Epilogue- Lessons From A One-man Band Singing Sesation
October 5, Beckenham, UK
If you would have asked me what kind of artist I wanted to be when I started my one-man band, I would have said something like; “I’d like to be the type of artist that is underrated at large but is really respected by his peers.”
The odd thing was arguably, I had achieved that yet, I was still deeply unhappy.
Fifteen years later, my priorities changed. I went from a boy just leaving my teenage years who’d barely left Ontario to a man in his mid-thirties who’d travelled the world. A lot can happens throughout one’s twenties and thirties. A lot had happened and I lost a lot of friends along the way.
I’ve had a vast exposure to the death over the years. Each time one occurs, I’m reminded to start living because life can be taken away so unexpectedly. It's a cliche because it's true. I’m comfortable with people dying but it sucks when it happens.
A few weeks after the Feist shows, I went back to Canada to say a final goodbye to my brother, Marc, following his suicide. Losing my brother like that was way too profound to put into words even after fifteen years. That loss made me reconsider my career and what I really wanted in life.
After a long think, I decided above everything; I wanted to be happy. I know that seems simple but I’m sure as a lot of you know, it takes constant work. I don’t always succeed but with the help of my wife and kid, I’m getting there.
I retired being a one-man band because by the end, it was not bringing any happiness into my life. However, I’ve not retired from music. Since hanging up the Mayor’s tap shoes, I’ve written a lot of songs (on my own and with/ for other people), released five albums and carried on being a ‘successful artist’. I’m not going to list off my resume but just know, dear reader: I still make music and art all the time. The main difference between the musicians I make now and the music I made previously is, I’m not too bothered if people don’t hear it. If they do want to hear it, they can find it pretty easily. If you’re struggling to find if, just get in touch and I’ll sort you out.
I’ve been coaxed out retirement once by my friend and champ, Eric Warner when The Meligrove Band played their last show alongside The Bicycles (Drew from the band has since become one of my main collaborators in my Mr. Smith project) at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. I just couldn’t say no. I was super-proud to be playing one more time with The Meligroves; yet another awesome and tragically underrated Canadian band.
Since I was playing in Toronto I decided to play my beloved hometown for my constant supporter and friend, Brodie at The Casbah.
During these two gigs I was reminded what I love and also, what I hate about being the One-man Band Singing Sensation. That was five years ago.
It’s now been twenty-five years since I dawned my bass drum and guitar. I was such a sensitive, confused young man. I’m now forty-seven; middle aged, if I’m lucky. I’m still sensitive and confused but just about different things.
My losses carry on as expected. One must expect that when they get older. My friend's parents are starting to die and more of my friends are dying young.
Over the last few years we’ve lost my dear friends and colleagues Nick Cordero, Tony Jacome and most recently; Mike Eastwick. Once more I’m reminded of how precious life is and how quickly it can be ripped from us. It’s also inspired me to complete the Mayor McCa projects (including this blog) that have either been abandoned, edited to be more palatable to the average ear or just incomplete. I’m not planning on dying anytime soon but I’d like to wrap things up just in case. Well, that's the plan, anyway.
There will be some changes for Mayor McCa Mach 2; the main differences being that I’m going to try and make things a bit more practical. I also only want to play shows that I actually want to. Wisdom comes from making mistakes but only if you learn from them.
When I discussed coming out of retirement with my friend and colleague, Wayne Adams, he thought it made sense since The Mayor is such a massive part of my identity and I agree. Mayor McCa is not me but I am definitely Mayor McCa and I cannot stop being who I am.
Thanks for reading. I’ll see you around.
Mayor McCa Projects Coming Soon:
“Double You Ex Why Zed” (Mayor McCa’s unreleased sixth album, as it was meant to be heard)- October 18, 2023
“Eh 2 Kay (Ode To My Former Self)”- 2024
“Doi To The World” December 2025