For some reason I am feeling an urge to share some summations as a New Year threatens. I had some goals for 2018, some of which I met, though I regretfully fell short of being able to overthrow the narcissistic sociopath who has abased our nation so. The pen is NOT mightier than the sword. No, that’s just poetic hyperbole, spoken by those who are afraid to do with swords what swords do.
In any event…2018:
I released my record, “Settling Scores Vol. II” It was my fourth with my producer/mentor Gurf Morlix, and my seventh with GatorBone Records. And if you are one of those anachronisms who still exchanges money for art, rather than just snatching it off the buffet table and eating it on the street, you can find it on my website, and on I-Tunes.
I self-published a little book of ‘dirty’ poems called “Bad Poetry.” I did it under the name Lindsay Grant. Not because I am ashamed of the vulgarity and revelation, but because I don’t want Terry Gross to find it were someone tell her she needed to check-out Grant Peeples’ stuff. (Available on website; but also at Amazon, if your curiosity prefers a degree of anonymity.)
Mezcalita Press published my book of about 100 poems called “My Advice to Pilgrims.” Thank you, Nathan Brown. Of all the work I have ever done, this is by far the most important for me in defining my ‘system.’ (I refrain from using the word ‘philosophy.’) This book: it is me…opened---if you are interested in going down that rabbit hole. (See web site. yadayadayada.)
I produced a month-long exhibition called “The Art of Resistance,” in which over 40 artists from around the country shared their work at the 621 Gallery in Tallahassee. It was nice seeing so much artistic courage gathered under one umbrella in the windstorm before the election. (Thanks to those who contributed to the GoFundMe to make this happen.)
I made my first European Tour, thanks to Holland’s Bert Pijpers, and Continental Records. For the record: everybody I met was concerned about what has become of the country that rescued the world from the ruin of nationalism in the 1940s. When they speak of America the look on their faces is the same look you have on your face when you talk about your niece with the substance abuse issues.
The best of all things I did was that I traveled to Korea with my father, a Purple Heart veteran of that war, which took as many US lives as Vietnam---but in 1/10th the time. We were there with a group of about 50 other vets, including the guy that triaged Dad when he was wounded. In case you were wondering, a LOT of those old guys who took bullets were verbosely disgusted by our child-president.
I have an extraordinary girlfriend, Ruthi, who loves me. And a little dog, Roadie, who would run right past Bruce Springsteen to get to my lap. I live comfortably in a little pink house in Tallahassee’s Midtown. I am in strong health. I will be 62 years old this year, and I still have both my parents.
In this regard, I live in the compartmentalized paradox of: “My life is really wonderful, and the planet is in horrible peril.”
My art remains more an expression of thought, than of feeling. And I still hear it call me to the canvass, as-it-were, every morning. These are mornings that still remain my own, to explore as I see fit, to unravel where I find the knot with my name on it. I am, in the words of Joseph Campbell, “following my bliss.” Which, please note, has absolutely ZERO to do with “living the dream.” No, that’s what Yankees are doing when they move to The Villages in Florida to play golf and live off the interest and dividends. This is not that. You may do a Google search: Joseph Campbell Following Your Bliss. But do it at your own risk. Because to follow your bliss requires that you enter a dark forest where no man has trod before. It is not to be confused with a day at the beach. And yet it is the full flavor of a mouth-full of being who you are. And that can be…bitter-sweet. Such is the taste on the tip of my tongue.
In 2019 I will still proclaim to be a ‘full-time musician,’ but this is objectively untrue. I’ll continue to rent-out the aforementioned little pink house to AirB&B, (yes, I pack-up my shit and leave). I’ll drive Uber, and do a considerable amount of land-clearing/chain-sawing work to supplement my existence. Because the music work has gotten harder to get. Maybe it’s just the Times. Or that I’m aging-out and starting to suck a little. But I have sensed more than once that I am not wanted on a particular stage because I am perceived as…confrontational, provocateurial and divisive. Which is probably a fair assessment. When I’m on my game.
In any event. I do have some goals for 2019. Please stay tuned. If you are so inclined. And may health and happiness be with you across the next twelve months.