February 8: A bit more on yesterday’s missing musicians

The trauma of having to write all of yesterday’s post on my phone made me leave a few thoughts out. I was thinking about why John Danley & Brendan Campbell may have dropped out of the music business. At first, I thought that something bad must have happened to each of them, something like a chronic illness. The more I thought about it the more I realized the possibility that both had experienced some bizarre version of what happened to golf professional, Ty Tryon.

Tryon burst onto the PGA Tour back in the early days of the Tiger Woods era. He was only in high school when Callaway paid him a huge pile of money, nothing like the kind of cash Nike dumped on Woods, but we’re still talking about millions of dollars.

Ty Tryon, back in the early 2000s

Problem was that Tyron’s game soon collapsed, completely. Now, decades later, Tryon has become a walking monument to persistence. He’s been reduced to an annual quest just to find professional tournaments where he can tee it up in a so-far fruitless effort to find his long-gone game. Tryon was only 16 years old when he had that brief though profitable look at what the upper echelons of professional golf were like and thought he belonged. And, he has spent many years trying to get back there.

Campbell & Danley never had that look at the top. Oh sure, they made videos, played some live gigs and Campbell even composed and performed some music for a movie. Still, maybe what they saw of the music business simply didn’t make it seem like the kind of place they wanted to devote themselves to, possibly for years, with no guarantee for the kind of success they imagined.

And there’s another possibility I can think of; that one or both of them loved music, but didn’t love music as a profession. That’s how I like to imagine Campbell & Danley. I hope that wherever they are, and whatever they’re doing for a living, both continue to enjoy their rare musical gifts. And, should one or both of them decide they’d like to have another crack at the music business, I’ll be ready to enjoy their work once again.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

February 8: A bit more on yesterday’s missing musicians

February 7: Musicians who are missing in action

The internet is an endlessly fascinating place. It has made finding new wonderful musicians easy and immensely satisfying. I could not begin to name all of the musicians who have crossed my path, quite by accident, over the last decade or so.

The odd thing is that occasionally one of them (or two in this case) will go missing, leaving only the music that led me to them in the first place.

The first is Brendan Campbell. He may have had another record at some point, but the only one I know of is Burgers & Murders. I’m listening to Pleiades right now. This guy is so gone that he doesn’t even have a licensing deal with iTunes anymore. I found that out when I realized that none of his songs were on my iPhone. Had they not been downloaded to my MacMini years back that music would have been gone, maybe forever.

Brendan Campbell

The other musician is even more obscure. All John Danley left behind are a handful of videos. He was (is?) a wonderful finger-style player. From what I’ve been able to find he’s totally done with the whole music deal. The last reference I saw about him mentioned that he’d turned to a career in psychotherapy.

John Danley

A handful of years ago, he had a working website. What must have happened for him to let both his website’s eponymous domain and the site itself slip below the electrons of the internet? I just don’t get it. It’s just too easy and inexpensive to keep a website online to let one slip away. I actually mentioned Danley’s name to Will Ackerman a couple years back, along with a link to one of his videos. I had a kind of fantasy that Will might have recognized Danley’s talent and would want to set about using his industry connections to get him discovered, but Danley’s anonymity remains frustratingly intact.

How many more wonderful musicians am I doomed to find and lose? To put a tiny spin of optimism I could say I’m fortunate to have found Danley & Campbell at all, and that’s true. It’s always hard to keep from wanting more, I suppose.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Had I been willing to let this post wait until tomorrow I would have done a better job. For some reason tonight the WordPress desktop app will let me do everything but write a post.

The optimist would say how lucky I am to be able write what I have on my phone.

February 7: Musicians who are missing in action

January 3: Come on, let’s all think about my music collection!

Yesterday, I laid out the raw numbers of my current music collection. There are a few hundred LPs and maybe 500-600 CDs. But wait, I’ve forgotten about the digital music from iTunes, Bandcamp and even a small smattering of music I bought from Amazon. Each purchase has one thing in common; it is as available and reliable as the company that has granted the me use rights to the music.

Like pretty much all rights, iTunes rights are beset by limitations. Hey, .99 cents (now $1.29) only buys you but so much. Let me tell you the story of a handful of songs I purchased by a fairly obscure singer named Brendan Campbell (from his 2008 record, Burgers and Murders). I bought the songs from iTunes quite a while back. But, earlier this year when I tried to play them I found that the songs were MIA (at least on my iPhone).

Well, that’s weird thought I…

Once I was back in my home office I checked my master iTunes library, which resides on the lovely if aged, 1TB drive of my elderly MacMini. There the missing songs were right where they were supposed to be, ready to play.

The cover of Campbell’s 2008 record…

WTF?

It took me and Mr. Google a couple minutes to solve this minor league tech puzzler. The answer resides not so much with iTunes but rather with the license granted to them by Mr. Campbell. It seems the two had a spat of some sort and the result is that iTunes can no longer sell (or allow access to) Campbell’s music even though I had previously purchased the songs.

The only reason I still have the songs is because a long time ago I downloaded (remember that 1TB drive?) the songs in question. If I had left them to float around the digital ether all this time the songs would be gone forever, or at least until Campbell’s work pops up somewhere else. Going forward who can say whether the rights granted by iTunes, et al are ephemeral or long standing?

I raise this issue because it serves to emphasize how important it is to have a downloaded, nailed-down (read residing on an actual hard drive you own) version of all the music you own. Sure, Campbell’s music comprises a financial investment of exactly $5.94 but the point is that I cannot find that music anywhere else, at least not as of this writing. The loss of those songs would go beyond the mere pittance I originally spent on them.

In the end, a valued music collection has to be archivable.

More on that tomorrow. By the way, it actually warmed up fairly well in the valley today. The mercury made it all the way to 64 today.

Not bad!

January 3: Come on, let’s all think about my music collection!