PAST RAMBLINGS - 30
(collection of past Homepage greetings and stories)
Spring 2014  thru  Winter 2015-2016

Michael Tomlinson - Past Ramblings
Ramblings 1
3/13/99 - 7/11/99
Ramblings 2
7/27/99 - 1/8/00
Ramblings 3
3/6/00  - 8/7/00
Ramblings 4
9/18/00 -  11/19/00
Ramblings 5
12/17/00 - 4/10/01
Ramblings 6
5/9/01 - 6/25/01
Ramblings 7
07/23/01 - 10/07/01
Ramblings 8
10/19/01 - 2/18/02
Ramblings 9
3/22/02 - 8/5/02
Ramblings 10
8/27/02-12/22/02
Ramblings 11
1/24/03 to 5/31/03
Ramblings 12
7/18/03 to 12/24/03
Ramblings 13
1/11/04 to 5/28/04
Ramblings 14
7/03/04 to 10/1/04
Ramblings 15
11/03/04 to 2/22/05
Ramblings 16
4/01/05 to 7/1/05
Ramblings 17
08/21/05 - 11/16/05
Ramblings 18
12/20/05 to 6/11/06
Ramblings 19
07/19/06 to 11/13/06
Ramblings 20
12/02/06 to 4/2/07
Ramblings 21
5/21/07 to 9/4/07
Ramblings 22
11/9/07 to 3/1/2008
Ramblings 23
5/16/08 to 11/8/08
Ramblings 24
12/11/08 to 09/06/09
Ramblings 25
11/01/09 to
10/21/2010
Ramblings 26
5/10/10 to
12/4/2010
Ramblings 27
4/01/11 to
10/1/11
Ramblings 28
2/1/12 - Fall 2012
Ramblings 29
Spring 2013 - Holiday
Ramblings 30
2014 & 2015

Howdy My Friends, for stories, humor and day-to-day updates click here
Springtime 2014 

Itís about as beautiful a spring day in Seattle as you could possibly imagine. Even the birds are all in hammocks, sippiní lemonade. Iím heading to the studio on a day when itís only right to be outside wandering trails and neighborhoods, but once youíve booked a day in the studio, itís considered poor form to leave the engineer hovering over the console with no client to rant and rave and tell him that he deleted the best part. Speaking of studio time, Iíve begun recording songs for my new album - and what songs they are! I am SO glad I took my time writing over these last few years, because some songs have come to me that are beyond anything I could have even hoped for. Even as long as Iíve written songs, I am always amazed at what is allowed to come through me, the depth of meaning, the grandeur and intimacy of lyrics and the melodies that move through me for weeks and weeks as Iím writing them.

Right now, I can only afford a few hours of studio time here and there, so I'm planning to do a crowd funding campaign to finish it, but I thought I should at least get a good running start at it so youíd know that I mean bidnis. Iím glad Iím doing it this way because it allows the record to evolve over a few months, which gives me the opportunity to live with certain versions and make choices that I think will be best for the final recording.

As you may have noticed in the last couple of years, I have not written here on my website as often. I apologize for that if youíve come looking and found nothing but old news. There have been a couple of reasons for that. One is that my webmaster and friend, Brian Dina, was going through a long healing after a major surgery to remove cancer. So weíve kept the online duties to a minimum. Iím very pleased that Brian has been doing well and that weíre able to get together more often. He will be all over my new album, as he has created and arranged some of the most beautiful guitar accompaniment to my songs that anyone has ever done. It will be a pleasure to have his guitar recorded alongside mine.

Though I have not written here as often, it is a rare day that I do not post a story, some insight or humor on my FB page. For those of you who are not into f******k as I call it for you especially, please know that I would not waste my time or energy there doing anything that was not filled with love and humor and good will. You do not have to be a member of FB, you donít have to ďfriendĒ me or anyone else. My page is open to the world and no one has to sign up or leave a sign of their passing. Just visit and read. I really think you will be very glad you did.

Below is something I wrote recently, a story that came to mind when I ran across an old photo of me standing in front of the Beverly Theater the night before my very first Los Angeles concert. I think youíll enjoy it. In the meantime, please know you can always email me and I will always respond. mt@michaeltomlinson.com I greatly appreciate your support, knowing that youíve listened to my music and shared it with friends and that you send me good will. It matters a lot to me and has been a part of helping me to write songs and record them and sing for my living all these years.

One last thing; if you have a friend or loved one going through a difficult time of loss or illness - yourself included - please allow me to email an uplifting song and a kind note. Iím more than happy to do this. All you do is to write me c/o mt@michaeltomlinson.com Include first/last name, city and email address. Iíll email a song and note quickly after. I wish you a lovely springtime and peace in your heart.

