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I don’t like tuesdays

Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Autumn has just arrived here, I know this for sure as I saw that all the leaves seem to be falling of the trees, it’s dark, cold and I’m at a loose end. This seems to always be the time of year where I am finishing things up looking forward to the next things which are lined up for me to do. But this year is a little different because, sure, I’ve still a bunch of stuff to finish up but I have nothing on my horizon except, well I guess, clearing up the aforementioned leaves which have fallen in my garden. Now, for me, that’s a rather unsettling thought as I really don’t like much about the garden except the view from indoors. So what’s my point?. My point is I’d love to be doing some concerts or getting involved in something which stimulates me and helps me to appreciate how lucky I am to have a job like this. But the sad truth is that no matter how many people pop up every now and again offering help, when it becomes obvious that they are not going to get rich working with me they seem to disappear very quickly. This has been true recently of a few people. who have entered my life briefly, given me hope of something better and then just as swiftly, fucked off. Now, I’m not someone ungrateful, in fact gratitude, I believe, is one of the fundamental parts of my make up, one of the few things that distinguishes me, in my head at least, from a whole bunch of greedy cock-sucking music business whores, the likes of which I’ve known well in the last twenty five years or so. The key word that I’m trying to work into this entry is, of course, support, something which is sadly lacking at the moment as far as the business of being Robin Guthrie is concerned. I have so much support from fans of my music. Some of them are very charitable indeed with their comments and some even appear to have bought, or at least, listened to some of my recent music. But all this praise, while being very lovely, doesn’t really help me find concerts, record labels, agents, management or any of that stuff which I’ve never been any good at. I guess people assume that I have a team of dedicated individuals around me doing all that stuff but the truth is that I’m just a man alone trying to make the world a more beautiful place with my music and at the same time trying to avoid getting a proper job. You see, I’m not a very outgoing person so the self promotion part of being me doesn’t really work too well. No it doesn’t work at all. Maybe that’s why the praise actually hinders me. When I read some of the comments about me that people write on My Space I could be fooled into believing that I’m someone who knows what the fuck is going on and am obviously on top of things. Ha! What difference does it make to me in my life today that someone liked my music for the last twenty years if I ultimately am unable to perform or continue to make music? OK, it’s nice, I admit, to be on the receiving end of praise, but I think it fucks with my head and starts to make me believe that I actually deserve more for my music than what I am able to achieve at the moment. Which brings me to a rather inconclusive conclusion which is that without real help from people, management or just people with enthusiasm, I’m stuck fast in a very isolated and insular world, where I just create as if in a vacuum, closing my eyes and mind to a world outside my studio, with the exception of the well worn path to my espresso machine.
Now I’ll probably regret this post as I probably come over as someone full of self pity when actually I have the best job in the world, but not to worry, I can delete it when I feel less down about things. In short, it seems really odd to me that I live in France, but can’t get a record released here or a single show, I have an agent in the US but he seems unwilling or unable to find me a single concert there, I have many, many artists who ask me to produce them but only a select few who would consider paying me for my work, probably down to the same fact that they assume I’m, I don’t know, well off and have lots of dedicated individuals, etc etc etc…Ha! Again . OK, I’m starting to be unreasonable but, hey, my friend Jack in San Francisco told me that it’s good to live your life in an unreasonable way. Perhaps I need to live in a city or be more in touch with things but then perhaps I’d not have the freedom to create as I do now and I wouldn’t really like to exchange that freedom just for schmoozing with music biz people. I’d probably exchange it for late night shopping but that’s another matter altogether…
OK that’s got all that negativity out of my system so I’ll hopefully make it through the rest of the day without putting my fingers in a power outlet or jumping in front of a fast moving heard of goats as they pass through this fucking village. Now I’m all juiced up and just in the mood to mix some beautiful, meandering, pastoral, seven minute piano and guitar instrumental, yup that’s going to be easy, isn’t it? Now, not particularly because I believe it’s relevant but more because I’m out of coffee, I’ll briefly mention that I’m about two thirds of the way through mixing the new recordings that I’ve made with Harold Budd. I had a couple of days off from that project over the weekend to mix another track that I’ve recorded with Annie Barker when she was last over here. Still no word from France Inter to know when, if ever, they will broadcast the session I did a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been playing with my new camera and considering taking some time to start another animation project which will surely be just like the last one but a different colour…. No telephone calls offering me a chance to play, no email offering anything except fake Rolex’s and Viagra. Nada. Thank goodness I have friends…

