686. A Lil Ain’t Enough

(Note to RSS users. We dumped Feedburner because it stopped working at the end of 2015 and expect Google is about to kill the service. The correct address to point your RSS reader to is: https://daron.ceciliatan.com/?feed=rss2 Anyone who would like to get new posts via email, I’ve created a new email list here http://eepurl.com/bMQGpj to try to replicate the Feedburner email service. -ctan)

I promise every chapter for the next million years won’t be about meetings, even if at the time it felt to me like my life was going to be nothing but meetings for the foreseeable future. There’s one that day in particular I should tell you about, though.

Not the one Barrett and I had after Ziggy left for his voice lesson, although that one was key. He hit me with a lot of questions about tech needs for a band that we still hadn’t settled on a size for. I felt like every question we answered created three more that we needed to answer. Then he left me in his office with a phone for a while, an extension right on the side table at the chair where Ziggy usually sat during meetings.

The rehearsal space was going to be a warehouse in Queens. Auditions could happen there, too, if I wanted. Time for me to start calling some people.

But the first person I called was Carynne. I paged her since I didn’t know where she was and left the direct number to my extension. It rang almost immediately.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey,” she said back. “How are things going?”

“Good, except for the fact I feel in way over my head.”

“That makes two of us right now.”

“Jeez. Are you still in town?”

“I am. Is this Barrett’s office number? Is that where you are?”


“Right around the corner there’s a reasonably good restaurant for having strategic meetings in, if you want to meet up in like an hour.”


The next person I called was Flip, who I caught at home in Los Angeles. “You interested in touring South America after Nomad’s done? God knows if we can get parts down there or whatever so I need a tech who comes complete with his own repair shop.”

“I’d love to,” he said.

We went into some details about how much we’d pay if he handled me and Bart, which meant not only Bart’s electric bass but the cello, and that led to me telling him the whole story of the accidental album. Flip, in his typical manner, replied, “Tsk, you’ve recorded not one but two albums since I last saw you? Well I’ve had at least that many…fantasies about decent blowjobs in that time.”

“Still looking for a girlfriend?”

“Yeah, hard to maintain when I’m on the road so much. I had a couple of go-to gals for a while, no strings attached, but one of ’ems in a relationship now and the other one just moved to Miami. So it’s just been me and Mr. Handy.” He sounded chipper but resigned.

No, it didn’t strike me as weird to talk to Flip about masturbating. After rooming together we weren’t uptight about much with each other anymore. Well, and Flip wasn’t uptight about anything to begin with.

I met Carynne for something to eat and to make lists of things to do, and while she tried to assure me that being Ziggy’s musical director was well within my skills, I tried to assure her that negotiating the deal or deals for the Surprise album was well within hers. By an hour later she had largely convinced me.

I had not convinced her. She said she wanted to come back with me to the office. I didn’t think anything of it. But when we got there, we sat down with Barrett.

It was suddenly obvious to me that she and he had talked previously. I wasn’t sure when. But they were about to propose something. I could see it in their eyes.

Carynne swallowed. “I need you to take a deep breath and really listen to what I’m about to say. Really. Listen.”


“I can’t do all the things for you that a real, full service management company can do.”

She had said that to me before. I started to open my mouth to repeat my arguments against it, then shut it again, and cupped my hands to my ears to show I was listening.

“This is partly to do with competitive advantage, too, Daron. Other artists have a lot more resources at their disposal because they have full management. I know everyone loves the quaint idea of the one man–or one woman show–in a teensy office full of telephones but that’s just not how it is now.”

They exchanged a glance and I looked back and forth between them.

Carynne continued. “I’ve also been feeling really stuck, really stagnated, as a manager.”

“Did something happen to Sugargum?” I asked suddenly. “Sorry. Listening. Listening.”

“I’ve got a lot of strengths as a personal manager, and as a road manager, but you need a manager manager. Someone who can act as your representation who’s not a lawyer and who can be proactive about seeking out deals, endorsements, opportunities…”

“International rights,” Barrett put in, the first words he’d spoken in a while, and then he went right back to letting her do the talking.

“For example,” she said. She folded her hands together. “You asked me in Maryland what changed, why’d I decided to tag along with you instead of going back like I’d originally planned. I’m not managing Sugargum anymore. I let them go.”

“You what?”

“I just wasn’t getting them anywhere. They weren’t making any money and therefore neither was I, but I was spending all day every day trying to get them off the ground. I let them go.” She looked pained. “So I could spend more time on you. Because I figure that’s the only chance I can get to make ends meet.”

“Make ends meet?” Anxiety prickled up my spine despite the beer I’d had at the restaurant.

“I’d already decided to dump the office and work out of my apartment,” she said. “But rent went up and…”

“You know we have a spare room at the house–”

“Daron. Dear Daron. I love you and it’s sweet but I’m not moving in with you. Down the street maybe, but not in your house. Just no.”

