April 12, 2014
I often just think about my life as “Little Toot, ” the tugboat child who all the other tug boats feel is useless because he (I presume it’s a he for some reason) prefers to play and make figure 8s in the bay. Eventually the tugboat community forces Little Toot to leave and finds himself adrift in the vast sea. I imagine myself in that role quite easily. At one time I was working at a bookstore, having a great time there, and eventually let go, due that I love being around books, and I just wanted to play, which actually, in my point of view, was my actual work there. Nevertheless, some disagree with my philosophy, and I was sent out adrift in the world of my own imagination.
As a teenager, I briefly met the entertainer and singer Tiny Tim at a party at Billy Gray’s house in Topanga Canyon. I was taken aback to meet him, because I wasn’t sure if he actually exists or not. At the time he was a star for being on “Laugh-In, ” but also was taken as a joke, due to his appearance and his rather eccentric mode of focusing on songs from the 1920s and beyond. Also the fact that he played the ukulele and sang with a falsetto/vibrato voice. He wore white make-up, red lipstick, and had long hair. Tiny Tim sort of look like he was borderline homeless or even insane. So many thought he was likely to be a comedian and he was taking the Tiny Tim character as a fictional role. To be honest, I was confused at the time. When I met and observe him at this gathering, I can see he was genuine and not at all, a character that was set up for the masses. At the time, I purchased his first album “God Bless Tiny Tim, ” and recalled that I really liked it, and for sure it wasn’t a joke thing at all. Very recently I learned that he was also in Jack Smith’s “Normal Love.” Like Little Toot, Tiny Tim wasn’t really accepted by his audience, because he was thought as a freak or a humorous figure. In fact, he was a genuine musical archivist and more likely one of the great minds in 20th music. Yet, I feel he was abandoned by the entertainment world, once they thought the joke was old.
It’s very hard to stay true to one’s self, when the world either ignores or ridicules you in a fashion that yells out ‘you’re not important.’ Yet, on a daily basis, the struggle to work or play is almost like sending a spit against the wind, it hits you in the face again and again. We are often placed in a world that is none of our making, and yet, everyone demands that we operate in that landscape, and do what we are told. I remember reading about the teen idol David Cassidy and his frustration to be taken seriously, yet, his image, even his peculiar fame, worked against him. The crisis is trying to define oneself against what the others say you are. With that in mind, whenever I put pen onto paper, it is a weapon against those who wouldn’t allow me to flourish in my own fashion. Nevertheless, if you keep your vision intact, there is nothing that they can do in order to destroy you. And yes, you drift in that vast ocean, but also there are endless possibilities where one can even visualize an Atlantis in front of them.