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Damaged people
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 Posted: Sat Jul 10th, 2021 02:03 am
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fasstrack
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Since I'll soon be leaving Philadelphia for points north I've been looking back on a mostly very positive 4 years. On the music scene there's some top talent: veterans my age (66) or thereabouts; a bevy of 20-somethings pouring out of the jazz programs at Temple U. and elsewhere. They can PLAY!

There have only been 2 downers for me, people-wise: 1 rolled off my back easy---a musician-mechanic I stupidly trusted who put me on to his clients who sold me a bad BMW for $3,000. I should've checked the car out independently, 'friend' or no friend. I dealt with this guy before and had to fire him from 2 gigs for his meddling, snake-like behavior. And money was kicked upstairs to him on this deal---that I KNOW.

But live & learn, and I don't care about him. The other guy---different story. I let him get his hooks into me b/c he's a good musician; did me favors; and beneath the mess that's his life beats a good heart. But you always have to have your guard up. Hey, I've know people who were cool, friends for 20+ years who---BAM---did a 360 and turned on me. People change and I am virtually unshockable. But it still hurts when it happens.

This guy and I became pals---we were sort of elders on the jazz scene here, and he really did try to help me get my footing. I got him gigs too and we came to have affection for each other.

But the danger signs were there early and I gave him pass after pass until I said 'That's IT!' (He claimed HE was the one dumping ME---and BTW I'm not running for sainthood. Got PLENTY of flaws).

Where he crossed the line: I call it 'emotional arson'. His ego's so outsized; frustration w/where he thinks he should be career-wise so immense that it doesn't implode, it radiates out. Don't kiss his ring; cross him; or merely get on his nerves he'll find a way to set you on fire---these people are VERY clever at these games. He peeps what your 'buttons' are then pushes them with relish. So he relentlessly pissed on my playing (though we're peers); my person; and perhaps most egregious of all, rubbed me against a good friend (an OLD friend who I've known since he was 21, back in '88---sweetheart of a guy and very successful), fine guitarist, who knew nothing of this---with never-ending negative comparisons.

This guy has a phenom drummer son---who won't talk to him; was put out evidently by his wife, and lives inside a bottle.

We stopped talking after a New Years Eve livestream of his. Zero regrets here, and I really hope I never run into anyone like that again. But in the music biz---the 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'--I know I will. (I was friends for 40+ years with a great player/wack job who was an early mentor. It ended badly, then he died. Awful thing to go through, though we had great times too. I swore that would be the last time. But I hadn't 'graduated' yet). But I'll vet the person early on and I smell ANYTHING---BAM, take my beachball and find another beach. In the words of the late, great Flo Kennedy: 'I'm too old; too lazy; too crazy.

How do people here deal with the broken?

Stories? Insights? Mistakes learned from?...

Last edited on Sat Jul 10th, 2021 11:00 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Sat Jul 10th, 2021 08:59 am
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twelfths
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Hey, fasstrack, thank you for sharing.

This is a very personal post, so it's difficult to respond to this efficiently... also, the question doesn't particularly correlate with the stories. You're venting, which is important.

I am also from Philadelphia, so hello, and much love for you.

What you're dealing with just sounds like... life! You're meeting people, some more wicked than others, you befriend some of them and also hold onto some of each throughout the spectrum; then you try to hold onto them even as they enact their wickedness to you. It's a familiar song and dance.

Being human is lonely, and also it takes a village. If you're comfortable with yourself, that will always matter most. That will allow you to make better decisions. At 66, it is warming to know that you still struggle with your love in this way and it gives me, at 22, more ease to know I can procrastinate a bit longer with allowing people to hurt me.

Set a better example for yourself and seek it.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 10th, 2021 11:13 am
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fasstrack
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twelfths wrote:
... also, the question doesn't particularly correlate with the stories.
What makes you say that?

The 2 people I cited are clearly damaged---and damagING as a result. And that's the point.

Maybe I should have substituted 'damaging'?...



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 Posted: Sat Jul 10th, 2021 11:17 am
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fasstrack
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I myself would NOT use the word 'wicked'. I'm a LITTLE smarter that to knock on anyone's door like that---or let them in mine. I mean people who might be basically good, but do bad things in their personal interactions b/c they're f&*%ed up pursuant to what life has done to THEM. Ergo 'damaged'...



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 Posted: Sat Jul 10th, 2021 11:14 pm
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fasstrack
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To link it to songwriting, damaged people IMO are more interesting to write about than saints. I guess Joe 6 pack is OK if you frame him correctly. A lot of it is craft and imagination.

