Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 31-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.
Continued from Vol. 348
I want to avoid time-shares, non-profits, mortgages, debt, multiple owners, board meetings, votes etc. I am not pre-disposed to these things. I am not interested in conventional land ownership. One could say, “Pardon me? I’m buying Jean Smith a fancy house? What happens if she sells it? Where does the money go?”
First of all, we’re talking small donations to make something big happen that can serve many people over a lot of years. Maybe, if it goes well, we can afford to pay transportation to and from. Yes, it’s a business. A company, limited company, personal property—I took Law 11 in high school, but I’ll have to brush up on these things. I don’t have anyone to leave it to (no kids etc.) so it could be passed on to continue to benefit artists in the future. Personally, I’d like to do something with my solid reputation. I want to use the connections Mecca Normal has made for something other than updates on our record releases and tour dates.
This is where a degree of trust comes in with the “who I am” thing. I’m not running a Ponzi scheme. Just Googled it. It isn’t a Ponzi scheme because there will be no returns or interest paid on investments and no way to get your $5 ($10, $20) back.
It is with my good intentions and heaps of inspiration, knowing full well that this will, for some time at least, take over my life entirely. Nothing about this is by-the-books sensible, but it’s also possible and I want to see if it can be done. Me, the lady who stays home with the phone unplugged who goes to bed early is now maybe rested up enough to fling open the doors of a place so big and wild and exciting and invite prit near everyone on the planet to come over and set a spell on the wrap-around veranda. Lemonade for 100,000, Jeeves!
As you may know, many residency programs require a fee to apply. Lord only knows how they select writers, for instance, but it seems to be ones with glowing reviews in top publications and many awards to their name. I’m thinking more about writers who have to work at stupid jobs, who have minimal creative time, whose work isn’t entirely focused on mainstream or commercial success. I’m thinking about a model in which everyone who contributes initially can consider their application fee waived. A variety of accommodation requests can be flexible to accommodate real life concerns including loss of housing, spontaneity, time away from work, inspiration etc. – to reflect how artists actually live.
I haven’t even gotten to the good part yet. On Tuesday, October 13, I had an extraordinary phone conversation with a very keen fellow from Kickstarter. He loves the idea for the same reasons I’m excited by it. For its visionary nature. He has enthusiastically OK’ed a campaign to raise $500,000 to purchase property. He has ideas for promoting the concept and encouraging contributors to spread the word. This campaign will likely be launched in February or March (unless something happens that makes that impossible). I will be documenting its trajectory in video.
“Beppo’s Room” from the album Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):