When I started this web site - in 1997 - I hardly knew how to send an email. Because my CDs were popular, for reasons that took me years to discover and even partially understand, I'd get letters asking me for this or that CD, suggesting that I get a PO Box so that they could send me a check, and I could send them my music. I knew, even back then, that I was doing something that few other musicians were doing, but I didn't know what it was.
Recently, I got really sick, and I couldn't believe the amazing amounts of mail that flooded in. Mostly - and I answered almost every email, I think - my answers were up-beat and pleasant. I think I may have "yelled" in a few outgoing letters, just because I felt so darned lousy and taciturn, but I think that happened only twice. And you deserved it both times, Gerard!
I remember, on one of my first primitive web sites, back when I used Netscape Communicator 4 to write the html, I designed a drop-down menu (a feat, to be sure) and it contained the name of every single one of my regular buyers. A lot of these buyers became collectors, and, in time, many became friends. I dare say, many of them became good friends. Abe Goldstien almost bought everything I recorded. Eventually, he had me flown to Iowa to play for him and an enthusiastic crowd of fans. In Des Moines, a place I had never ever been before, I had fans!
[Below, an example of one of my many web site attempts, this one from 2000. No, I do not save these things. I retrieved it with the aid of The Wayback Machine, a truly wonderful (usually) repository of balls of string and broken, discarded memorabilia, kept on a raid server array somewhere]
Now, drop-down menus are supplanted by ajax, and I'm not up to the task of writing out the name of every friend and fan and subscriber I have listed in my Mac Address Book. Besides, in those years since the web has "matured", I'm not too sure that it's a good idea to have part of my "database", even mere names, listed on my site. So I'll spend that freed-up time playing my piano or playing with my little dog Angel.
Suffice to say that I want to thank everyone, without having a too-obvious Hallmark Moment, since unbridled and syrupy sentimentalism makes me squirm. I really do thank you. I hope to have many more years ahead to make much more music, and I want that music to be the kind of step forward that I feel I'm approaching... the kind where I say to myself, "this is what I wanted to say all along!"
That day would have never arrived without your support and love. It is a type of love, when one guy or gal in Texas or Alabama or Japan or Singapore, whom you barely know, sends you money every time you release a new aural experiment, whether it succeeds or not. To me it's the answer to how artists survive in the 21st Century. Or at least this artist.
I must work very hard on my music, as this type of vocation would otherwise quite easily evaporate.
I am very thankful for you.