Where Do I Sign?
I've often wondered out of what polluted sea of the imagination these columns have pupated, mutated and crawled from, but I've got an unimpeachable handle on the origins of this one: Miniwax Dark Walnut #2716 wood stain. Nearly a gallon of it. Read on and judge for yourself.
I've written fifty to sixty songs - solo or in collaboration - during the long, strange course of my rock n roll lifetime (circa 2/9/64 to the present). So, as a free range, free thinker under the influence and a dedicated daydream believer who hears too much Who, Zeppelin and Peter Gabriel selling cars, I began to harbor this hypothetical scenario: Given the opportunity, which of these songs would I sell off or license out and to which megalomanic monolith of American Imperialism would they go to?
Firstly, lets get one business consideration out of the way. Any of them would go to the highest bidder. I don't care and make no pretense to do so. As a free enterprising panhandler getting closer and closer to retirement, I've begun to scrutinize everything as a potential revenue stream. And guess what? I may have enough songs up my rainbow sleeve (and whole-heartedly ready to bastardize any of one them to serve a greater purpose) to donate my future and daily threatened Social Security bennies to my favorite charities.
What about my collaborators you ask? In reply I ask What about 'em? I don't expect the same strong-armed resistance to my fire sale as June Carter Cash's estate threw at Merle Kilgore when he recently tried to sell 'Ring Of Fire' to Preparation H. Media savvy, Kilgore, as June's co-writer, saw a match made in Heaven and tried to make it work. Rosanne Cash saw it differently.
In the interest of privacy, I won't name any of my past and present musical confederates but there's one - with a bigger and truer heart than mine - who would definitely balk at any of our songs selling product. Him I'd have to be more delicate with, perhaps looking for more environmentally friendly and liberally attuned businesses to do business with. But that's why they make lawyers, lawyers, and more lawyers, so I'll cross that bridge when it presents itself.
As for the others, they'll fall in line. No one's going to bitch when the New York City Department of Tourism hands over the scratch for 'Twilight In New York'. A smooth, Broadway-ish number, 'Twilight . . .' espouses love in the Big City. When some Hollywood robber-baron finally gets around to turning 'Psycho Squid' ("Gotta watch out for the Psycho Squid" the chorus hysterically warns "Or he'll eat you up into little bits") into a big-screen cartoon, no one, I repeat, no one is going to turn away the jack. Speaking of movies 'God's VCR' ("I wake up in the morning when God pushes play") is right up the Cohn Brothers' ever twisted alley.
I think the military's 'Be All You Can Be' jingle has grown a bit tiring don't you? Why not spruce it up with my 'Enemy Lines'. It's a rockin' lil record proposing to " . . .bringing rock n roll behind Enemy Lines". 'Credit Card Love' offers itself willingly to Visa, Mastercard, American Express. I mean why leave home without it? 'Danielle' would make a jaunty ringtone, as would 'Missionary Turmoil/Wire 29'. 'Second Chance', a rollicking, tongue-in-cheek country boogie, would make for a great musical background while filling out your personality profile at divorcee.com
I envision France's minister of tourism letting loose the francs when he/she gets a load of the Bowie-esque 'Parisian Rain' ('The lust of thunder roiling in our heart") How's that for representing the renowned city of love? Perhaps Adam Sandler's, Julia Robert's or Hugh Grant's next un-original, and un-inspired sad-sack romance could use 'Another Woman Done Me' as it's theme song. If, like me, you can't stomach the thought of hearing Bob Seger melodramatically growl "Like A Rock" one more time, maybe we can hold hostage the Chevy board of directors until they use my Southern rock styled 'I Can't Drive Every Highway' "YES YOU CAN!" for its trucks and SUVs.
Though it's a ballad of romantic longing and realization, 'I've So Much To Learn' can be perfectly adapted by board of educations throughout this great land. Hipper practioners of radial keratometry and LensCrafters could certainly coerce me into adapting another Tin-Pan Alley ballad 'Haven't I Seen You Before?' to their bidding. Greenpeace could use 'Nuclear Cooties' ('Nuclear Cooties / In baby and me") thus appeasing the more socially conscious conspirator I previously mentioned. With the paltry price of a lifetime subscription to their catalogs, Victoria's Secret could out 'n out claim the Ramone-ish 'Cover Girls' ("Cover Girls /You're too much for me") as its own.
Once the word gets out and marketing firms realize how their musical concepts pale to my own, vacation agencies and off-shore protected yacht cruises can have a field day showing exotic destinations as 'The Roar Of Lions', or 'If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride' serenading the sleepy populace. I'll bet if notified, the Democratic National Convention will jump all over 'The Idiot's Cup Of Tea' as a campaign '04 theme song. Even though Mrs. Curmudgeon thinks it's the most disgusting and obnoxious song ever (including ageless banalities from Flock Of Seagulls, Berlin, and most rap) the disco/rave 'I Can Tell (From That Funky Smell)' could easily pick up a few pesos from Desinex or, if they get anymore candid, Tampax.
I could go on, but I think I've made myself abundantly clear. I'm up for sale. Every lyric, shred of co-opted melody, harmony and ambient doodle is yours for the price of a song. Now let's sit down and discuss that price like the good pirates we are.
Posted on March 31, 2004
Since setting aside his rock 'n roll aspirations, Michael Jurkovic complains of far less migraines.
Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Advanced Air Guitar and Facial Distortions, MJ recovered from his less than National Honor Society collegiate experiments (1973-1976) for a life in rock 'n roll. Roadie, manager, lyricist, front man and producer, Mike saw the years of late nights taking a toll on his hair line and quietly backed away.
He served two years as VP of the then prestigious Westchester Songwriting Guild (1987-1989), delving into demos and the details of a once honorable music business. In 1993 he began producing and directing The Menus Of Chefman a cooking comedy TV show seen by legions on eighteen local access channels from Manhattan to Malibu. Of course, the Food Network got a hold of his demo and Emeril Live was suddenly a reality.
From 1995-1997, he served as president of the nationally recognized Hudson Valley Writers' Association and founded the Voices Of The Valley Poetry Performance Series, now on hiatus after a successful 6 year run in New Paltz and Kingston.
In 1997, Mike was invited by the publishers of Rhythm and News Magazine to "rant, rave and misbehave" and thus was born The Rock 'n Roll Curmudgeon. He now contributes interviews, CD and book reviews to SyndiMusic.com, British Independent Record Dealers, and Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange.
Mike's poetry has appeared in Hunger, AlphaBeat Soup, Poetry Motel, Chronogram, Poet's Gallery, Medicinal Purposes, & Outlet. His poetry has been featured online with Recursive Angel, Soul to Soul, & SpokenWar, and appears in the critically acclaimed, nationally distributed poetry anthology Will Work For Peace as well as the regionally distributed Dyed In The Wool, A Hudson Valley Anthology. He regularly performs his stand-up poetry throughout New York & New England.
He loves Emily most of all.