Monday, June 11, 2012

6-09-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #119 (Back in the NY Groove -- Kinda Sorta)

(Well, after doing six weeks of blogging about my crazy big brother Tom -- may be rest in peace, and I’ll be working on finishing a book-length version of that story, with his writings interspersed -- I said I’d return to the original blog’s purpose: my survival jobs through the years.  Along the way, many other interesting things happened. . . like living in NYC, being part of the CBGB music scene, moving to England, visiting Paris, etc.  It’s been QUITE the life -- and it’s not even half over yet!)

(photo of a photo by Stephanie Chernikowski, 1982 -- "Lauren in the world of men")

I returned to NYC in November 1982 with two full suitcases, my guitar, a duffelbag, bittersweet memories, and the remnants of my own, cute English accent.  You know the way Linda (Eastman) McCartney had a Yankee-Brit accent that some thought odd, others affected, and others thought just “natural” (having been immersed in the culture 24/7 for some time)?

Guilty, I was.  But as I didn’t record my voice at the time, I couldn’t tell what I sounded like.  Some people remarked, “What’s that British accent you’re putting on?  Pu-leeze!”  At any rate, I was quite delighted to be rid of my Queens accent, a sort of low-class way of talking that I’d always been ashamed of -- or shunned.

However I sounded when I talked, that didn’t matter to me as much as how I sounded when I was making music.  Although scared, I was ready to get back in the NY groove and start playing guitar and singing again.  So why not do a performance art type thing, and get a “busking” gig at a hip club and just kind of be there, play with an open guitar case, and pretend I was in a London tube station?

Oddly enough, Steve Maas, “Doctor Mudd” from the Mudd Club, thought it was an all right idea.  So I played one of the floors of the Mudd Club in the winter of ’82, dressed in my London clothes with my Guild F-30 guitar and my mix of classic country and twisted original songs. 

Here’s a photo that my friend, music photographer Stephanie Chernikowski, took of me one of those nights. . .

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