Tag Archives: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Holy McMoly!!

Man, was I sick.  3 long weeks of that garbage. But I finally broke down and went to the clinic over the weekend. They promptly put me on 4 different meds, all of which had to be taken at different times, in different quantities, and that alone can make a sick mind really rebel against the system. But I am finally almost well!

Jeepers, that took forever.

While I was down for the count, I laid in bed and watched a  lot of YouTube stuff on my phone.  You know, I really hate to watch those indescribably “unofficial” videos of concerts  other people make with their phones,  because I know the entertainers really wish that people wouldn’t do that.  There is no quality control whatsoever, and of course there is no way for the entertainer to “merchandize” that.

And yet…

I was not able to resist watching Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in concert in Saint Petersburg Russia last July recorded (not at all well) on some Russian guy’s phone.

And I am talking terrible sound quality. And I am talking terrible visual quality. And yet I am still talking: What a mesmerizing concert. Even under those wretched video conditions. Often, the guy taping it couldn’t keep pace with Nick Cave moving all over the stage and so only God knew what we were suddenly looking at. And sometimes  his phone would drop briefly and he would only be capturing the backs of the heads of the people in front of him. And I would find myself calling out to him in my horrifying laryngitis-infused gasp: “Dude, dude!! Fix your phone!! I can’t see!!” As if I were actually there beside him, watching it all on his phone.

Yes, I feel a little guilty. I didn’t pay the 3 billion rubles the actual tickets must have cost, and the sound & visuals were awful, plus I was hopped-up on various cold meds throughout, yet it was still astoundingly cool. A great show.

And I have to say to all you Americans out there reading my blog; yes, you who steadfastly refuse to listen to Nick Cave — I must say that all those Russians, who speak a language that could not be more dissimilar to English if it tried; yes they were all singing along in English to those lofty Nick Cave songs and you can’t even be bothered to listen to them in your own native language. A word to the wise is sufficient!

Okay!! Onward.

I am hoping against hope to get back at the revisions of Tell My Bones today. I have been so sick that it was hard to even get out of bed, let alone to think in an even remotely creative way. And of course the clock is ticking.  Sandra and the director of the play patiently await my revisions in NYC  so that rehearsals can begin!

Nothing like a  little pressure and a whole lot of stress to get those creative juices churning… But here we go, gang.

I hope all is going good in your part of the world! Sorry for my prolonged absence. Thanks for visiting. I love you!! See ya!

(I know you’re not gonna listen to it, but here’s one of my (many, many) favorites from about 20 years ago or so. Thank god we don’t have to learn this whole song in Russian….)

The blank page continues…

Yes, I have no idea how many days running this is, but I am still facing the blank page daily on 2 of my works-in-progress, and I am typing & deleting; typing & deleting all day long. It’s making me a wee bit nuts.

I’m hanging in there; showing up at the desk each morning and bravely facing the laptop, the manuscripts, the many blank pages. However… it is getting to me. I’m the kind of writer who measures the overall scope of my validity by my writing (which, btw, you’re not supposed to do! You’re supposed to have value no matter what!). Right.

Well, I slept in until 5:45am and the first thing I did upon opening my quite lovely peepers, was to start crying. Just a little of the waterworks, nothing like serious weeping or anything. But tears, nonetheless. And I told the Muse that I could not take this another day. That he simply had to get back to this novel with me or I didn’t know what I was going to do.

And he was right there (in spirit, you know) and he said: “Don’t create a drama, Marilyn.  We’ve been over this and over this. I’m not going anywhere. We’ll finish the book when we finish the book.”

I respond really well to directness, especially from the Muse.

And so I was able to immediately switch gears away from being a big baby and started thinking about faith instead, and about how so much of my life right now seems to be about that whole concept of FAITH. Just have faith, Marilyn. In people, in yourself, in the process of life.

So I’m going to try to go a little easier on things here today. Focus primarily on the things that are really making me happy and stop all the stressing. And just move forward.

I keep forgetting to mention here that last week, I finally read the book The Death of Bunny Munro. I don’t know why I had a complete lack of response to this book for so many years. I think it was the cover, to be honest. I could not connect with that cover at all. And my brain would just gloss right past it.