20 Responses to “I don’t like tuesdays”

  1. bimbo

    Happy Halloween!

  2. beardie

    Happy Halloween to you as well dear ….

  3. james

    think we need to get you out here for another show and a good night of fun,

  4. Roberto

    Are u out of coffee? Well there’s some on it’s way to France!!! Maybe it will add some tropical colors to your autumn.

    Pura Vida from Costa Rica!

  5. haggis


  6. sean

    happy halloween robin…i am sorry to hear that things havent been more uplifting for you latley…just have faith that you will find more opportunity… i will soon come…and dont worry about the number of fools who you have worked with that don’t truly know .. feel .. or understand your work…for your work truly does speak to others…stay beautiful…sean

  7. sanfranciscojim

    sound like some magic mushrooms might help. or maybe just a good stiff drink….of course, meditation on the source of life doesn’t hurt either…..find The Guru and your troubles are over………….

  8. Blue Cobalt

    Hi Robin,

    I’ve been very sad today as well, and interestingly enough spent the day listening to Cocteau Twins for the first time in a while. I was online this evening and stumbled across your blog.

    It’s really hard being an artist in this world. Especially since you’ll never really know how much you’ve touched and affected other people. Sure you have lots of fans that tell you how much you mean to them, but you aren’t inside of them, and don’t know first-hand how deeply you’ve impacted them.

    As one of those fans, you and your art mean a lot to me. You’ve inspired me in more ways than I can express.

    I gave up pursuing music as a career a long time ago to follow my deeper passion of working to save the environment. And, I recently left LA (again) to go live on a mountain top south of San Francisco. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’m starting a new company to promote environmental awareness, and the idea of having to go out to sell myself or what I have to offer to others can be cause for great anxiety. But, we do what we do cause it’s what we do.

    Remember that it’s about being in this moment fully. Nothing else matters. Thank you for you honesty.


  9. gary

    Robin, were your lazy ass agent to get together and book you a few shows in the US to fray the airfare costs from France to the US amongst a few promoters rather than one single promoter, I’m certain I could garner interest here in my little part of America (Columbus, OH, a place you have visited a few times in your former musical endeavor) to get you a show… I for one would be fucking excited and BLESSED to be able to attend such a show. But to bring you over from France or a single date would cause insanely high ticket prices, not to mention actually paying you for your time, and the last thing we want is exhorbitant ticket prices in our fucked-up economically-strapped run-by-a-retarded-monkey part of the world.

    So if the lazy bastard gets off his arse and books you a few shows in the US, feel free to have him contact me about trying to get you a show here.

    Heck, even Gordon Sharp lived here for a couple of years, a fun guy to hang out with I must say, as you probably well know…

  10. sanfranciscojim

    Robin, glad to hear you’re feeling better. we had our big ‘Gay Halloween’ celebration here in SF last night. i didn’t leave the house though the celebration was only 2 blocks away. 10 people got shot……one seriously injured…… did you consider the mushrooms???? i happen to love stir-fried turnips…have you considered planting some vegetables? growing something to eat or smoke is very self-assuring, good hard work for the ‘ole bod, and fun for the kids, too. very meditative. grounding. i grew one tomato plant in a crack in the concrete behind my buiding here in the concrete-everywhere city. got lots of tomatoes that taste really good……Life is always trying to tell you something, but if you’re too busy listening to your thoughts, you’re not going to get the message…..message to Cobalt Blue in the ??Santa Cruz mountains…have you been to cocteautwinsforums.org?? why don’t you contact me there…

