Ch-ch-ch-changes. Taking my music "career" in a new direction.
As you may have noticed, I am changing the name of this web site from Cerebellum Blues to Jeff Shattuck. Not much else will change; my posts will still be mostly about music, infrequent, and, I hope, interesting. Here's the short story about why I am doing this.
Ever since I first heard The Beatles, I have wanted to write songs in a rock and roll band and make records. Over the years, I have thought of countless band names, most best left in the dustbin of history, and penned many a song. I think a lot guys from generation have done this. Now people want to be tech billionaires, but when I was growing up, nothing else had the allure of Rock Stars. Never mind that I did not look the part and had a name that hardly sounded Rock.
Years passed, I grew up, found a career, got a bit jaded and my rock dreams began to fade. By the time I fell and suffered a brain injury in 2006, my guitars were spending most of their lives in their cases, my records were all stored at my parents, I had sold all of my recording equipment and though I had Pro Tools on my laptop I never used it. But that brain injury changed everything.
Before the accident, I had written a lot of songs, almost all were horrible and most were unfinished. But after the accident, I started writing songs I actually liked. Equally cool, I could finish them. Pro Tools starting getting a bit of love, the guitars were pulled from cases, a few new guitars were purchased and soon I had enough songs to make that record I had always wanted to make.
But what about my name? Surely, I could not take the world by storm under the humble moniker of Jeff Shattuck, right? My first choice was My Shirt Is Cool but I was talked out of that and I ultimately settled on Cerebellum Blues. I liked the way it sounded. When I told people about it they mostly nodded in approval. I liked that it evoked my injury but not too overtly. I liked that it sounded like a band but also worked for what I was really doing, which was creating a portfolio of songs. And so it was settled. My band name was Cerebellum Blues and I was off to the races.
But after utterly failing at gaining any notoriety -- possibly because my music is not good enough, but I'm going to blame it instead on my total lack of marketing because that's an easier pill to swallow -- I decided to shift my focus from trying to build a fan base to simply trying to sell my songs for use in music and television. To get this ball rolling, I called Casey Jones, who used to run an ad agency I worked for but now owns a production company in LA, and asked him if he could help me out. In true Casey fashion, he generously offered to do what he could and then asked if my songs were on iTunes. I told him they were but Casey said he was sitting at a computer while were talking and had just checked and nothing came up. I asked what he had entered in the search box and said, "Your name." I explained the whole Cerebellum Blues thing and he just said, "Go with your name. You gotta have one brand." I had been told this before but ignored it because I wanted my cool band name, damn it. But I took Casey's advice to heart.
Going forward, Cerebellum Blues will live on as the name of my first album but I will no longer use it as a band name. I will just be... me. Sigh. But that's a good thing, I think. After all, another thing I learned while growing up was to try my best to just be myself.