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"Has-Beens Wanted"


Hold it! 
I'm not calling you a has-been. 
You haven't been "selected". 
Thousands of people will get this email. 
I know some of you are sitting on your yachts 
saying "Who is this jerk?" 
Others of us are tapping on the backs of our heads 
to see the numbers on our digital clocks jump up and down. 

I'm not touchy about the phrase "has-been". 
It's still better than a "never-was". 

What great music we made in the old days! Right? 
These younger twerps don't even know what music is! 
Well, let's stop leaning on the old days. 
These are the new days, 
and we can still cut the twerps up and spit them out. 

Has-beens is the only word for what we were. 
We had once been the number one country recording act in the world, 
and were now playing Holiday Inns in small towns, 
and getting fired a lot. 
Things have changed. 

I'm writing this mainly for all the older artists 
who are watching reruns of Hawaii 5-0 
instead of getting their careers back on track. 

We've released about seventy recordings in the past year and a half. 
I'm talking about songs, or tracks. 
Five CD albums and around 10 singles on compilations. 

It has brought our career back to life. 
That's why we titled our first album "Back From the Dead, Vol.2". 
The Volume 2 part is just our little joke. 
There is no Volume 1 yet. 
Maybe later. 

Out of all these, only one is newly recorded: 
"Call On Me", which I wrote last year and we recorded here at the house. 
The studio musicians: Just us. 

The rest are old masters we own. 
The funny part is: 
We own them, but they don't exist. 
About half of the master tapes have been lost over the years, 
and the rest have deteriorated beyond repair. 
The first time we played them on a tape deck 
the ferrous oxide all came off on the heads. 

We tried to figure out what to do, 
and we came up with this: 
Take them off our old vinyl records! 

It sounds great, but we had no idea how to do it. 
A guy in Jacksonville restored the tracks for "Back From the Dead, Vol. 1". 

We watched him do it. 

I have since remastered the whole album. 
I learned how to do it myself, 
and saw his mistakes. 

So, we have a ton of material on the air around the world, 
we're doing restoring and mastering for a number of labels, 
and are back where we belong: 
in the music business. 

Dig out your old records! 
It doesn't matter if we restore them 
or somebody else does it, 
as long as they are crystal clean and beautiful, 
and sound like they were recorded this afternoon. 
There are some great indie labels that would love to have you. 
Your life's work, your music, will be preserved 
and heard by people around the globe. 

How many royalty payments have you received from those 
labels you were on 10, 20, 30 years ago? 
It's YOUR art, 
and after a number of years their rights to it runs out. 

If they sue you, they may have to prove they've paid you. 
Nuts to them. 
They probably erased your masters to make tape space, 
or they don't even know they have them. 

In our case, we always produced our own, and own them, 
although, as I said, they don't exist. 
But the vinyl sure does! 

Let's not settle for being has-beens. 
Let's show them who we are now. 

By the way, 
we were on TNN with Ralph Emery a few years ago, 
and he asked us where we'd been all those years. 
I said, "We've been living in a cardboard box in Central Park." 
Ralph said, "I think I'll talk to Misty." 
During the show he asked the title of our next album. 
We didn't even have a hope of a next album, but I said: 
"We ought to call it 'Back From the Dead'." 

Ralph hates to interview me. 

Copyright  July 13, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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