Paul Merson

Comments: Comments

In our final year of secondary school some of my friends were getting a taxi home after a night out. 
The taxi driver seemed like a nice guy. He was encouraging them to stay in school and get a good education, as he wasn’t happy driving taxis. 
It turned out that he was at the Arsenal football academy with Paul Merson (who also played for England).
He was clearly quite agrieved, because he felt that he was better than Paul Merson.
And I can believe that.
Because I’m better than Paul Merson. 
But, he had the backing of the correct people, and the rudiments of footballing ability that he had made him a star.
I’m starting to understand how that taxi driver feels. Geri Halliwell is in Sydney judging on Australia’s Got Talent. She did a gig at the Beresford Hotel a couple of months ago. It was deemed by many to be a joke. But, she has the marketing behind her. She has the money. I don’t think she cares.
Work has been very tricky this year. I actually ended up quitting. I’ve never quit a job before. It was incredibly liberating. It felt like the right thing to do. I wasn’t happy, and couldn’t see the situation improving. I think I’ve told you before, among other things, I just didn’t belong there. Hospital social media policy means I can’t go into more detail than that, but I’m happy to to talk about it in person if anyone is interested. I’m moving to a different hospital with several other medical musical people, and it should be awesome. My mentor told me that when things aren’t’ going well, I shouldn’t be focussing on non-medical things. I think I can reasonably argue that that’s the time when you most need the things that make you happy. And music does that. 
It’s been turbulent, with some great highs, but no shortage of lows. You all know about the EP– I’m still helplessly in love with the music, even if it is my own. Making friends with Sean, the record producer, was awesome- we have a great harmony, and work brilliant together. I had an EP launch in one of the clubs near me, where I hired a full band to play my songs with me. We sounded awesome (even if I do say so myself). We got together again at a band showcase, and I arranged a salsa friend to come along, and we broke out into a surprise 2 minute salsa freestyle during Ordinary Girl as the finale, which was massively popular with the crowd.  There were four other bands on that night, but about 50 people came to see me specifically, which was really heartwarming. I hardly had time to speak to each of them after my performance. That was a strange situation to be in. 
I have my own website, designed for me by my friend Amanda, which is pretty slick, and is a great social tool, as it’s linked to this diary, and a great way for people to get to know me, musically and otherwise. Making the video to ‘Ordinary Girl‘ was something I only really enjoyed in retrospect, although it was fun to work with Ian, the film director, and his wife Paula. I was ecstatically happy with the result, but coordinating the process was was quite complicated and nerve-wracking, knowing that I only really had one shot at getting it right, and that it cost me a years savings. It turned out brilliantly, and was featured in the local paper. In order to break even on the video and music production, I needed to sell 2000 copies of my EP.
I sold 6.
I don’t get it. 
I really don’t.
Everyone tells me how awesome my music is, but virtually nobody wants to buy it. It’s all quite confusing. I’ve had a couple of occasions when I’ve mentioned my EP to people and they’ve said “Oh cool- I’ll buy one!” Without having even heard it. Which is great. However, usually I feel like the more people like the music, the less likely they are to buy it. Case in point: after I released the video, I got an email from a guy in Holland:
[me] Thanks! would you like a CD?
[him] Oh no, no, no, no- I’ll just listen for free (online)
[me] So- how am I supposed to make a success of this?
[him] You can put adverts on your video.
So I did.
Goodwill and compliments are all very well and good, but they’re not going to sustain you at the end of the day. I never got into this for the money, but if yo want something to be sustainable, then you will have to do it for some money.
It’s hard to know what to do. Getting gigs in Sydney is really hard, so it’s difficult to make a name for yourself. I’m thinking about coming back to London. I’ll be closer to family and most of my closest friends. I just have one more medical exam to get through. If I meet a girl who isn’t on drugs, then I could be persuaded to stay, as Sydney is otherwise an awesome place.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Until the next time.