“Okay, but–”

“Bottom line is I’ve got this MBA now, I’m not just a gal with a mailing label printer.” She looked at Barrett. “Barrett’s offering me a job. I’d get a base salary plus performance bonuses depending on what you earn. My job will stay largely the same: managing you. But now I’ll do it from within the talent management arm of WTA. I’ll answer directly to him.”

The thought that went through my head was this: that sounds terrible. Awful. No.

Then she said, “It means the WTA legal department comes as part of the deal.”

My ears perked up at that.

“And I go on the road with you.”

Quite suddenly the plan I was hating sounded much better. Much, much better. Before I could say so, though, she went on.

“I think it’s kind of inevitable that we team up with a larger organization at some point, and this situation seems ideal.”

I said, “Please don’t tell me you fired Sugargum, though, just so you could take this.”

She sighed. “Polly is fed up with the whole band concept and is agitating to go solo. The bass player already quit in a huff.”

“What about the guitar player?”

“Legally changed her…his…name to Brad and so kind of technically can’t be in an all-girl group anymore anyway.” She sighed again, and I had the feeling there was a lot of frustration being shed in that moment. “They’re done, D. I told ’em good luck and godspeed.”

The ride can sometimes end pretty quick. Or never get going in the first place. I told Carynne joining WTA was a great idea. My one reservation was what Ziggy would think of it, and Barrett told me he had already picked Ziggy’s brain extensively about Carynne before extending her the offer.

Ziggy was on board. I was on board.

Goodluck and godspeed.

(Hey, everyone, I wanted to point out that we’ve got a newfangled donations tracker over in the right sidebar where you can see it anytime! We’ve changed the way extra story posts trigger — instead of a bonus post any week where more than $50 comes in but then it goes back to zero every week, now every donation will count cumulatively toward a bonus which is triggered whenever the total hits $100 no matter how long that takes. The new counter has been up for a little under a week and has $29 in it already! All ebook sales made through the DGC site here also count into that total! If you use any of the Paypal buttons on the site or if you “send money” to the NEW address daron.moondog@gmail.com you should see your contribution counted in the progress bar right away! Cool, eh? Thank you again to everyone who has donated! -ctan)

Olimometer 2.52

(If you’re not sick of music from early 1991 by now, maybe this one will do it. David Lee Roth’s T&A shtick was getting tired and so were the guitar riffs after Steve Vai quit. Sorry about how terrible this video is, too. I literally cringed while watching it. -daron)


  • s says:

    Well that’s an interesting new development.

    This week just gets better. Ctan, did you hear that Alan Rickman died?

  • Jude says:

    You get to keep Carynne and Carynne gets a regular salary! WIN WIN.

  • Janie Friedman says:

    Ok. I’m just done with this week. This morning I find out about Bowie, and now Alan Rickman, one of the finest actors of any generation. Gah!

    Oh, and yay for Carynne!

  • chris says:

    This week has been so miserable that I missed this post yesterday completely. The one bright spot in my morning was that I had a whole unread chapter available, and no one died or broke up in it.
    Daron – maybe Ziggy’s record, much like Adam Lambert’s The Original High will grow on you with time… Ziggy doesn’t have any electronic cows mooing does he?

    • daron says:

      No cow moo. Yet, anyway. *hides face in hands*

    • mtnwomanbc says:

      I’m a huge Adam Lambert fan, but it took many listens to like and/or appreciate several of his songs from both Trespassing and his latest, The Original High. And I am not fond of the electronic moo, although I love that song now after many initial plays.

      But case in point, quite a few of Adam’s songs, while not MOR necessarily, truly come to life when performed live. His pop infused songs become rock n’ roll with wailing guitars and voice. So transforming Ziggy’s MOR songs into an exciting live performance is not beyond the realm of possibility.

      Of course it takes a visionary music director and an amenable singer, both of which are key plot points in this wonderful chronicle.

      • ctan says:

        This. I feel like all of Adam’s music comes alive live. Which is why I grabbed tickets to see him next month at the House of Blues.

  • Bill Heath says:

    ctan, did no one else see this coming? You’ve made it evident for seveteen bazillion chapters that Barrett is a great manager who gets Ziggy (as well as anyone can). Same thing for Carynne’s future as a solo act. She has one of life’s most valuable attributes, a clear understanding of her own limitations.

    Also, it’s been clear for a while that without some irresistible outside force the lawsuits were going to consume too much of Daron and of his time.

    My only question is, if the tour actually takes place, will Colin be brought in as a musician? No, he can’t play guitar, but if he can read music he can learn percussion in plenty of time. And you know how much he enjoys banging.

    • ctan says:

      Well, the thing is Carynne has been saying this for a while now, but Daron really didn’t see it or understand it, so if you are one of those readers who can see around the Daron filter, you probably knew it was coming, whereas if you prefer staying inside Daron’s point of view and being surprised when he’s surprised, you may have gotten blindsided. 🙂

      More about the writing technique questions from previous comments: This is one of the fun things about this narrative technique. Daron is the classic “unreliable narrator.” Readers can choose what depth of the ride they want to take once they realize that: total immersion in his delusions/perceptions at one end and total skepticism on the other, and everywhere in between. This technique rewards readers who pay close attention: the more they put in, the more they get out of it, too.