  11. Michael

    I hope you come back to San Francisco again – I’m sure Ryan and Rebecca would love to open for you again and I could make sure to get at least 10 of my friends there…

    Michael (exhausted from putting on a Haunted Garage
    for a block party in my SF neighborhood…)

  12. mateo

    but… but… but… Mr. Guthrie, you’ve enjoyed way more success and influence and critical acclaim than 99.9.9 percent of all the guitarists who’ve arisen from the heart of the Hidden Order since the birth of roknrol.
    at least you haven’t hung on to that TOO tightly, as has *ahemmm* Carlos Santana… (GAWD, puh-leez make them STOP playing songs with Carlos Santana in them!)

  13. Dennis

    I’ve found a tour manager for you. check for messages on myspace, or send me your e-mail and I’ll tell you more!

  14. steve w

    Blimey! just read your Oct. 31st blog entry whilst listening to ‘Everlasting’ and ‘Waiting For Dawn’ and er, I was a bit taken aback by your honesty really… (you don’t always get that in muso blogs do ya?) taken aback so much so I thought I would post to ya.

    I’m sorry to read you are a bit down about ‘the biz’in general. You are right – the common perception of an artist like yourself is that you are all sorted business-wise and have a team of people looking after you getting you bookings for things, turning down the constant requests for remix projects, adjusting your blinds for you when the sun is too bright etc, etc. so it’s a bit of a shame to read that isn’t really the case for you.

    Maybe it’s just a case of out of sight out of mind for these people who are supposed to be looking after the bookings and management for you…
    – pester them I guess, then pester them again.

    But would you want to be part of the London muso set again? – I see your dilemma here – lick some record company ass and be in the thick of it or remain at a distance and have limited ‘niche’ recognition.
    Can you imagine though being back in a contract where you HAVE to produce a certain number of releases per year? or HAVE to slaughter yourself on tour for the best part of year?

    If I could help gee people up a bit then I honestly would… I’d donate money as well, what the hell! (just don’t tell the missus)
    I just wish you and other similar artists would get a bit more exposure somehow… even the mainstream music press seems to have got worse hasn’t it? (although you still get a mention in Q magazine when an album comes out)
    The only hope these days is the Web really,
    or release a really crass dance track under another name?? ūüėČ

    To offer more praise you probably don’t want to hear, you are still producing some of the most beautiful and original music around that people are still buying ‘cos they want to hear it – that is the important bit.
    I guess when the punters stop buying the releases then that must be time for the major alarm bells to ring and you have a look in the job section of your local rag for grape crushing jobs or suchlike.

    anyway, keep yer pecker up. pester people to help you, get unreasonable, keep doing what you do, stuff will happen – we all hope.

    (now also getting the autumn/winter blues)

  15. 'H'

    How much would do you want to reform the Cocteau Twins to do a farewell tour? Go on, $1million for each of you with full licensing rights for T Shirts, DVD, key-rings, headbands, condoms….

    (btw, I’m not offering the $1million)

  16. S

    “Thank goodness I have friends…”

    who said you’ve got friends???

  17. eran westwood

    Dear Robin,
    I was watching Tely on a nice globally warmed November evening¬Öand while flicking through channels, chose Mysterious Skin as my viewing selection¬Önot too long into the film I indulged my curiosity by laptop¬Ö
    Who is the director? Ah¬Ö yes¬Ö Gregg Akari ¬Öhe¬ís of like mind, similar musical taste. ¬ď Got to send him music and a reel,¬Ē I thought¬Ö
    The underscore. ¬ÖFamiliar sounds ¬Ö¬ĒI love this music¬Ē I said to the missus ¬ďsound like Cocteau twins¬Ē ¬Ö(daaa) clicked away, and smiled as your name came up. I then stumbled (if it is indeed U) on your bog¬Ö

    Down to the ¬ď worn path to the espresso machine¬Ē.
    I¬Ďm completely relating empathetically to your plight. It¬ís a borderline winter blues wank fest. I¬íve been on the same deprecating trip (must be northern blood pumping not enough endorphins into the brain¬Ö.
    Perhaps it breeds creativity¬Ö. Therefore, hopefully we are excused.

