As much as I want to attach myself to the Asbury Park music scene—because it was so influential on my life and creativity—it has become increasingly evident over the years that the scene is not interested in me.
When I left Los Angeles in 2006, I left behind some real potential to become a force in the community, a leader, an influencer. People were talking … they were really impressed by what I had to offer … and then I folded up my tent and wandered eastward.
Let me say it here and now, for all it’s worth: MOVING BACK EAST IN JANUARY 2006 WAS A HUGE MISTAKE. I SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN LA WITH ALL MY FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES THERE, AND SOMETHING WOULD HAVE COME THROUGH FOR ME.
Yes, once I came back, I did put out my Soul In Exile 2: Jersey Shore Baby album, and I improved my professional standing when I entered the world of pharmaceutical editing. And ultimately I ended up in my third marriage, which I hope will be the last one and the forever one.
YET, WITH ALL THIS, I STILL FEEL EMPTY, WITH A LARGE HOLE IN MY SOUL WHERE ALL THAT LOVE, CREATIVITY, COMMUNITY, AND LEADERSHIP SHOULD HAVE BEEN. AND NOTHING CAN FILL THAT VOID. NOTHING!
The kicker was that in 2008, back in Asbury Park, I was finally beginning to get the respect I had craved for so long. A good review or two in the Aquarian Weekly and elsewhere, a nomination for an Asbury Music Award, gigs here and there … it was starting to happen. Yet in September 2008 I felt so claustrophobic that I had to get out! And so any of that recognition essentially evaporated. Then came my move back to Long Beach, then back to LA again, then LB again … all this wandering has really prevented me from making an impact anywhere I stayed. And in the stultifying suburban ennui of North Jersey, where I am now, there are none of the sort of elements that I had been such a part of in those previous places, and no incentive to go out and do any of those things. [sigh]
So what else is there to do now, except find ways to write, and make the music that has been brewing inside me for over 30 years, since 1989. That’s what I have. That’s what I’ll do. That’s all there is to it.