Today is Lauri Paisley’s birthday. What’s so special about that? Lauri was an electronic music composer back in the mid eighties. Through a fan magazine, I learned of her first LP, The Fire of Dreams. Not only did I buy a copy for myself but I gave several away as gifts and one to the local university station.
Lauri and I carried on a correspondence which only lasted about two years. We wrote each other and also sent each other cassette letters. Mainly, we discussed the music industry but we also told each other about our personal activities.
As time passed, Lauri began complaining about her lack of success. Hauling her mountain of gear around to various gigs in the Elizabeth, New Jersey area sprained her back. In fact, she woke up one morning and was unable to get out of bed for a while. That really frightened her.
In addition to the problem of being her own roady, Lauri felt hard done by because of the CD revolution. She felt that everybody wanted CDs rather than the vinyl records she invested plenty of money into. CDs were touted as being scratch-proof, higher fidelity, and almost indestructible. Lauri felt stuck with boxes of LPs which weren’t selling.
Finally, Lauri told all her correspondents that she was quitting music. She had an episode on stage one night where her mind went blank in the middle of a piece. Therefore, she decided to end her musical career. She, who once begged correspondents to “give her mail man a hernia,” now wanted nobody to write to her.
While I understand her profound disappointment, myself having two books which barely sold any copies, I realize her reaction to constant failure was churlish. She could have continued corresponding with fans and friends without continuing to flog her LPs and cassette tapes. Instead, she chose to cut us all off and she rebuffed any attempts to continue corresponding with her.
I certainly don’t plan on doing that to any of my contacts. In the past, I’ve continued my correspondence with electronic music friends and musicians long after I stopped composing tunes. Though I haven’t sold many books, I have no intension of slamming the door in the faces of my friends like Lauri did. I’ll still sell my paperbacks, though I won’t have any new copies printed for now, and I still have CD-Rs of most of my albums available.
If you’re curious about my music, I’ve made videos for some tracks and uploaded them to YouTube. I’ve also uploaded many tracks to SoundCloud. Additionally, you’re welcome to check out my three memoirs at the Bruce Atchison’s Books page as well as at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books.