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Musically Speaking: Rumors

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JJ Rocks Article # 61:
From St. Croix Music Magazine, Issue #12, September, 2007
Rumors are just gossip sent out by the ignorant and only received by their own kind. Thatís because it takes an idiot to believe something bad about someone without proof. When there is something good going around about someone itís usually not believed until there is proof, but when itís something bad, all the idiots show up at once wanting to carry the flag of stupidity by trying to be the first to ďspread the wordĒ about something that they heard from their ďreliable sourceĒ. Iím wondering how reliable someone can be if they are trying to spread something bad about another human being.

Iím writing this because months ago one of my young readers asked me what he should do about a guy who wanted his gig in a band and started to spread rumors about him to get him fired. I didnít respond at first but just the other night I was reminded of some rumors that were spread about me many years ago (and probably still are) on St. Croix.

It was around 1998 when my wife decided to move back to the states with my kids and I was trying to decide whether to go back to the cruise line circuit or stay in St. Croix. Since I didnít have the right musicians at the time for a band, didnít have someone to watch my dog, and I didnít want to play solo in front of a lot of people yelling for Jimmy Buffet, I decided to take my friends offer to stay at his beach bar so he could have someone around at night to watch to place. And since I had a big dog that I love (Argentine Dogo) and it was hard to find a place for the both of us, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Now since this was a beach bar and it didnít close until around nine at night, there wasnít much to do but hang around and wait for the night to come. And of course everybody and their brother wanted to know what I was doing there. And I expected some gossip because of it, but it didnít bother me because most of these people were just there to drink and rot their livers so who are they to talk. As a matter of fact, it got so boring during the day that I wound up drinking along with them. But thatís to be expected.

After the place would close at night and Buster (my dog) and I would retire to the back room behind the bar, I would take out my guitar and go to work. Sure, I may have had a drink beside me or a little herb, but that was a normal thing for most musicians. But I worked sometimes until the sun came up with my guitar in my hand and my pen and paper coming up with tons of ideas for songs and many other things. But before I knew it the people who owned the bar were raising the metal grid gates and it was time to get out of the room. This eventually led to me being very tired all through the day. And I would find myself taking my guitar and just sitting under a palm tree because I didnít want to take up any of the bar seats. This situation only lasted for two months but when I think back it seems like a year.

Now like I said before, I didnít mind a few comments because people were used to seeing me on a stage somewhere playing music. But I should have known better to think that it would just be small gossip. The next thing that I hear is that I was a heroine attic with no place to go and I was just wasting all my talents. Then it was ďcrack headĒ. I even heard that I was an up and coming star that ran away from success (I liked that one). But I knew it would be fruitless if I tried to explain what I was doing in the back room at night to a bunch of drunks whose wives were always calling me at the bar after hours because their husbands did not reach home yet. Doeís the word ďhypocritesĒ come to mind? And to this day the rumors that were started about me still hang on to drunks at bars, envious musicians, and people who can only brag about how much money that make at a job that they canít wait to retire from. These kinds of people are not friends. And as a matter of fact, I have heard many rumors about them and Iím proud of myself that Iíve never spread any.

So, to the young man who wrote me about his rumors, let me tell you this. First of all, anyone who believes what is being said about you without having more proof than just gossip is an idiot. Second, if you know who you are donít let it bother you and if it affects your gig just tell the band leader to read this article or write me a letter and Iíll talk to him. And by the way, when I was in the back room of that bar at nights I wrote many of the songs that are now in an original musical (still in progress) that has received attention from several theater companies. I also designed the music teaching system that I now use for my students. And last but not least, I came up with many of the ideas for the columns that are printed in this magazine. But those same people that started the rumors are still sitting on a bar stool somewhere slowly killing themselves and the few who try to carry on any negative verbal spam are now at the jobs they hate only dreaming of being real musicians. And Iím sitting here as happy as can be at 10:30 in the morning with my dog ďBusterĒ writing for a site thatís read in over 97 counties while Iím waiting for one of my favorite students to arrive. And later Iím going to add another page to my play after I respond to another one of my readers.
So the next time someone starts a rumor about you, remember that ďThe cream always rises to the topĒ.
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