Perhaps we are getting too wrapped up in the thoughts and words and thinking of others and putting ourselves in the same “income bracket”, or happy to live vicariously, or have a false sense of importance and where the term, “a legend in one’s own lifetime” has become more real than ever?

Jon Bon Jovi, for example, can say all he wants about Steve Jobs and iTunes, because the man has MADE IT. He is loaded. He does not NEED to tour again. He can live off his royalties for the rest of his life. Many of us cannot. His time has come and gone and he can live off of nostalgia. 

Without meaning to speak outta school, there was a time when Jon Bon Jovi was more concerned about wearing his shades than appearing on a prime-time show in Japan. Oh, the fuss when JBJ dug his Cuban heels in and refused to appear on a show unless he wore his expensive shades. The Chairman of the music company had to get involved along with the band’s co-manager in order to stop this from being an “international incident”. It was asinine and JBJ went on the show wearing his shades.

Speaking of which, with Japan being one of his biggest touring markets and where he and the band and management made a small fortune with tours and a sync deal for “It’s My Life” for Toshiba- and sold over 1.2 million units of “Crush” , I wish JBJ would think of ways in which he- and all the others who have used the Japanese music market as the Land of Milk and Honey- can put SOMETHING back to a country now under a huge cloud- Pharrel Williams, Janet Jackson, Mary J Blige, Clapton, Radiohead, Coldplay- the list is endless- of artists who “love” Japan and their Japanese fans.

Perhaps there IS nothing that can be done right here and now for Japan and its people by musicians and celebs other than staging yet another concert, something which Bryan Adams is suggesting. Yes, a lovely thought, but- stage a concert and then what? Music can only do so much. Money, aid, that’s what’s needed- and fast.

As for us, music fans, let’s not place so much emphasis on what all these artists with very fat bank accounts and ESTABLISHED careers have to say. They have publicists and SEOs in Bangalore to keep their names high in the pecking order and to ensure that perception is everything and that “outta sight, outta mind” never happens. It could be the end of an endorsement deal.

Why else is Paris Hilton prancing about? She’s an Alicia Bridges song- “She loves the nightlife” and “she’s gotta boogie.” The media and her publicist have “created” her and many have bought into her and which is why she can charge- and people pay- money for her to attend parties.

Tara Reid, Nikki Hilton, Nicole Ritchie- there’s a slew of them: Untalented and yet rich for being media-made “famous”. Who ARE these people and what difference are they from buying oneself an Eastern European escort or model for the night? The only thing she does not have would be “name” as she has no publicist. She only has an appearance on Fashion TV and one of the channel’s endless parties.

No, us plebs need to think about us- or, cut out the middle people, become selfish and just think about “ME”.

There was a time when it would churn my stomach when someone would say, “Why even bother with them? What can they do for you?” But after three years of living with someone who always warned me about not being so quick to pay for lunches and dinners and how to be more “selective” when it comes to who are “real friends”, she was correct and there is a need to become “self-reliant”.

Selfish? Self-centred? Insular? Nah. Just self-reliant and in control of one’s power.

As I tell people straight these days, “It all comes back to me” and though said in half-jest, if it isn’t about “me”, why bother bothering? There is no more time nor a place in this world for a free lunch or dinner. Either you pay for your way in, or you leave, and if you cannot afford it, don’t show up.

Sorry, but this is a world where, today, too many minds “working together” can create an eight- humped camel and have it stranded in the desert listening to Maria Muldaur singing “Midnight At The Oasis” and with nothing moving forward.

Less is more and Keep It Simple, Stupid. Right now, many seem to be making it simple AND stupid AND complicated and convoluted. Why say something in three words when one can say it in ten?  

Today, there are musicians, bands etc who are looking for “angel investors” and which is different to crowd-sourcing.

They need records produced and need the bucks to make this happen. But, where’s the return-on-investment at a time when money’s too tight to mention?

If music “does not sell” or, more to the point, music is being made “available” free, where and how and when can one see the returns on one’s loan? Through the ownership of the masters? What if no one wants them?

