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  Fame?
Fame?
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

I could have been famous, but thank God, I'm not. People could have noticed me on the street, if I walked down the street — in a town of some size, and turned to one another and said, "Hey, isn't that him? Let's get his autograph. Let's get a piece of his clothing." They'd chase me down the street. What a nightmare.

I was reading a snippet of a little-known book by Charles Dickens, American Notes. That's what he said happened to him. People who read his more popular books, and loved them, thought him famous and wanted a piece of him. He hated that, and besides, he never made any money from the sales of those books in America as, at the time, the copyright laws were not enforced.

For instance, I write songs. Now my wife, who has little interest in my music, loves when others sing my songs, but has little patience when I sing my songs. All right, I’m more of a writer than a performer. And that’s fine.

It's not that I have anything against performing. I like to perform — except the world is not such a great place for me to perform in.

First of all, I'm not a night person — and most shows are in the evening or later. I'm a day-timer. I get sleepy at night — and besides, I hate to drive after dark. I also can't stand loud noises, and so many of these bar-type places have out of control amplifiers.

That's understandable since the place is loaded with people yakking away — not listening to the performance.

 

 

And then there's the traveling from venue to venue — sometimes hundreds of miles overnight. And, of cause, until you make it big, the pay is not so grand.

But what do you have. As the song suggests — "Fame – I'm gonna live forever." Unfortunately, so many of the up and coming artist/performers never made it past the age of 27. Why? Alcohol, drugs, exhausting travel, plane wrecks, car wrecks, violence, sickness — seems like a recipe for destruction.

So, if you were to ask me why I'm not famous — here's the simple answer, I don't want to be. I don't need it. What good would it do me?

I have friends who are seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. One friend put out several recorded albums. He's sold a number of copies. Sells a number of copies each year. This year is typical. He netted something like $5.65. It cost him over $1,000 to produce each album — not counting the cost of the recording studio he built for the production.

Well, it's not necessarily about money. It's about fame. Well, he's not famous — few are. Maybe, he once had a proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

Not enough money, not enough fame to give up his day jobs — lost them more than once. Tough but hard times makes for interesting stories.

So, why are we writing? Why are we writers? Maybe it's who we are — what we enjoy. Damn the torpedos, full sentences ahead.

~ Al Zagofsky

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