Then last week I saw an old interview on Youtube re: the book and Nick Cave mentioned that the book was partly influenced by Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto. Which, of course, surprised me.

I read the SCUM Manifesto back in the early 1980s, and came to the conclusion that probably most women come to upon reading it and that is, that Valerie Solanas may have been extreme, but her underlying assertions made a whole lot of sense. Unfortunately.  I mean, not enough to cause me to want to stab Andy Warhol, although, I’m guessing a lot of people did want to stab him and Valerie simply was the one to answer that clarion call. (When I worked at MoMA in the 1980s, I met a lot of amazing artists, and they were usually so memorable in how kind and intelligent and giving they were – of themselves and their spirits — even to the employees of MoMA. But when I met Andy Warhol there, all I could feel was this sort of incongruous “deep vacuity” in him.  It was not necessarily negative, but it wasn’t positive, either.) [Oops. She shot Andy Warhol, she didn’t stab him! — Ed.]

But back to the SCUM Manifesto

It is a man’s world and growing up female in that world is often not a lot of fun.  I don’t play the woman card, though.  When I’ve come up against male roadblocks in society, I try to find my best way either around them or through them. And frankly, over the years, other women have been more detrimental to my various careers than any one man has. And that is the sobering truth.

However, right at this moment, I am reminded of Tom Petty’s brilliant song, Free Girl Now. Jesus, that’s a hard song to listen to. A whole lotta truth going on in that song. I lived everything in that song at one time in my life or another. And eventually (as the song ultimately celebrates) got past it. I still love men. (The opening lyrics: I remember/ when you were his dog… ouch.)  Anyway. Well, I love that whole album, Echo, even though it is the least popular album by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.  Most of the songs on that album are hard to take, but they are, for the most part, really brilliant songs. Rhino Skin is amazing. Echo is an absolute heartbreaker (if you’ll excuse the sad pun).  These are allegedly songs that were written during Tom Petty’s addiction to heroin, and while he was getting his divorce. Brilliant but intense, dark, sad songs.

Okay. I digress yet again.

The Death of Bunny Munro was an incredible book!! Oh my god.

After I saw the interview, I decided to open the book and actually read it. I read it in 2 sittings, and only had to stop during the first sitting because my eyes were just ridiculously tired. But wow. What a great book.

It’s filthy as hell. It’s incredibly funny. Shocking, demoralizing, insightful, sad, jaw-dropping. And so well written.  Just an amazing look at ordinary human beings, in general, and an extreme womanizing, sex-addicted man, specifically. Wow. I literally couldn’t put it down except when forced to.

But I think that says something about the power of book covers to dissuade… So, I guess, don’t judge the book by it’s cover, okay? (In other words: Do as I say, not as I do!)

All righty, gang! On that lofty note, I will get crackin’ around here and see if anything worth keeping hits the blank page today. Have a terrific Thursday, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys!! Thanks for visiting. See ya real soon!

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Cold snowy winter!

Yes. It’s another really cold, snowy day today!

Yes, that’s how old I am! I still call it a “really cold snowy day” although “polar vortex” is more newsworthy and helps to politicize the glorious Midwest weather… Anyway.

And, yes! I am still in love. I know I don’t talk about it very much these days,  so you’re probably thinking that all my insane efforts to completely sabotage this whole thing were a resounding triumph (see various incredibly insane posts from the last several months…). But au contraire! I am more in love now than ever before. In my actual life, I mean.

It makes “polar vortex” snowy days very romantic, although the snowy romance stuff is kinda one-sided right now, because he is someplace sunshiney. However.

I am just so happy.

And the writing projects are going great.

That said, though — apparently, once I made that Herculean effort to get the adaptation of Tell My Bones completed within a handful of days, I’m a little bit tapped out, creativity-wise. I’m trying to be patient. I try to allow the water in the well of creativity to rise again. I sit at my desk with the laptop open, the manuscript in front of me; I stare out at the lovely snow. And I type and delete; type and delete; type and delete.