      One of the things that getting lots of feedback in workshops taught me was what a wide range of gullibility/skepticism there is in readers and not only is this okay, it’s important to be able to play to the people in the front row and the people in the very back of the hall. I used to be surprised when readers would miss what I thought were overly obvious clues, for example. Now I know some people get a lot out of looking for clues and some get a lot out of trying to suck it down quickly without a lot of analysis. The skeptics tend to not enjoy too emotionally intense a ride and that’s fine: by hanging back a little they lessen the emotional impact of the story on themselves but meanwhile get very hooked when they find their interpretations are correct of what’s “really” going on (when Daron finally admits or figures something out). The ones who like the most emotional intensity just hang on and ride the rollercoaster and think about it later. And most folks are somewhere in the middle and go up and down in the range depending on their mood or how they’re connecting to a particular part of the story.

      • Bill Heath says:

        You just sparked a Damascene moment in me.

        • ctan says:

          Oh my. Glad to be of help. (Assuming this epiphany leads to better & greater creativity and not a total derailment of your muse.)

          • Bill Heath says:

            I now see that viewing the reader as on a continuum between gullibility and skepticism has real value. I’ve always known about three or four other scales, but you sparked a desire to explore the remaining continua.

            I learned to view individuals as a collection of data points on an infinite number of continua. Why haven’t I done the same for readers? I’m not sure it’s stupidity, just a frame of reference that decided that there was “the reader” instead of a collection of individuals. I could have had a V9! (inflation).

            Before starting to write fiction as therapy I had written a few thousand professional papers and one non-fiction book on contract. Two years into the therapy I’m finding it far more difficult to write decent fiction than to write compelling non-fiction. When writing a business case for a client I find it easy to create an unbroken chain of small steps, each of which is clearly proven, to go from “You give your custoner XYZ and he gives you money.”

            I could never have gone from “Ziggy’s an ass” to “Ziggy is the product of biology and life experiences, and is actually malleable.” You did so.

            • ctan says:

              It’s also been helpful for me to adopt the notion that there is no one “right” interpretation of a work of fiction. I of course think that I know the “truth” about what I’m writing, or what I “meant” by various things. The “author” is “the authority,” right? Well. But how many times do I see authors talking about discovering something they didn’t know was there in the text, or realizing later that when they thought they were writing about X they were really writing about Y.

              Ultimately I accept that I can only know my fiction as well as I know myself–and as therapy has proved to me, sometimes I think I know myself and then I find some whole pocket or layer that I wasn’t aware of. Fiction is ultimately the exercise of revealing the subconscious mind. So I accept that other people’s interpretations of the text are just as valid as my own. They don’t *change* my interpretation of the text, but I can be aware they exist. And sometimes readers are right after all.

  • Bill Heath says:

    More than halfway to a bonus chapter!!!!

    Pardon me, but I need some alone time for a private moment. Or seven.

  • Bill Heath says:

    I have a glitch in my computer that will not allow me to open new threads in the discussions, but does allow me to post to existing threads.

    Will somebody please open a new thread in the Off Topic! Forum entitled Fundraising. I can then start some discussions I wish to have with the collective about helping ctan raise more money through DCG.

    Thanks in advance.

  • marktreble says:

    Old Age is only better than the alternative, and some days that’s debatable.

    I came on the site and saw that miraculously we were at $84. I immediately donated $5. When I returned to the site I found that we had now arrived at $89 because somebody had donated $5 while I was away. I got over-excited, decided it’s only $11, so I immediately donated the $11.

    Yeah, in the space of thirty seconds I had forgotten that I was the one who donated the five bucks.

    You, too, will arrive at this stage some day.

    • s says:

      Lol. Well thank you for your contribution to my addiction. To add insult to injury, the counter says we’re at $99 not $100…

      • daron says:

        Oh man. You’re right. The donation tracker is at $99.

        I should tell y’all, don’t worry, if you donate more than a dollar the “extra” will get carried over to the next counter. If someone puts in $5 right now, then $4 will count toward the next bonus post.

    • daron says:

      Dude, I’ve done that kind of thing all my life and I don’t even have the old age excuse.

      • Bill Heath says:

        Dude, I was born old. Chronologically I’m only eighteen.

        SOMEBODY ELSE donate the damned dollar. I’m afraid if I do so I’ll wind up funding Saturday posts until the Second Coming and then wonder why I have to declare bankruptcy. It was only supposed to be a dollar!!!!

  • Bill Heath says:

    The possibilities inherent in Flip coming on the tour are endless. “Permission before forgiveness.”

    I wonder if, about a week into the tour, while Flip is unbuttoning Daron’s jeans, Daron gets up and runs out of the room to ask Ziggy’s permission.

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