One thing I have found, particularly in this business, is that no matter what you may go through that is negative, you really never want to make any enemies. I know I am well-quoted as always saying that “one good thing leads to another” in music, and it has always certainly been true for me. Yet, there have been many “downs” as well as “ups” for me, and I have always tried to stay on an even keel with those who in the past may have been less than honest in their dealing with me. I have always taken the stance that it’s better to end up in a neutral way with the folks who have hurt you, than to actually go on the offensive. This is because as big as the business may seem, it’s really not, and you never know who you may need down the line, and for what reason. In the end, I have found that everyone I’ve really ever known in the business has really turned into an asset for me, as long as I treat it that way.
A perfect example is how things ended up with me in the film Crossroads. This was a situation that for me, was so positive, musical and exciting that I was never going to let the negative “aftershocks” adversely affect me, nor my career. And there was plenty of “negative” to deal with, such as having my proper songwriting and performance credits removed from the film, and being removed from the soundtrack to start off with! Still, I never let it deter me from using the positive publicity I was getting from my involvement in this movie to help my career and reputation. I was, at the time, able to use the publicity to my benefit for my Hot Licks products, my Guitar Player Columns, and many other things such as appearing twice on Entertainment Tonight while making the film. In the long run, I have been always associated with that film, even though certain parties involved in it were busy screwing me…which by the way, has to this day, always continued to stir up controversy!
I know it may sound corny and overplayed, but it’s really critical that we always try to make “lemonade out of lemons” within this business. I have known too many very fine and talented musicians and songwriters who have let the rough stuff “get to them”, and take the wind out of their sails. If they had only persevered a bit more through the adversity, they would’ve really made incredible contributions, and lived with a lot less regret in their lifetime’s “resume’ ”!