Your friend in breezy Seattle,
   ~Michael Tomlinson

PS, below is my story from this morning - enjoy.

IN 1986 I PLAYED MY FIRST LOS ANGELES CONCERT. There was one station in all of vast LA that played me, a sort of R&B/Jazz station, and hearing that they played 5 songs off of my first album was inconceivable to me. My first album was on my own label and I had found national distribution through a company who felt that I could bring in an audience in Los Angeles. So I called the manager of the Beverly Theater, a 1300 seat hall that to many people was legendary, an historic venue that I wish still existed. The manager of the theater knew of my radio play and he had shown interest in my performing there. I was doing a lot of my own booking and negotiating then - as I do to this day - and we talked for a few minutes about a show. He seemed very interested and after scuffing our shoes in the dirt for a few minutes, the subject of the deal came up. He said, ďWell, what kind of a deal are you looking for?Ē I said, ďBill, what would make you happy?Ē Silence. . . More silence. I believe he felt that Iíd misspoken for a minute. Then he said, ďWell, what Iíd really LIKE would be a 50/50 split,Ē and he said it almost as if it was a pie in the sky wish. I said, ďBill thatís sounds great to me, letís do it.Ē Silence again. Then Bill spoke something that has stayed with me all these years. ďMichael, in 25 years of negotiating deals in the music business, nobody, not one single soul, has ever asked me what would make me happy.Ē I laughed so hard when he said that. Because it had been so easy to do.

My concert nearly sold out. I think we had about 1150 people there. And what a band I had. The record distributor had found a music director for me; keyboard player, T Lavitz of the well known Dixie Dreggs. T knew everybody and for my band that night in L.A., my first appearance in one of the great performing cities on earth, my band consisted of members of the bands of Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Dixie Dreggs and Bruce Hornsby. Wow. We did two days of rehearsals and as I recall, the versions they played sounded almost nothing like my one and only record, Run This Way Forever. But it just didnít matter. I was standing onstage in LA singing for an audience that acted as if they knew me from way back when and were so very happy I was returning.

Two things particularly stunned the music bidnis types who came to my concert that night; one was that I spent a long intermission in the lobby with the audience - which was much more rare in those days, two; more than a third of my audience was African American - due to the one station that was playing me, KUTE - who had a huge following.

This morning I came upon this photo that my friend Rick Grant took the night before my concert and these memories all started flowing back to me. The wonder of those times and how I could barely imagine that I was getting such opportunities, this kid from Amarillo who couldnít even tell you what chords he was playing, somehow I got this wonderful opportunity to perform for thousands of people all over the country and the world. I still donít know how it happened, but Iím very pleased that I still get to do this. Without radio and record companies behind me these days, I donít get those great large audiences, but thatís okay. I donít know many people who for over 30 years have made their living writing songs they love, recording them and putting together small concerts here and there around the country.

As for that first negotiation, the one where I asked Bill what would make him happy. I use that in my life all the time and I highly recommend it. ďWhat would make you happy?Ē You are not promising that youíll be able to offer it, but maybe you will. And you never know until you ask. Perhaps what the person youíre negotiating with wants is something you would be very happy to give - it would be a shame to never find that out and not be able to see how happy they are when you say yes.
   ~ Michael Tomlinson

   
Winter 2014 

I RECEIVED A VERY UNEXPECTED GIFT ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. Before I drove out to visit friends in Snoqualmie, I wandered around my area of Seattle looking for a place to have breakfast. There was nothing open of course, but I remembered that Tullyís Coffee is often open on Christmas morning, so I drove to one near U-Village and was happy to see the lights on and a few people inside. I walked in and there was a table of elderly folks with a ten year old girl delighting them. And over in the corner, in the comfortable chairs next to the Christmas tree, sat the only other person, a grizzled old fellow in his late 70s, with a stubbly beard and sparse white hair on his head. As I walked over with my coffee, he looked up at me from his writing pad and said something welcoming. He nodded over to the young girl across the room and said, ďShe is pure delight and love, that girl. She comes in here with her grandpa and just blesses everyone in the room every time.Ē

I was absolutely astonished at such real expression, so loving and open hearted and beautiful right up front. I said, ďI have a friend who told me long ago, Ďfor some reason, I never lost the Divine connection as a child.Ē The man lit up and said, ďThatís good!Ē Then he turned to write it down. He looked up at me, into my eyes, and said, ďMan! Youíre wide open! You KNOW, donít you?Ē I knew what he meant, but when is the last time a person in a coffee shop ever got so directly and immediately to the point of something real? He reminded me of me, because I often do that. Itís not a stunt, itís not to impress, itís just that I share what comes up whenever it comes to me. I canít be any other way than to really look into a personís soul when we talk.