This goes on for hours. It gets a bit frustrating but perhaps today will be the day that inspired stuff finally hits the page again. We shall see!

Meanwhile, I leave you with this amazing song that I always sing when I wake up to a bunch of freshly fallen snow — who doesn’t??!! (I know — probably you, but anyway.) Enjoy, gang! And thanks for visiting. I love you. See ya soon!

Quite a precious day!

Yes!!! It snowed heavily during the night and it will remain well below freezing for the next 2 days. Yay!!

All I have to do is sit here in my snuggly (very) old house and write!

My backyard at around 7 AM this morning. These 2 snowed-over slabs of concrete in the foreground are covering up the original well, back before the house had running water.

Plus, I am almost done with my stage adaptation of Tell My Bones, my script about the life of the folk artist, Helen LaFrance. I am really, really happy with it, gang. Finally. It is almost finished.  And I am just so happy with it. It’s only the 5th version… But you know, you gotta just keep on going until it clicks.

Well, the Conversations with Nick Cave  that have been going on in Australia and New Zealand this month are almost over.  The reviews have just been so good — and I’m talking mostly about the people posting on Instagram who have been to see the actual shows.

(I know, all you Americans out there are going, “What the fuck are you talking about?? And why do I want to know this??”)

I’m only bringing it up because I sure wish that I could have a conversation with Nick Cave… I’m just sayin’… Oh well. Such is life in Crazyland, Ohio, where nothing happens but snow… But I will settle for that for now!

I am gonna go back to my writing now. Thanks for stopping in on this snowy Sunday in the Hinterlands! I leave you with this bit of awesomeness!!  (God, I love this song! I could listen to it all day. And sometimes I actually do…) Okay! I love you, gang! See ya!!

A Good Corner Turned

I awoke at my usual 4am nonsense today and discovered that I was in a really good place.  The Muse was even hanging out, sort of hovering around the area of the bed.

I was happy again, and peaceful, and willing to accept and embrace constant change. That’s all life is – just change. A constant pulse. And I’m not a stranger to change and usually don’t resist it.

Falling in and out of love is just more change, really. So now that I’ve accepted that, I’m good.

And now that the holiday  is really barreling straight at us, everyone in LA and NYC leaves their offices so I can just put all the business stuff on hold for a few weeks, and just spend some good, quiet time writing – along with steadfastly refusing to decorate the tree.

My birth mom sent me a really pretty ornament that I will put on the tree, though –  just that one ornament. I’ll be making a statement of some kind, perhaps: Lovely Obstinacy.

She also sent me a bunch of Christmas presents! So far, I have been able to resist unwrapping them. I am usually not very good at waiting until Christmas, though. We’ll see.

She sent me a really beautiful card, too. It kinda broke my heart. I could feel that she meant every word of it. And I loved that it smelled like cigarettes. I could picture her writing it at her kitchen table, smoking a Pall Mall and thinking of me. I liked that a lot.

I won’t tell you what I got her, or why I got it, even though I don’t think she reads my blog, but you never know!

On a similar topic:

A book arrived in the mail yesterday. It was sitting on my front porch with no indication of who sent it to me. I don’t know if it’s a review copy and someone would like a review, or if it was a gift to me? Regardless, if you, or someone who looks a lot like you, or someone you know, sent me the book, please let me know!

It’s a really cool book! It’s called: Rock and Roll Woman: 50 of the Fiercest Female Rockers, by Meredith Ochs.

And as a testament to I don’t know what, both ex-husbands sent me Christmas gifts this year. I was really touched. Really. I love to be thought of enough that someone actually gives me a gift. But I have to wonder – is this a way of saying how happy they are to have me very far away now at Christmas? You know, like, they’re so happy about it they want to give me a gift to commemorate it: Thanks for leaving! It made a world of difference in our home!

I’m kinda just kidding, but kinda not.  I simply cannot imagine surviving being married to me and then wanting to send me a gift on top of that.  For any reason whatsoever.

However.

