I received an email from a stranger on the last day of SXSW that immediately put a huge smile on my face. (How often do emails from strangers put a smile on my face? Rarely ever, I assure you.) I quickly forgot about the email during the madness that is Austin in March and came across it again today. The author and I just had a lovely little email exchange whereupon he gave me permission to post the original email:
Dear The Orchard
I am writing to thank you for sending me my first significant payment. The check was for about $88 dollars. This is a very big deal for me. THANK YOU.
I have been receiving checks from The Orchard since about 1997/8 when I first discovered you. All checks were for single digits, but you kept mailing them anyway, even though the administrative costs to you were likely way more than the value of the check to me.
THANK YOU FOR KEEPING ME IN YOUR MAGIC ROLODEX ALL THESE YEARS.
I have been in the music biz since I was a kid. I never had a penny to show for it until that last check. What ever monies were previously made, went to everyone else involved – musicians, roadies, producers, transport, etc etc. I’ve had many skirmishes over the years, with major labels, publishers, agents, managers, indie labels, – I had charted hits, toured, joined bands, quit bands, made records, had radio play and so on and so on.
Today, I still feel like a ghost but more like a ghost that got paid !!! That is amazing to me. I have no active presence – on facebook, on youtube, on myspace, on twitter, – no website, no agent, label, manager, publisher – nothing. However, I am still very creative, if not more so than before. I have written a new album too. Sometimes I’ll go out and play an open mic but I have not done real gigs for years, since I have certain physical limitations that have made it much harder to perform the way I like to perform.
Now and again I Google myself just to see what The Orchard has done for me. I now have two Google pages all to myself, thanks to you. I am astounded. I hope I can stay with The Orchard till I drop, and from there, into the Great Beyond. The Orchard is truly a living organism – with roots that now span the globe – and I am a part of that orchard, and have been since the beginning. I am proud and honored to be with you.