His name was Bob and our conversation continued to inspire and delight us both for the entire visit. We talked for over an hour with no one else coming into the restaurant. As I listened to him and shared my own thoughts, I was actually thinking, ďThis man is a gift from the Universe, a sign of awakening and love.Ē I have been meditating much more often and let me tell you my friends, the changes in life are extraordinary when you do that. The thousands of anxious thoughts that arise in your mind every day? Almost entirely gone when you take the time to meditate. And the gifts and signs seem to come more and more often, things you cannot deny are actual gestures from Life Itself directly guided to you.

After an hour, Bobís friend arrived, who he had come to meet. And strangely, a friend of mine I hadnít seen in two years arrived too. I gave Bobís friend my seat so they could talk and I moved over to visit with my friend. Thirty or forty minutes later I got up to leave and walked over to Bob. He stood up to shake my hand, this 77 year old man who had inspired me greatly on Christmas morning, and I reached around and gave him a big hug. He did the same with me. I told him he was the best Christmas gift I could have asked for and that I was so grateful weíd met.

As I left there to drive out to Snoqualmie, I was filled with wonder and gratitude and gladness. You just do not know where your next gift will come from in this life. I was telling a friend from California, in another coffee shop today, about this great encounter and how, though I always hug my friends, male and female, I could not ever remember meeting a man in a coffee shop for the first time and knowing there was no way on earth I was leaving there without giving him a big hug. I will remember that for a long time.
   ~ Michael Tomlinson
Howdy My Friends,
for stories, humor and day-to-day updates click here
Spring into
Summer
2015 
Howdy my friends, YAY! I have just launched my long-planned Kickstarter Campaign and I am so excited to watch it develop and bring me closer to recording my new album.  I have been formulating my ideas and plans for this for over two years because it is truly the most important step Iíve taken with my music since my decision to leave the traditional record business back in the early 90s. Crowd funding is now much more than a way to raise money to finance a project, itís a way to create excitement, a way to build a community and to spread awareness. The potential is much greater than with almost anything else I could do right now. However, it will flop without the involvement of those of you who read this and who enjoy my music and writing - and the things I share in my life. 
No one will be letting me down who does not feel drawn to help. Please know that and believe it. I am simply asking for those who feel moved to, to share word of my music and this project with your friends ó and perhaps to do it a few times over the 48 days my project will be in motion. There is a psychology involved in seeing the amount raised moving higher over the weeks. Success breeds success. So early involvement is very important ó as well as consistent word of mouth and sharing. I will be sending out word several times to my mail list and frequently posting updates here on fb. If I am not deeply committed to this vision, then how could I expect anyone else to be? 

With Kickstarter, if I do not reach my goal amount, I will receive NO money and everyone who has participated by purchasing any rewards will automatically receive a refund of their money. Yes, itís a gamble for me to go with a system that works this way, but there is also the chance ó as has happened with some musicians ó that I may greatly exceed my goal. And what that can mean is not only more money to spend in the studio, but more money to promote the album and to support my touring over the next year. My goal is to go out on several small tours and to play cities in all parts of the U.S. Without backing that is very difficult to do, but if I exceed my goal amount, I plan to put the bulk of the money into live performances. I want to go out and play for as many people as I can around the country.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP;
(1) Write an email to your friends and send to everyone on your list. If you have personal experience with my music, my writing, the things I share with the world, writing in your own words about this and sharing it with your friends is extremely helpful to me. 
(2) ďLikeĒ my Facebook posts frequently when I am writing about my Kickstarter campaign. And share them often.
(3) Of course, Participating in Purchasing One or More of My Rewards is extremely helpful, that is how I will make this work. Iíll have levels from a few bucks all the way up to the Kickstarter limit of $10,000. There are some very creative rewards that all involve my personal involvement and investment. 
(4) Hold the vision. This is maybe the most important. Even if you never share word or purchase a single reward, will you hold a vision of this succeeding? Imagine it already happening and successful beyond my dreams. The projects that succeed with the most flying colors often receive great press and exposure. That in itself could be invaluable, as once this album is finished, I will need to get word of it out all over the world. 

