I could have easily titled this as ‘Lost Ideas’ or ‘Lost Songs.’ Substitute that if my title is too silly or odd.
In high school some friends and I created a new nation, and we called that nation Frugalia. You know, I don’t think it was even because the nation was frugal in our strange brain-thoughts, or that it had any purpose other than the fact that it sounded neat.
We came up with geography (it was surrounded by water but had no lakes or rivers), politics (Dick Clark and Elizabeth Taylor were born there, and also served as king and queen), and an anthem:
You are so fresh and clean
With water all around you, you have none in between
The water shimmer sheens
Sitting in our hovels we have Dick and Liz as queen
Oh Frugalia, Frugalia
…my first Billboard hit, gone to waste!
All of this came to mind the other day…for no reason. It just burst onto the scene: I heard the song, remembered that we had created our own alphabet, that Tim and I had characters (their names are written in one of my notebooks somewhere) who talked in throaty ‘Kermit’-like croaks and were the nation’s representatives, existing almost entirely in the portable at school. Vivid…a memory that had no catalyst but was there anyways.
And that got me thinking…how many other creative ‘projects’ have I had, embraced, immersed myself in, gave my heart and soul, and then faded from as something else came up? How many songs did I know would be amazing but never made it to tape? How many million-dollar ideas come and go, and how do we know which ones to stick with and work on?
Obviously I’ve never really stuck with a million-dollar idea…not yet, anyways. Some great work has happened (Brillohead, ‘Skate It Off, Bobby,’ Ignorance Deserves Death, and about half-a-dozen other things you’ve never heard before!) but any one of these ideas or songs could have been my ‘ticket.’ What went wrong?
Or what went right? One way to think of it is that each creative moment is a stepping stone to the next. Ironically, I cite my crazy little mini-projects – from webisodes for camp to giving a strange dog on the street a voiceover as it runs around sniffing things – as the driving force behind the work I do with artists and music marketing.
It’s like sharpening a saw…trial and error without needing to lose craploads of cash and time, OR if you did lose some dough and hours out of your life you built up the know-how to do it better the next time.
Frugalia was one of many lost ideas that weren’t really lost…they were just filed away as memories or experiences, to be drawn from later. I shouldn’t get upset that I’ve filed soooo many ideas. Rather, just assume that they’re being used and re-used, over and over again…they just doesn’t look the same anymore because I’ve mashed them up with my other ideas, songs, and projects.
Maybe, one day…I’ll record the Frugalian National Anthem.
Lost ideas, lost songs, creation from my past…record a new version of The anthem!