It’s like my Mum said: “Never a lender nor borrower be”.  That is, unless one is a loan shark.  “Angel investors” is another flawed “concept” ‘cos the devil is in the details. 

I met a young Eurasian basketball player today- Duncan Reid who plays in the Chinese Basketball league and this 20-year-old made me think  about how we, who should know better by now, how we seem to be lacking in confidence and how much self-doubt comes into play and the need to compare ourselves with others.

I interviewed this kid for a project and was blown away by his confidence, yes, and also his maturity. He was smart, he was articulate, he was and is INCREDIBLY down-to-earth and NICE and he made people I know double and triple his age look like amateurs and hacks. Remember the name: Duncan Reid. This guy WILL be a star.

Perhaps, the older we get, the less we know, or wanna know, and are happy to live life vicariously? How else can one explain the popularity of “reality show” like “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” and something I stumbled on at 4am this morning called “Cheaters” and which has to be the trashiest show- ever. Hell, it makes “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Outta Here” look like a Dickie Attenborough or Jacques Clouseau documentary.

BUT, it’s got made and, one can only guess, there is a market for it- a programme that spies on a spouse or partner having an affair and with the show’s “denouement” being when the “cheaters” are confronted by the “cheatee”. Or Cheetah.

Myself included, but when we start making Jon Bon Jovi’s rant against Steve Jobs for “personally killing the music business”, something “newsworthy”, this is wrong. Same with all the time and space given to Charlie Sheen, the make-ups, the break-ups, the sex tapes, the Hollyscoops, the Huffington Posts, the TMZs, the YouTube “sensations”….

We simply do not have any real heroes. Or we refuse to see them.

Like music, there is a lot out there, but who and what is it and what are they saying and how many are for real?

There is, for example, a traveling group of con men from, we believe, Eastern Europe: Their “USP” is to set up “free gigs” and rob bands of their equipment and disappear.

There is always a new site wanting bands etc to upload their music and which they will promote- for free- but with no marketing spend to promote their site. Finding a needle in a haystack is becoming more and more real.     

Finding ANYTHING that’s “real” is becoming more and more difficult. Many still sing the praises of China as a “music market” and mention a site like Baidu. There is nothing “real” about selling music in China and Baidu is clueless about copyright laws- as is China. 

We are in awe at the success of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook when WE have given him all OUR content- for FREE. He gave us FREE SPACE and WE continue to fill it. For free. This is a bit like selling fresh air.

The same with every new medium that exists today because of “consumer-generated content” and which means they have tapped into our need to be seen and show off what we have- for FREE.

This “trend” to simply “get” music for FREE is all inter-connected with things like the above. WE don’t put a value on US and what WE create to make others rich.

Perhaps all this is a cue for us to get off our arses and realize that worshiping false idols, elevating mere mortals to Hero status and realizing that nearly everything one hears or read is meaningless and how the greatest “heroes” are you and me.

I keep thinking of my meeting with Duncan Reid and thinking, “This kid has his shit together, he doesn’t need to prove a thing and knows EXACTLY where he is going and gives off great positive energy”.

When Lennon sang, “Instant karma’s gonna get you,” I thought he was talking about an Indian takeaway and a good lamb korma.

Words like “karma” and expressions like “bad energy, dude”, “bad vibes, man” and George Harrison singing, “I Me Mine” were sayings I laughed off as being hippie-dippy shit.

This same “hippie dippy shit” is also called fung shui and fung shui “masters” are raking it in as everyone in places like Hong Kong and China wants to know that they are surrounded by good fung shui.Some of the biggest cons in Hong Kong- and the richest people- are fung shui masters like Tony Chan, below. He is the Paris Hilton of fung shui parties.

And if we were to take this further and filter it more, it comes down to being with people who one can trust and who who simply give back as much as they receive.

This must happen for relationships to last- whether these are business or inter-personal relationships. If the “vibes” are not there, check out, dude. And feeling these “vibes”- also known as “gut instinct”- will get us much farther than the stunted growth we seem to be wallowing in and also  help us prioritize who and what really matters.      

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