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The Thursday Throwback Track - Episode 191: Nicky DeMatteo & "Deal"

Welcome to WEEK 191 of 4T! (Video Episode #17) Nicky DeMatteo (1976)

The Tree From Whence the Apple…

Lately I’ve been struggling with the realization that I have not respected my destiny. The destiny I’ve chosen, that is. I was born into music. I have thrived on music since before I could spell. At every turn, during every boon and through every hardship, music has been my constant companion. Nothing ever been more important to me than music. (THING, not PERSON – people like my kids are on a higher plane.) So why? Why have I undermined & avoided embracing this very clear destiny? Why have I assumed that money and my music are mutually exclusive, or have a tenuous relationship at best? Why have I spent more time searching for yet another day job, instead of writing & recording & performing every chance I can get?

I don’t know, but apparently the Universe won’t stand for it. Two years ago, I was “let go” from my 13-year day job at the Bronx Zoo. I freelanced as a musician, actor & voice actor for a while. Then last October, I took another day job at a giant shit show of a company. I quit after a month because I couldn’t stand the work or the people. Then this January I was hired at a very good company with very good people. Still, it’s another day job, and I realized quickly that it’s not my world and never has been. Lo and behold, m-m-m-myyyy corona (apologies to The Knack) came and shut down that company. So I’m back to being day-unemployed, back to freelancing. And what that says to me among many other things is: stick to music, kid. It’s what you’re made for. It’s the one thing that always feels right.

This album – my dad’s full-fledged debut as a singer/songwriter – is a big reason why I do what I do. It’s a small but highly significant part of the massive music world that is my dad. All of these songs sank deep into – no, ARE – my blood. They are the DNA of how I write & produce. Original music was never his main focus. Other than this, he’d written a bunch of other tunes before & after, and then released an EP of original country music in 1996 (included at the end of this album at the link above). When he did this album, I was 7. It was one of the first things that opened my eyes & heart to the world of the possible. I was barely a human, but I knew then that music would be my life. Just like my dad. Through all of life’s changes. Career ups and downs. Financial yeses & nos. Family and friends coming & going. It’s always been music.

There are many things my dad & I have in common musically. The one that stands out is the joy of busting through genre boxes and playing/singing/writing/recording whatever the hell we want. Of knowing a good song is a good song no matter what it is. There are many differences too. A big one being he staked his claim in the world of cover tunes, while I leapt almost immediately into originals. But the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE is the one that gets to the heart of this week’s post: Every week month year decade, he made his living with music. He supported his family and paid his bills and financed cars and vacations and a house with music. I haven’t. I have assumed for too long that my music and money don’t mix well. Well, with the world all topsy-turvy and key parts of lives upended, let me say I HEAR YOU, Universe. That assumption ends NOW. Whatever I can and have to do to make my living solely in the creative arts, I will do. NOW.

Listen to my dad’s album. Then listen to my song below, or any from the same album, and see if you can hear a spiritual connection. It was probably the peak of that:

Does any of this make sense? Does it resonate with you in any way? Which of my dad’s songs do you like best? Which of mine? Can you hear the connections? Do you constantly think you have a cough or fever, but know deep down it’s psychosomatic? Go scrub your hands and then discuss dammit!

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