Sunday April 16, 2006




This has been a frustrating Easter, lemme tell you. We had decided to make it a working holiday and rehearse. Then I started calling Nuci's last night just to reconfirm today's appointment. I couldn't get anybody. Nuci's is almost always open. I figured, "well if they're not open tonight, they certainly won't be tomorrow". So I called Mike first thing this morning to see what he thought before he drove 200 miles to get here. He agreed that it MUST be closed for the holiday. I was a bit surprised but what else could it be? So we cancelled for today. Then I called Nuci's after business hours started and guess what? They were open and our appointment was on the books. They just closed early last night because they had no one in there.


We need to friggin' rehearse. This has gone beyond stupid. If Mike lived here in Athens, it wouldn't have been a problem AT all. We wouldn't have had to make the go forward or cancel call 3 and a half hours ahead of time. But I couldn't justify him coming up on a chance. It's not fair to him and too expensive to boot. Still - I can't verbalize my frustration. Right now I am playing better than ever. I am singing better than ever. I am more musically creative than I've ever been. I'm writing more songs than ever and those songs are better than ever. And yet - none of it matters if I can't get the three of us together to work it all out. And by the time we do get together at this rate, we'll only have time to review what we used to know so we can be ready for the next show. So I am constantly reminded why I have the no long distance band members rule. So much has been blown since we lost a local drummer. Even if Mike's a better drummer overall, it makes no difference if we can't play. John Bonham would be a great drummer for us too but I don't think I can get him to rehearsal either. It might even be less likely than getting Mike and Frank and I all together in the same place at the same time. And I'm out of town next weekend...

I will say it again...


Other than the frustration factor and the inherent depression that sets in with it, today was alright. But I'm a musician. I'm a singer / songwriter. I'm a guitarist. If I can't put those things in action, I'm not happy. And since I can't put those things in action right now, what does that make me?





Saturday April 15, 2006

Manuel Seal pulls out some of his million sellers for the UGA Music Business class...






Today was a long day...even though it was shorter than most. I had to get up at around 7 am to head out to Atlanta for the big UGA Music Business class shindig. This one featured a slew of guest speakers on two different panels (an afternoon and morning). When we got there, legendary country DJ Rhubarb Jones was energetically letting 'em have it. He was in full cry and still funny. Then the panels started. If you've ever been to one, you know what to expect. They're half boring and half fascinating. That's what we got here too. Everyone had great info - whether it was what it was like to work with Bruce Springsteen or how to run your own niche indie label. During lunch break, we were serenaded by Manuel Seal. say "never heard of 'em." Really? Well, click on his name. If you've heard radio over the past few years, you've heard his songs. Yes - he wrote those Mariah Carey and Usher songs that bled from the speakers. Seeing him stripped down to one guitar and vocal and hearing how these songs started was pretty special. Plus - we got to hear some killer new tunes that will no doubt shape the radio of '07 and beyond.

Then it was back to panel 2, which included Manuel. My favorite quote of the day was about working hard for the people you work for. As Stone Stafford said, "Servants get paid." Yep. And of course, there was all the "don't do this unless you love it" speeches and the warning about how hard it is. But those were underlined with "but if you believe in yourself, eventually someone else will and you'll get the chance."

When the dust started to clear, I had to round 'em all up for a trade shot. I couldn't help but wonder just how many millions of records this handful of people in my viewfinder had sold...

By now it was late afternoon and I was worn out. Amanda and I headed back to Athens and wound up at a pizza buffet to avoid the whole food preparation ritual. Then we vegged out with some "unofficial" music videos.







Friday April 14, 2006



Well, I finished up all the ASCAP publishing stuff that I can do for now. Andy "signed on" with me too. So I'll have to keep up with his stuff as well as Frank's. It's long as its all above board and working, I'm fine with it. I've still got to wait on Bavis to let me know the deal for the two he's on. And I've still got to track down O'Gorman for the rest. The most important songs are taken care of now, though.

Amanda got home early today and fancy that - I didn't get much work done. I wonder if those two facts are connected. Hmmmm....



Thursday April 13, 2006




Ack! See I told you. My deadline for "Goodbye Tuesday / Goodbye Yesterday" was today. It's just as well. I would've had publishing issues with it (I have a sneaky suspicion). So it didn't get done. It's just another in an endless list of opportunities that any one of us slip by every day. Hey - I think I do manage to catch a good bit of 'em. I've certainly got a better average than most folks I know (hint, hint).

So anyway - I goes to Best Buy and take my defective printer in a while back. It's under one of their fancy schmancy plans to repair or replace it. They tells me its gonna be a few weeks. So I gets the call today to come get a new printer at "even trade". Well, alright. So I get there and first I have to wait, like, an hour for one of the Geek Squad to pay attention to me standing there. Then they tells me that my "even trade" will cost me more than $100. Hmmm...luckily for them, I didn't get lunch before I wound up standing there so I was too hungry and weak to fight. Still, I wound up with a big honkin' upgrade on this here new printer. It's got all kinds of bells and whistles. Heck, it'll even print directly on a CD! Weird! So I guess I came out on top. They even talked me into getting one of those Reward Zone cards that I've always resisted. But it's cool. It cost me $9.99 but I talked 'em into throwing in $25 worth of blank glossy photo paper for me to get me to do it.

