I was officially off the road now, secure in the knowledge that you ignore rock and roll at your own peril. During my six years with the band I had written some short instrumentals and a few songs which were performed by the band, but my overall composition output had decreased due to being on the move all the time, and keeping late hours. Now I was ready to forge ahead. But as in the past, I also needed to consider how to stay afloat financially.
My first survival strategy was to work as a substitute teacher in the Portland School system but that was very much a part time job. Since I was interested in, and had read a lot of philosophy and psychology dealing with the inner workings of the human psyche, and wanted to do some good in the world, I took a job facilitating successful outcomes for people with disabilities which involved teaching a few music classes and composing a piece to celebrate the merger of two agencies. I was also recruited by a Board member to play some baroque music at an art gallery opening and to play some jazz standards and some of my own compositions at an outdoor concert and an ABC television broadcast which preceded it.
There were other exploratory music projects including playing with a bass player at a jazz brunch on Sundays, doing a tiny bit of studio work, playing keys and bass keys with a vocal duo, playing keys in a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar, singing and playing keys in a local R & B band which gigged on a pretty regular basis, and attending jazz jam sessions at a local jazz club. I was also a featured guest on two WMPG radio shows broadcast by the local college radio station.
An assortment of compositions were starting to flow from my pre-notation software pen, but I'll save that for the next installment. Until then....