Posts Tagged ‘Donna Gurda’

Hard Luck Jollies – FINALLY!

April 15, 2010

Wednesday April 14th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL/Milwaukee, WI

Whoo Hoo! I’ve been pumped up before, but rarely like today. I’ve been positively and absolutely giddy all day and the grin on my puss just won’t go away.  My brand spanking new comedy CD “Hard Luck Jollies” is now available for sale at the competitive price of $13 postpaid in the continental United States of America – slightly more for Zimbabwe.

What a hell ride it’s been to get this project FINALLY done, and I can now see why it’s so difficult for bands to stay together for extended periods of time. This one took so long to finish, I almost broke up with myself. It may not be “Thriller”, but at least it’s finished.

The worst part of all is that I’ve had some stupendously sizzling shows in the time since the last copy of the previous one ran out to today’s rejuvenation and rebirth. I shudder as I think of how many copies I could have sold between then and now and it’s probably up in the hundreds. That translates in cash to thousands, and the only one to really blame is me.

Yes, I had problems with my ex business partner and all the ugliness that went with that plus I sold the rights to my first CD outright to Laughing Hyena Records and don’t own it anymore. Those two things contributed to the gap in time along with some reasons on the other side with both the artwork and Donna Gurda who was the producer of this project.

Donna’s mother passed away and she had to attend to all that goes with that, and Pedro Bell’s artwork became an issue when his business partner embezzled from him and put an additional unexpected damper on the project. Any one of those things would be extremely frustrating, but all together it nearly choked out the whole project. I am thrilled it didn’t.

I had to keep plugging or it would never have gotten finished at all, and I’m very glad I did. Donna did a great job on the disc along with Mark Heleniak at EarMark Productions. She used to produce Tom Green’s music projects and she knows what she’s doing, along with Mark. They worked hard and were worth every penny I spent. I appreciate their help.

Pedro Bell’s cover artwork is also fantastic, even though I wasn’t able to get it colorized fully. It’s really intricate cartoon work, and after a lot of testing it was decided to just add color to the name logo for me he created and the words ‘Hard Luck Jollies’. The logo was modeled directly after the logo for the group Funkadelic. Anyone who’s a fan will know.

There are some things I’d change on the packaging just as there are on my last one but it won’t be noticed by anyone but me. It looks very presentable and sounds crisp. Nobody is going to know or care how many delays there were with this, they’ll just enjoy the results, or at least I hope they will. The last one went over very well, and this one is an upgrade.

The good thing is, this won’t happen again any time soon. I’ve already got ideas for the next one and I talked to Donna and Mark about it today as I dropped off copies of this one up in Milwaukee. We’ve got a lot more recordings to go through and there’s enough there for at least one but possibly even two more projects like this so I’m set for at least a bit.

I’ll keep cranking out product as much and as often as I can, but I won’t whore myself. I want to keep some kind of quality control and not just slap anything together. This took it up a notch, and I want to keep doing that as long as I can. I know there’s a lot more in me, and hopefully I can use these recordings to develop more of a fan base, like a musician.

Now is when the real work starts though. I’ve had some solid support from Sirius/XM Satellite Radio and I hope they’ll continue to showcase my newer offerings. Some of the material is the same from the first one to these next two or three, but I did it in a different way. Plus, there’s new stuff added in there too. I purged myself of everything I had in me.

I also have to restock websites that have sold my product like CD Baby and quite a few others like http://www.comedyhome.com and http://www.laugh.com. Those were also years ago and I wasn’t the contact person, my ex partner was. I’ll have to dive in and do all of this myself even though none of this is my field of expertise. For now, I need to be in charge of it all.

I’ll put the word out on Facebook and myspace and I’m even doing it here on my daily diary, which I normally don’t use to plug anything blatantly. This time I have to put it all aside and market this thing. I was always shy about it before, but people liked it and I am still getting compliments from it seven years later. This new one will not be a stink bomb.

I also have to find a way to put it up on my website and have people buy it there. I have no idea how to do that, and I didn’t ask my friend Shelley today when I picked the boxes up from her house. I had them sent there because there’s always someone home watching her kids. She’s also been a gigantic help lately and I appreciate all her efforts immensely.