After all that, I got home and started trying to properly register all the C'mon, Accept Your Joy songs at ASCAP. I'm not only a writer member there but I've been a publisher member for just as long. The beauty is that somehow I've managed to win "Special Awards" from them every year now for more than half a decade so all of my member dues are paid plus I get a hefty profit. I also get discounts from music stores and on the road. Other than that, I haven't used it very well, though. I need to. Especially since the records getting some airplay. Of course, that means I've got to wrangle up all of my co-writers, too. I have to either get their publisher info or try and get them to use mine. I would honestly prefer they have their own because I don't want to keep up with other people's stuff for 'em but whatever it takes to get it rolling is cool. I just hope Tom Bavis isn't going to be a problem. He did so much work with me on The Critical Darlings that I gave him a little kick back on "I Know Too Much" and "I'll Be Fine" just to be nice. I certainly didn't have to do it but he earned something special. Still - because of me doing that, it could make getting the publishing worked out on those tunes more difficult. I'll hope for the best. Tom's a good guy. Surely, he'll see its to both of our benefits. I hate having my doubts but, hey, the way it ended was just too much to not bring 'em up.

Frank gave me a buzz and decided to come over in the evening. Over a mall food court dinner, he signed on to my publishing company until he gets his up and running. So that's one. Now I've still got to see how Andy Ainsworth and Tom Bavis wanna handle it. Even more difficult is the fact that I have to track down my old singer Tom O'Gorman for a few of the songs. The last time I heard from him he was in Bangkok. If he lived to make it out of there, there's no telling where he's gonna be. And finding him won't be easy I'm sure. He is, in fact, NOT the number 1 "Tom O'Gorman" on the internet.

After Frank and I had dinner, we went back to my place and worked on another new song. Tonight was "If I Could (I Guess I Should)". It's a pretty hard one but Frank's come so far that he picked it up really fast. I so can't wait to do all these new songs. I'm so proud of 'em. I just hope they all translate to live performance. We'll see...

Oh yeah - Manda's out of town these few days. A couple of times a year, her work takes her and her co-workers out of town. So I'm alone 'til the weekend. Does that mean I'll rock out all night long?

Nope - in fact, it usually means I'll get a lot more sleep than usual!



Wednesday April 12, 2006



This sucks. I was hoping to get "Goodbye Yesterday" finished but I don't think it's going to happen. I'm just too busy trying to catch everything up. Plus I'm doing some more reviews and such. In fact, my David Gilmour review went live today at Flagpole. You can check it out by clicking here (unless you've already seen it at Concert Shots)!

I'm so behind that it took me 'til today to get the show report up for the April 1 show. You can read that by clicking here.

Oh yeah - and just to brag a little bit. I'm number 1, I'm number 1! It took several years to do it but I'm finally the number 1 Chris McKay in the world according to Google! Take that noted NASA scientist! Take that San Diego DJ! Put my name in quotes or without quotes and I'm still coming up on top! Woo hoo! It may sound silly but I think that rocks. I've also managed to become tops in the search engine world for "Critical Darlings" and "Concert Shots". And again - that's with OR without quotes which is an even bigger deal for those who don't know! It wouldn't be such a big deal if I didn't have such a common name but I do and it is!




Tuesday April 11, 2006

Ron Simpson plots on ways to get back at Rascal Flatts...




I felt absolutely terrible today. I'm just plain exhausted. I got almost no sleep last night. I came very close to not going to class at all but I decided it's only a couple of hours so I dragged myself out there. Today's lecture was by Ron Simpson. He's the guy that puts together all the concerts at Stone Mountain and does the same thing for a lot of small cities. I can't say he was an electrifying speaker but just like everyone else that's come in, his info was solid and eye-opening. He even let us in on some of the backstage demands of a lot of artists. Apparently Rascall Flatts was particularly difficult and even had a makeshift disco set up. Then they were jerks to Ron and his crew. He wasn't happy about it.

After class, I had an email that let me know of a licensing opportunity. This company needed a 60s sounding retro-tune a la - well, "Goodbye Tuesday". Unfortunately, the lyrics that we have were inappropriate. They wanted something happier and more inspiring. So I tossed out some "up" lyrics and got to trying to retrack it. Unfortunately, I was just so tired that I couldn't get it finished tonight. The new title is "Goodbye Yesterday" but if I can't get it done by the Thursday deadline, it'll stay the same as always. I prefer Patrick's lyrics. I think he did a great job on it. The last time we performed it live (I think) was in Chattanooga at the end of last summer. I remember dedicating to the people that Katrina was literally hitting at that moment. TV screens were up behind us showing the radar. It was weird and somehow appropriate.




Monday April 10, 2006



Well, we were late getting on the road from SC today. Of course, I spent the AM back at Grandma's but that wasn't the problem. We decided we couldn't resist the lure of LHOP so Amanda, her Mom and I went there for a lengthy lupper (lunch / supper combo). It really ate up the time but even the over-indulging induced food coma could stop us from getting on the road.

We got back in the early evening and I tried to get as much email answered as possible. You'd be surprised how much I get in a day. I think its between 200 - 350 a day on average. That's not including the spam, which is very minimal luckily. So yeah - I had my work cut out for me!

I got one email that made me feel great. Bruce Burch (one of the instructors of the music business class at UGA) emailed me to say he'd been reading this here diary and thought my comments on the class were interesting and possibly the best document of 'em. He also mentioned the possibility of UGA being interested in publishing a book of my photos. Hmmmm...

I tried to hit the sack early but I was too hopped up on sweet tea to get a good night's sleep. Amanda and I laid awake talking and wound up just exhausting ourselves further. Oh well, them's the breaks...

Click here for last week with Editors, Flowers & Bradleys (oh my!).