JAIMIE VERNON – NOT DROWNING, JUST WAVING

Jaimie Vernon_Viletones

It’s been a really crappy two weeks. Sometimes you get handed a series of unrelated, but no less dramatic, events that snowball into a stifling blanket of stress, anxiety and, more often than not, sadness. It’s been the default mode since early August. I have learned that you can’t catch any of the balloons falling from the sky, you can only offer up a spot for the least damaging of emotional landings. I’m worn out and weary.

worn out

Part of growing older is being self-aware and cognitive of the reality of the world at large – namely our own mortality. This has been the thematic thread in my world since assuming the position of security guard to the dearly departed. It’s not a job I wanted to take. It’s not a job I want. I have to make a living. Being in proximity to the dead is how I’ve had to accomplish this. But following the last two weeks of deaths (a cousin from cancer, a neighbour in a car accident) and near deaths (my wife’s own anxiety trauma masked as a heart attack and two people dear to me both diagnosed with cancer), I can no longer reconcile working this way knowing my own mortality is ticking away like a caffeine-fuelled time bomb.

Mortality

I have so much more I want to see and do and this is coming from a guy that has already done a lot. I’ve been married twice, had two kids, worked for the government, driven high-end peformance automobiles, written books, run a record label, driven across the USA five times and performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. I can’t sit idle. I want to create, to communicate and to constantly be engaged with anyone that’ll listen to my nonsense. But sitting in a patrol car driving around a closed course of gravestones and the grieving between bouts of pooping off-leash dogs and half-naked sunbathers is eating my soul. It makes one want to just curl up in a crypt and call it a day.

Mr. VerminI was derailed 5 years ago…on the back of a series of unfortunate events, the biggest being the death of my Dad. It’ll be 8 years next week that he passed and I think I’ve finally grown from the experience. I’ve had to learn about loss in every sense of the word not the least of which was the loss of self. I was too immature to realize that when you constantly fire off knee-jerk invitations to pity parties people stop sending RSVPs. Others cannot make you happy. You must take responsibility for that yourself. It’s been tough because I’ve always needed excitement and stimulus (not stimulants) to feel alive. Alas, when the andrenalin taps went dry during the last decade, I was miserable. I became the curmudgeon. I withdrew. I lashed out and over time disappeared from everyone and everywhere.

The internet has been a God send and an anvil. It has allowed me to view the world from great distances. It also became a narcotic and a co-enabler in keeping me from reconnecting with the things I needed the most in regaining my mental and emotional health. I did the work and have had a great mate to bounce it off of. She’s always been my sounding board and has seen the absolute worst sides of me. My entire life has been a battle between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’ve had to rebuild a new monster with the better parts of both because the alternative would have been unimaginable.

Sharon and Jaimie Vernon

Sharon and Jaimie Vernon

Knowing my family has weathered the storm alongside me gives me hope that the next chapter together will be a lot happier and hopefully more fun. I’ve rediscovered and accepted the Good Lord Rock ‘n Roll back into my life. I may even return to the stage. A new solo album is most definitely a possibility. People seemed to like the last one – and that was back in 2008 – so it’s long overdue.

Bullseye Records

How this happens depends largely on the rebirth of my 30 year-old work-in-progress called Bullseye Records. Since I stepped away and abandoned the label, the muic business has managed to chase, bite, and completely choke on its own tail. Having already existed outside the ‘system‘ in Bullseye’s previous 30 years, it won’t take much to pick up where I left off. I managed to not burn all my bridges having formed lasting relationships with people without the music (or money) tethering us together. Just friendship. You can’t last two minutes in the industry with enemies. You need allies. And I have cultivated a lot of them and I owe these people a lot for propping me up and cheerleading the return of Bullseye.

manSweepingFloorAnimated_1317678443_flouridesPart of the resurrection comes in the form of atoning for the things I ignored and let run/ruin my life. Now I can look at them with 20/20 and kick my inner child’s hindsight. There’s no more excuses. There’s nowhere to run or hide. Time to clean up that mess and get back on the road to success. I did it before. I’ll do it again. But not alone. I kept all the marbles, all the stress, all the problems to myself. You, dear reader, came come along for the ride this time and keep me on the straight and fallow.

I’m raising cash to resurrect the beast. It’s not just so I can get out of patroling cemeteries. It’s so I can share my love for music again. The audiences that bought our stuff over the years have shown their appreciation time and time again. It makes me happy that people have gotten to hear music they grew up with again and the occasional new tune that I believe more people should hear. Come along for the trip, kids. Donations to my crowdfunding campaign come with perks in the form of copies of CDs from our past, MP3s, books I’ve written about Canadian music (including a book about Bullseye itself which you will be mentioned in), T-shirts and more.

Bullseye has a whole future ahead of it. A new road. A new life. You can be part of it. All help is welcome! Click HERE to help resurrect Bullseye Records.

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Send your CDs for review to this NEW address: Jaimie Vernon, 4003 Ellesmere Road, Toronto, ON M1C 1J3 CANADA

=JV=

Jaimie’s column appears every Saturday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonJaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 33 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 16 years. He is also the author of the recently released Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and a collection of his most popular ‘Don’t Believe A Word I Say’ columns called ‘Life’s A Canadian…BLOG’ is now available at Amazon.com http://gwntertainment.wix.com/jaimievernon

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