I appreciate everyone who has contributed to this entire project from Donna and Mark to Pedro’s artwork and also Greg Phelps in Indianapolis who put the whole package into completion mode from getting all the design and art finished to getting the printing done. His company is called Tridigital Solutions and I recommend them for all your CD needs.

The main regret I have is not being able to thank everyone I wanted to thank. The inner sleeve would have had to have been 20 feet long, and I couldn’t afford that. Still, I’m very thankful for all who contributed in whatever way they did. I’ve had a lot of support from a variety of people and I am humbled, flattered and owe them a debt of sincere gratitude.

There’s also a Mr. Lucky song written and performed by my friend Joe Dell’Orfano and a one on one interview with Jerry Agar recorded in the WGN studios. I’m a fan of a lot of people, and an interview is always interesting to me so I put one on hoping somebody else feels the same way I do about it. All in all, this is a jam packed CD chock full of stuff that I’d want to get if I was buying a comedy CD. That’s a formula that’s worked in the past.

This is a milestone, and I love it. One CD isn’t easy to do. Two is twice as hard. Three’s extremely rare, so that’s the next goal. I think I can do it, especially since it’s already been recorded. If you’d like a copy of Hard Luck Jollies, I’ll gladly sign it for you. Please send $13 to: Dobie Maxwell P.O. Box 618 Lake Villa, IL 60046. I totally appreciate all orders.

Living A King’s Life

March 20, 2010

Friday March 19th, 2010 – Milwaukee, WI

If nothing else, at least I’ve got variety in my life. I’ve got all these projects going on in all different directions, but I enjoy every one of them immensely. The struggle to manage it all will probably continue for the rest of my life, but it’s better than being bored to tears.

I was watching one of those “Lockup” inside prison shows on MSNBC tonight and that made me feel a whole lot better about my life. I saw some guy with forty years to serve go nuts and plug the toilet in his cell so it flooded the entire floor, and then he was extracted violently with tear gas by a bunch of guards in riot gear. It made my life feel like a king‘s.

In many ways, it totally is. For all the things that I haven’t been able to control, comedy is one that I could. And I did. I never stopped working and improving and no matter what happens, nobody can ever take that away from me. There’s such an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment that goes with it, I can’t put it into words. It’s taken a lifetime to achieve.

I’ll never be totally satisfied, and that’s a good thing. It’ll always keep me working, but I love the process so I’m fine with it. It’s who I am and what I do. I look forward to being creative, and finding solutions to my problems, and I’m in an excellent groove right now.

I’ve had so many ups and downs over the years that sometimes I lose track of important things, but right now I have razor sharp perspective for some reason. I’m seeing things on a level I’ve rarely seen them, and it excites me. I suppose I could have ended up in prison at some point, and nothing guarantees I still won’t, but right now I’d be able to handle it.

Why do I feel this positive and confident? Is it the manic part of manic depression? Am I seeing life in a new light as I get older? Have I totally flipped like an omelet and am in a delusional self induced hypno-funk of deceit? Whatever it is, give me this vision forever.

I feel totally at home in my own skin right now. Warts and all, I see who I am and know I don’t mean half a chipmunk turd in the giant zoo of life. Nothing matters except making myself happy, and I’ve found what does that – making others happy by entertaining them.

That sounds corny, but it’s absolutely true. I love to create and doing that correctly takes constant learning and growth. It also occupies my time, but in a good way. The days go by quickly, but when they’re over and I’ve put in my time doing what I love, I feel satisfied.

That’s what I did today. I drove up to Milwaukee to meet with Richard Halasz about the ‘Schlitz Happened’ show. I feel a nice synergy with him and we brainstormed about some things we can do to make the show better. After that I went to meet with Donna Gurda for more of the same. She could help tremendously on this project, and I think she’ll do that.

I’ve still got Uranus Factory Outlet on the docket, as well as comedy classes, two radio projects, a new comedy CD just days away and I have a seminar tomorrow in downtown Chicago that talks about reinvention. Something tells me to attend, so I will. It can’t hurt.