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.