All righty. Laundry is almost done. Coffee is down to the dregs, so I am going to begin writing around here. I’m on Chapter 17 of Blessed By Light. My guess is that I have about 80 or so pages left to go.

Have a really terrific Saturday, wherever you are in the world. Know that I love you! I’m happy you’re here, crossing my path in life. Take care and see ya!

All right already, I put up the darn tree

And by “putting it up” I, in fact, mean that I took it out of the box and plugged it in.

I’m not gonna decorate it! I’m not even gonna straighten the fake branches! I’m too damn tired! [grumble grumble grumble]

Christmas tree, fresh from the box!! While it doesn’t smell like pine, it does smell like Teen Spirit!

Before I forget, in case you’re wondering why I have a photo of Louisa May Alcott at the top there, it’s because she was a cousin of mine – through her mother, on my birth father’s paternal side. I’m really proud of that.

Plus, I think Louisa’s dad was truly  awesome, even though I am not a blood relative of that line.

So anyway – yes. All this non-Christmas spirit of mine is because I fell out of love. Not so much “fell” as was thrust, or shoved out of it. I’m devastated but I’m getting better.

I simply have the worst track record with men.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I recently had fallen back in love with Mob Guy #2 only to be told by a very austere and important friend in NY that he was not going to allow it because me and mob guys and potential problems with the FBI always end badly.

He even intervened, as it were, regarding that really cute electrician who wanted to sleep with me back in October! He said, and this is a direct quote: “Marilyn, you have the poorest judgment of anyone I have ever known.”

He was right. I had to give him that. I tried to totally behave myself for about a nanosecond with the cute electrician who was 20 years younger than me and the father of a 2 year-old, but then promptly fell totally in love with someone that I knew was going to be a disaster.

I did try to avert it. But then I gave in. And then I got my heart broken into a bazillion pieces.

But you know? What are you supposed to do? Just not be alive? Sit at your desk and write all the time?

I tried both of those options, many times, and still come back to wanting to be in love before I die… For real “die”, I mean. Not just be one of the emotionally walking dead. (Okay, I was totally and thoroughly in love with Mikey Rivera, the guy I wrote Freak Parade for and about, but 7 years into it, that ended really, really badly, too. And I’ve been totally and thoroughly in love with two different women over the years, and they both “liked me a lot.” Heavy sigh… )

And multiply all that with all those people hitting me up on Instagram and Facebook – I really was at my wits’ end yesterday. Yesterday was the day wherein I officially could no longer take it. Another close friend, through texting, convinced me to actually leave the house yesterday, instead of isolating myself and/or killing myself. (It really was a really rough day, gang.)

And oddly enough – I had a nervous breakdown on December 13th 1974. Now, you don’t just have a nervous breakdown in the space of one day. It builds, it explodes, it magnifies, it crests, you try to kill yourself, and then dozens of years later, you sort of “get better.”

So that’s my professional definition of it. (Of my life, frankly!) But I thought it was odd that yesterday was another one of those December 13th’s.

But I’m better today. Moving onward. Sitting at the desk, preparing to work some more on the new novel before tackling the needed revisions on the CLEVELAND show bible.  Somehow it’ll all work out, right?

And in other good news… my first ex-husband sent me a link to an article in the Daily Mail yesterday, assuring me that Keith Richards is sober now and will be sober for the upcoming American tour!! Not only that, but Ronnie Wood finds Keith easier to get along with when he’s sober. (Or when Keith is sober, I should say.) (And I will add that notoriously hard-rocker Ronnie isn’t a man that should be throwing any “stones”, if you’ll excuse the pun.)

I found that just so delightful. I mean, it’s great that Keith is sober at age 175 (oops! I meant “75”), but the fact that my ex-husband, whom I’ve been separated from for 35 years and who is no fan whatsoever of rock & roll, remembered how much I love Keith Richards.  That really brightened my day.

And in other rock & roll news, I thought Nick Cave‘s comments on the Israeli Boycott were courageous and brilliant. You can read them here if you haven’t already.

Okay. I believe it is Friday today, folks. So have a really good one. And thanks for visiting! I love you all to pieces. I sure as heck do. See ya!