I promised myself that this weekend I would clean the apartment, more specifically the “Computer Room” which is a small room that we keep the computer in. It’s unofficially my room as it’s filled with guitars, mics, amps and stacks of half written scripts, song lyrics and short stories in boxes. In fact, I’m writing this blog entry sitting at the computer right now. During the upheaval I found DVDs of early stand up shows, old band demos and even the first professional recording of songs I wrote in a band I played in back in Dublin.
I also found a letter.
I left home when I was 25 and my first stop was New York. I arrived on January 4th 2002, to a city that was still trying to come to terms with September 11th. I worked for a small construction company and saved every dollar I could for an upcoming back packing trip I had planned with friends in three months time. While I was in New York I decided to send a copy of my E.P. to every record company I could. I pulled out the phone book and each morning, or lunch break, or late evening I would call them to confirm addresses and contact names before writing a letter and placing it with the CD for mailing. Every single person I spoke to told me they would not accept unsolicited music packages. I needed a lawyer or some type of representation. I said I understood and sent the package anyway hoping at least one would get through.
One lunchtime I lied my way passed the reception desk and got to someone somewhere inside EMI. She gave me the same speech as the others, but I pleaded with her that she at least give me her information just so she could hear it and then throw it in the trash if she wanted. There was silence before she changed the subject and told me that I reminded her of her husband. I asked if he played in a band, he didn’t, he was Irish too. We chatted for about 20 minutes about everything except music. To be honest, she seemed to enjoy being distracted from her corporate job. Our conversation ended with her giving me her information and suggested I mail the CD to her directly. She promised me nothing except that she would place it on the desk of someone who would listen to it, that was all. And that was good enough for me. I sent the package that day in the late mail.
A week went by, then a month and then three. I quite my job and returned home. After six days I left home again and spent the next year backpacking around the globe. When I arrived back in New York I stayed with my old roommate as I had the year before. As I was unpacking he handed me a letter and told me that it had arrived a few months after I had left. It was from EMI. I opened it, it was a rejection letter. It was the only letter I had got back from the many record companies I had submitted too. I couldn’t top smiling at it, even though I knew I should have been disappointed. She done exactly what she promised me she would. How often do people actually do that?