Legacies

At the end of the Sean Fitzgerald CD release show last Sunday, I was talking with Anthony Retka, Tone of Tone & Niche and one of the folks who pulled the CD together out of a digital mountain of recorded songs. Jokingly, I told him his next project had to be a how-to document to say what a person should do to prepare his/her creative work in case of untimely demise, for the benefit of those like Tone who try to make a “product” out of it later.

We laughed about it, but more than once since Sean’s death, I’ve thought about the issue of my finished (or nearly finished) but unreleased music, and whether it’ll be findable or useable in the event of a hasty unplanned exit on my part. It’s not that I’m delusional about how much demand there would be for any posthumous Charlie Monterey release. They’re not beating down my door now, and though death may enhance one’s reputation, I’m not terribly hopeful it’ll do that much for mine. But… still… there are a few people who might want to hear a recording of, say, “Take the Picture” (my latest completed song) after I can’t sing it. That’s why there was a posthumous Sean Fitz release; there are a couple hundred fans interested, and there were good songs that only needed to be dusted off, shined up a little, and burned to CDs.

So here’s a question for musicians, writers, photographers, and other artists reading this: Have you given much thought to posthumous work? Any aspect, as far as what you’d like to see released, to how you’re arranging your current works-in-progress, or whether it’s even worth thinking about at all.

I kept stumbling over the last paragraph, and even now I see where I could’ve clarified things. This probably means … something.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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3 Responses to Legacies

  1. ferndalealex says:

    I’m not an artist, but I would think that it would be worth considering. Van Gogh reportedly sold no paintings during his lifetime, so there’s no telling what can happen in the future.

    • songdogmi says:

      I’m ahead of Van Gogh, because I’ve sold some CDs in my lifetime. W00t! Well, in the short term, anyway. *giggle*

      Maybe part of the solution is to not sit on unreleased, completed work for years, as I’m presently doing and as Sean did. That might help avoid the issue.

  2. Anonymous says:

    after we die…

    hey charlie –

    just read your blog about a songwriters work after he or she passes away. i have to say i have always tried to keep all my work with tone & niche and the solo stuff available. there is a huge ego that sometimes hides inside of artistic people. my ego used to think that what i did was so important to the world. as i’ve gotten older i have realized that to think in such a way is over the top and to some degree self-centered. in short, i would say just keep playing, writing and recording. in the event of an early exit just let the chips fall where they may. your work is wonderful charlie. your songs stick with people. that’s what counts. your music will live after you’ve gone as will my music and so on. the size of impact is not important, it’s simply the impact itself. it took sometime for me to do, but i have decided to let the older tone & niche records go and keep moving forward. in the end if i pass before i finished my work it will find its way to someone who wishes it to continue moving forward.

    i hope that run-on drivel answered your question.

    it’s late and i’m falling over. have a great weekend charlie!

    -tone

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