I'll let you know the exact date - any day now. Unless there is some delay with Kickstarter, I plan to end this campaign on Fatherís Day, June 21 at 11pm. I wanted to pick a memorable end time and Fatherís Day it is. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind support. When you hear what this album will be, the rich depth of the songs, the contributions of world class musicians from around the world, I know youíll be proud to have been a part of creating such beauty in a world that needs loving, uplifting music and a message of kindness. All along I have held as my highest goal in planning this project; inspiration. I knew that I would have to inspire people in order to spark their involvement. I believe when you see it, you will feel that.

Your friend,
   ~ Michael Tomlinson
Howdy My Friends,
for stories, humor and day-to-day updates click here
Summer 2015 
I am so happy to announce that my 60-day crowd funding campaign was a huge success. I asked for $70,000 to fund the recording of my new album, to provide a little promotion afterwards, and to tour next year, playing several concerts around the U.S. to support it. It was a long 60 days, because for it to work I knew that I had to stay with it, to keep posting messages and updates, answering questions and emails. More than anything, I believed that the only way I could succeed is if I could inspire you to be a part of it. I did my best, posting humor and stories and insights daily on my FB page and posting videos of parts of several of the songs on Youtube that will be on the album. About a week before the deadline we surpassed the goal. What a great relief! Because with Kickstarter, if you fall even a dollar short, you do not receive the money and no one is charged for their pledge. To my amazement, people kept backing my rewards even after I crossed the goal line. Every day the total kept rising. I knew many folks around the country and around the world were watching and it seemed that some had held back until the very end, wanting to help me make that final leap. Then just the day before it was to end, one generous soul pledged my highest priced reward; $10,000 to write a song for someone he loves dearly. What a surprise that was. It is the highest reward Kickstarter allows, though most artists do not sell that one. I just put it out there because a close friend said I should. So now, along with working on my album over the next few months, I will be creating this new song for the family who backed that reward.

I want to thank you all for your good will. I know that many could not afford to take part. I completely understand that. I made my rewards as inviting as I could, including some personal investment of myself into each of them. But I knew that it is rare in life for people to take part in such an endeavor and that it would be a great task to get it to succeed. I greatly appreciate those who did pledge, but also, I am grateful to those of you who just held the vision and encouraged me and shared with friends. It all counted. I felt like I was watching a great wonder take shape and I know many of you did too.

Now Iím about to go into the studio, next week in fact, and begin working up my songs with accompaniment. Iím excited about it, but itís also intimidating. Itís a vast task that canít be accomplished until you dive in. So here I go. I will finish it this fall and send it to all the backers first, then make it available to the general public. If youíre not on my email list, please, please get on it. I never sell or share my list. Iíll send you early notice for the new album, upcoming concerts and retreats and other events Iím working on. Just click on the Mail list link on my homepage or send me an email with first/last name, city, state and email address.

Thank you for taking the time to visit me here. I really appreciate that you did. 
Your friend in breezy Seattle,

   ~ Michael

     PS, you may email me any olí time at mt@michaeltomlinson.com

   
Wintertime 2015-2016
Howdy my friends,


Iíve been the the studio since August, creating a new album of songs that Iím so excited to be recording. I thought Iíd be through by the end of November, but it looks like it will take most of December to get each song done. I promise it will be worth the wait. First of all, this will be the largest album, with the most songs, of any Iíve ever released. These songs have a quality of love and light in them, gorgeous melodies and rich accompaniment, that make me feel they are overall my best work of my lifetime. I guess thatís the way it should be, but when it happens, itís a great surprise.

Also, in early December I will have completed a year of regular meditations. It has changed my life, taking an hour or more most days to sit quietly and flow into meditation. The changes are subtle in some ways, more of a sense of peace and well being. But at times I see the changes in larger, more obvious ways. I truly believe one of the main reasons my Kickstarter project succeeded, is because of my meditating. Because of meditating, in times of upheaval I have noticed that I come to calmness so much sooner than I would have in the past that it is almost astonishing to me. So I have been able to carry with me a lighter mood and more peaceful essence. Once you start to feel gifts like these, you just like your life better and donít want to stop.

If some of you missed out on my Kickstarter campaign last summer, raising money for my album, I am making some of those rewards available again. You can just go directly through me by CLICKING HERE and order whichever reward appeals to you. I appreciate any and all support and will use the funds to promote this new album and play as many concerts as I can around the country. Your help can make a big difference, as you know how expensive it is to travel.

Iíll have more to write soon, when the record is finished. I just wanted to wish you peace and to thank you for your good will. I hope this coming Christmas Season is a loving and gentle one for you.

Your friend in sunny, but crispy Seattle,
  ~Michael


PS, for daily updates, stories & humor, stop by my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/michael-tomlinson

   

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