So why do I do this?

Like many people, I wrote stories as a kid and penned articles for the school paper. I even took it a step further by writing music reviews for a struggling but smart music weekly, until two years of treading water became too much for the small staff and we decided to get “real jobs”. We put away childish things

Years later, through a series of odd circumstances I wound up on staff for a few software magazines, and although it didn’t pay a lot, I was getting paid. A professional writer – imagine that! And although games and fantasy sports were not yet popular, there was an audience of like-minded fanatics wanting to discuss and interact and argue and celebrate common ground. I enjoyed it too, for a while; it was fun. But it wasn’t music or film or television, and eventually I got bored.

When I started writing about music again, I did it for a very simple reason: I had to. I felt an urge to express my thoughts and opinions in writing, even if at first I was only doing it for myself. Eventually I started to share what I wrote with friends, and was even lucky enough to find a few magazines that wanted to use my work. Although the pay ( when there was any) was pitiful, I didn’t care. I worked a job because I had to. I wrote because I wanted to.

But time marches on, and alongside progress and improvement are the casualties of the obsolete and the dying. For a writer, that means another year of watching the printed publication go the way of the dinosaur. Magazines have always had a frightening mortality rate; the vast majority not marking their six month anniversary. But along with the move from pulp to pixel, the tumbling economy is now dealing the death blow – the loss of advertising dollars. Megacorps like Gannett are slashing staff in a panic, so you can imagine the impact upon a small independent magazine that survives issue-to-issue by the generosity of tiny labels and struggling artists. I wrote for many outstanding print magazines over the past ten years, and as I type this only one of them still exists…for now.

So in a way, I guess it’s gone full circle. Here I am again, writing not for money nor accolades but because I want to and need to. I’m going to ramble on about music I enjoy, films that move me, comics who make me laugh, events that make me think. Opinions, interviews and features about pop culture where the quality of the work is what matters…not the noteriety of the artist.

And yes, I’m doing this for me…but I hope you enjoy it too.

Credo from Dr. Bristol’s Musical Prescription, 1997

11 responses to “Credo

  1. Siege

    All I can say is that I am and will be eternally grateful for your tip on Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Ever since I first read your review of their live performance I have been a fan. If anyone has the chance, one visit to You Tube will convince you that this is one hot chick backed by one hotter band. I will definitely be checking this website for new news from Dr Bristol on a regular basis. Thanks for your timely return. It’s been far too long a wait.

  2. jack chunco

    shades of seven inches&a hole?

  3. drbristol

    Must admit I don’t know how we ever got away with naming a column Seven Inches And A Hole in the National Rag…I wish vinyl singles were still as prevalent, because with CDs, “four and a half inches and a hole” doesn’t sound nearly as filthy.

  4. Sheila Q

    Hey you! We bow to your wisdom in providing interesting tidbits and musical knowledge galore. I am sad to say I just this minute joined UTube and learned Jeff Healey died last March. Where was I? I was disheartened to say the least. All the good ones seem to go sooo young. I seem to be awakening to my musical past and present after a long hiatus (marriage with kids) so bring it on. It’s been missing for far too long. I always admire your skill with words my friend..

  5. Ramrod Marconi

    Oh man, what glory we had with seven inches and a hole! I remember the night the good doctor and Guido O’Leary got drunk at the Jab and..nope I guess I don’t remember that.

  6. drbristol

    Fortunately for us…I mean them…(1) Graham Flashner was not around and (2) neither was You Tube.

  7. Mr. Monster

    Dear Sir

    Greetings from the great white north. Found your musings by chance. As a music buff who likes to read & enjoys movies, I will continue to read your posts. Thank you.

  8. mypadmedia

    Really like your work.

  9. Elayne

    I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  10. Newperran Cornwall

    Great post thanks!

  11. Linda Hansen

    It’s all about movement. Excellent

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