriters, I found what I came for because your letter reads like a benediction.

If I start my story in the middle it reads something like this:

In 1993 I wrote my 2nd song and decided to become the next Joan Baez. It took 10 years but I made it to the 4-hour gig slot – playing 90% originals at a place called The Network in San Luis Obispo. With an hour to go, I was eating a sandwich on the stage steps thinking,

“Gee, down to the schlock songs and only two tables here. I guess I’ll have to…”

But then a more powerful thought took over.

“Like hell you are. This table is just sitting down and you may know you have been here for 3 hours but they do not. So get back up on that stage and play balls out…”

except with swear words.

After the gig, the man from the table asked about the CD I was selling. He bought one and gave me a folded bill. He said that it was for me, not the CD Project. Turns out he gave me a 100 dollar tip.

I meant to tell you a different story. About how I gave up songwriting because I thought I wasn’t successful and I was so tired of lugging equipment and how I always wanted to go back to school anyway and I did graduate from Antioch and I learned to give speeches and co-edit a magazine.

But what meant the most about that time was finding my way back to the songs.

After Tuesday’s showcase, I read my excellent feedback from one judge that was along the lines of “Write about love you lost – you can do that can’t you?” On the drive home I heard the song fire off in my head.

I’m going back to Britannia Arms on April 14 to play my new song.

It’s hard to say what inspired me the most: your letter, the supportive atmosphere, the judge’s comments or Eric, the sound engineer from MARS Studios who told me that I was ‘never going to give up’ – except with swear words.

You know I’m kidding about the swear words.

In any case, THANK YOU.

Please say hello to Patys Restaurant. I miss Toluca Lake sometimes. It’s where I first picked up the guitar.

May you and Goodnight Kiss Music be joyfully prosperous,


The Songwriter Showcase at Britannia Arms is every Tuesday between now and April 30. The show starts at 7pm. Arrive early to enjoy great ale and yummy food.

I’m playing again for a slot in the finals: April 14 at 7:30pm

Visit MARS Studios for the annual Showcase details, to tour the studio, or wave hello to Eric Bates, the sound engineer who is now famous because of this blog.

To read Janet’s Song Critique Checklist or sign up for the newsletter click Goodnight Kiss Music

Download The Odyssey, Antioch University Santa Barbara’s literary magazine that I co-edited with Rita Traner-McDermott.

Finally, if you are in SLO County this weekend – check out singer/songwriter/guitarist Amanda West – she playing at different venues throughout the county Friday, Saturday and Sunday – then she’s in Monterey. If you can’t see her in person – listen to her music! Be sure to tell her Dot says hello!

1 comment:

Dorothy Ann Segovia said...

UPDATE! I did make it to the semi-finals, but ALAS, that is as far up the songwriting ladder I climbed this time around...

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