And then I was there; free to pursue a musical career in the midst I had anticipated for so long. The weight of my self imposed expectations weighed heavily on me. It's easy to plan for something while it's still far away. Once you find yourself there, the pressure to provide results takes away from the envisioned scenario.
Regardless of the stories I'd heard and common sense itself, I halfway expected Los Angeles to be a bohemian breeding ground, or at the very least, a gathering place for artists. I could not have been more wrong.
The air in L.A. is laden with bullshit and trendy eastern philosophies thinly disguised behind the masks of so-called New Age thought. The people are clay, eager to follow the next health-happy idea. It's a world ruled by the intrepid and the daring, but certainly not by the wise.
But my hope rested in the music scene, not in the city itself. I pictured talented, music loving kids joining in a blend of cultural folklore; striving to discover the sublime sounds that might bring the world together as one. Lofty and naive goals, to be sure, but I thought highly of the accomplishments that could be realized through art then.
What I found was a place packed tight with talent, overflowing almost, but with only one general purpose in common. Money. The scene on the streets was oriented toward money. It was all business, not art. The up and coming bands didn't hope to record the next Sgt. Pepper, they hoped to sell like Milli Vannilli.
The lack of integrity in people's craft puzzled and disillusioned me. Songwriting was approached in a cold and distant fashion. People wanted to come up with jingles, or riffs. Something catchy and short. There was no attempt to conceive something that might be inherently beautiful, and passed on to future generations. Everybody just wanted to make a buck.
Sadly, the most gifted people are usually the most shallow as well. I may have had a higher purpose than others in mind, but my skills were limited. My tolerance for networking and self-promotion was even more so. There was no future for me there. I had to get out.
In leaving, I left behind a world of dreams.