    I’m a fan. Been so since, forever.
    I’m also a contemporary… a composer, producer bla bla bla…
    I’ve had success …and find myself in a bit of limbo at the moment as well.
    These days I resort to composing for advertising in order to subsidize this nasty habit.
    Regardless, relatives still ask me ( a man of 38) when am I going to get a proper job¬Ö

    But let me tell you mate …you’ve done all right…

    Many, including myself would kill to have your track record ¬Ö
    And by track record I mean, recorded history that people actually hear¬Ö
    Surly there are geniuses out there in the abyss that we never will hear or ever will, simply ¬Ďcause the stars never will align properly / meet the right agents, record co. creeps, honest distributors¬Öor have the stamina to self promote¬Ö

    (Without blowing too much smoke up ur arse)
    You sir. ¬ÖHave countless flawless recordings, influenced musical janra and musicians (including myself),
    Film score work under your belt¬Ö

    Yes¬Ö this all the past and you want to look to the future ¬Ö

    You do not live in a city and you are able to still create true music¬Ö
    From my perspective this is success¬Ö

    I live in NYC and make music dedicated to selling tampons, batteries and chewing gum for god¬ís sake¬Ö¬Ē the amount of distraction I need to avoid in order to sit down and actually record anything worth while is a challenge.
    But even though I am in what some might say the heart of the universe
    I still spend most of my time hopped up on caffeine in a tomb like environment staring at my dual monitors editing notes in my favorite program.

    I’m a music producer (at least that’s what is written on my passport and tax returns) I also cannot get paid by any band or artist that I would consider producing…(forget about labels)
    I’m going to start doing it for love, and try other means to support this love.
    After a long time about being bitter about the ¬ďthe Biz¬Ē
    I’ve started writing and recording my own body of work …
    Which keeps certain anxiety levels down¬Ö.

    Perhaps it is a case of greener on the other side of the fence…. but since I’m in NYC… and you are somewhere where there are French sheep running around ….you win!

    I’m uncharacteristically optimistic about music and its future…
    There are no rules and financial rewards to taint the process…
    You make music ¬Ďcause you have to¬Ö.

    Human ¬ďsupport¬Ē is a challenge¬Ö. I¬ím sure your phone will ring¬Ö
    Have you tried the method of staring at it for a long time?
    It does eventually. : )

    All the best, eran westwood

    Some links to check out

    (Click on sublevel as well)

    (my personal project)

  18. Indyenna (Ian)

    You just need a reinvention of the Guthrie wheel, that’s all. Autumn is kind of a downer. You just need to liven up your home, your workspace, your family, your friends. My studio used to be peach rose colored now it is a buttercream yellow on the walls, with wine colored door and trim and my workspace is cobalt blue. (Harry Potter wizard colors). I wanted these colors to reflect “inspiration” during any season. For example, it was raining in Asheville this evening and very dark overcast outside. In my studio, I can go in there and feel uplifted because of my color schemes that I executed.

    It is never too late to learn about self-promotion and business management. Write a list of venues you like playing at in France. Play some concerts. Have them recorded. Sell “Robin Guthrie: LIVE in Monterey” DVDs at your concerts with special mixtape CD or you could have a “master class” where people can come chat with you about your songs and the process. Make a Robin Guthrie sample CD and sell them online. Get back into doing film scores with independent filmmakers.

    Fire your US agent. What good is he if isn’t getting gigs in America and you live France?

  19. Bernie Thomas

    I enjoy reading all of your blogs as you have an excellent vocabulary

  20. Lullaby League

    Elizabeth’s is better. Nothing like a new, made up language, right?