But wrinkles and flaws give SO much opportunity---like 'found' art. I wrote something called Look in the Mirror about the guy in my OP. It was so angry I woosed out and toned it down, the rationale being that it wasn't 'universal' enough. But wasn't it? Everyone has had these experience with people at some time. And the winnowing out of the anger and the personal left the lyric w/o any real bite. I may rewrite it and let her rip.

Then look at all the villains in literature. They stay with you, many are classics. Sweeney Todd, as a dark-themed musical. It ran long and won many awards. I myself just started a project about the Westies, a violent NY Irish gang. There's a definite attraction to the morbid. People are fascinated by those who routinely do what they'd never do.

So to prevent thread drift I'll hold to the personal and introduce as a sub-theme: how many here have used rotten things done to them as fodder for songs? Was it therapeutic or did it just roil up the bad feelings?...

Last edited on Sat Jul 10th, 2021 11:16 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 01:24 am
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RainyDayMan
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I guess I've led a sheltered life - haven't had many broken people to deal with.

Met a sociopath or two in office work environments, but managed to stay out of their way mostly.

So I guess my strategy is that - to stay away from them wherever you can.



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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 02:00 am
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fasstrack
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Yeah---wish I'd learned that long ago. Better latent than never, I guess...



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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 02:16 am
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fasstrack
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W/o revealing too much there was tragedy and illness in my immediate family. Could be that I stayed attracted to fractiousness and difficult people later on b/c that's what I knew.

Like that saying about a duck thinking the 1st thing he sees is his mother...



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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 02:32 am
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RainyDayMan
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We do tend to stay in patterns until something forces us to change.



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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 07:07 pm
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fasstrack
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RainyDayMan wrote:
We do tend to stay in patterns until something forces us to change.That 'something' could be the biggest favor we've ever gotten...



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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 09:47 pm
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fasstrack
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There's gonna be a jam at a singer's house Saturday. All the musicians are people I dig and dig playing with. But HE'S gonna be in the band and I'm gonna pass. I kinda feel bad b/c my swan song as a Philly resident is upon me. I want to leave on the wings of a few final nice experiences.

I admit I'm thin-skinned, but why dredge up bad feelings, or---worse yet---invite even the possibility of a scene or even a vibe that can be picked up on when friends are there to make music and have a good time?

Lotta fish in the sea. lot more opportunities...

Last edited on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 02:01 am by fasstrack



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 Posted: Wed Jul 14th, 2021 05:15 pm
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fep
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Be it osmosis or empathy... Either way, the people we hang with affects us, affects our thoughts, our personality, our soul; be it positive or negative.

We don't get to choose our family.

We do get to choose our friends. Took me a long time to realize this.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 14th, 2021 05:33 pm
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fasstrack
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I have an entire suite in my forthcoming book of pieces (and, with luck, companion recording) dedicated to someone special in my life. Hardly damaged---but even WE'VE had our ups and downs.

No way around it...



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 Posted: Sat Jul 17th, 2021 09:19 pm
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Damaged people make for good song material; it's one way to get them out of your system.
C.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 17th, 2021 10:14 pm
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fasstrack
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Claus H wrote:
Damaged people make for good song material; it's one way to get them out of your system.
C.
They're more interesting than goody-two-shoes types.

Ever see the movie The Fisher King? Mercedes Ruehl practically walks away with it. She plays a video store owner in love with her live-in BF, a very messed-up alcoholic former shock jock. In a conversation she tells him 'I've slept with some saints---boooring', then rolls her eyes...

Last edited on Sat Jul 17th, 2021 10:40 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Mon Jul 19th, 2021 05:19 am
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twelfths
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Well someone trying to get a leg up on you on a dingy car is just mean, and you provide extra context on your history with these people. But it's not like you've described particular traumas they've experienced, you're speaking of how they've been negligent/abusive toward you. That doesn't make them broken, they're just mean to you lol.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 19th, 2021 10:28 am
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fasstrack
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twelfths wrote:
But it's not like you've described particular traumas they've experienced...Yes I did---please see OP. I gave pointed details about this person's traumas. (Not the car guy---could care less about him. You can always get more $, not as easy to recover from emotional abuse)...

Last edited on Mon Jul 19th, 2021 10:29 am by fasstrack



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 Posted: Wed Jul 28th, 2021 05:37 am
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twelfths
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Sorry about that... I am saying though this does feel more like venting than a question lol

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