(Hello, my name is Manley Dudlove, and I'll be your host for this weeks's episode of Who Am I This Time? Join us now on a trip to yesteryear (well, April 2005), as we explore the half-baked notion of leaving the entertainment industry without a safety net......)
This week, I did the one thing a music critic is never supposed to do. I e-mailed 161 music publicists and told them to stop sending me free CDs. I did it. I'm free.
I've always thought that quitting, or even trying to quit the music biz would be like trying to bust out of pornography and go legit. The e-mails I received in response to my spam seem to confirm that: one of them read "congratulations - I admire your breaking free of nyc/the music industry in such a spectacular and grown up fashion!" A lot of them wished me well in my "new life," and reading those words made me dizzy. I guess I have stepped off the precipice and plunged into the swamps and quicksands of "reinvention." But even though that is the most over-used word of the nineties, it seems we still need it to describe what a lot of us are doing, apparently.
I don't feel like I'm becoming something else exactly. I think I'm always going to love rock and roll, and probably always want to write about it, too. But when I say this, I always think of an interview I did with Brian Johnson, the singer for AC/DC, where he told me that he was almost embarrassed to be in his fifties and still so much in love with rock and roll. He felt that most men outgrow such things. Nevermind for a moment that his multi-million-dollar career probably helps sustain his passion for music. That night, there in the hotel bar, I could tell he was being for real. And I know what it feels like: I know and care way too much about a good guitar solo and/or some mysterious album cover that has puzzled me since I was fifteen.
We're three weeks away from getting on that plane. I'm taking care of business and wrapping things up. It feels clean and organized, like a fresh cut. I think about being at the airport, and landing in Vienna, and going to the Stadion Bad for the first time again this summer. I feel a little liberated. Yeah.