A World Turned Upside Down

Old Rockers: The Musical Journey of Grendel

For the month of March Silverback Digest will present

the musical odyssey of Greg Brewster and Del Watson, two old rockers

A Sad Refrain

Greg: And, poof! There he was … gone … Del … my classmate … my bandmate … my best friend. I was devastated. The plan … over. College starting next week. Leaving home. Moving into a dorm. No Del. Band over. Cassandra back to high school. What the fuck happened?

I tried to put me in his shoes. No place to live? I knew he was envious of what Cassandra and I had found, but hadn’t we always gone out of our way to include him in everything? Could it have been painful for him to see our happiness? Yeah, he owed money to my Dad, but that shouldn’t have been a big deal, not to my Dad, anyway.

The worst part … I felt like Del was moving on without me. He was pursuing a dream. He was going for it. I was being a sheep and just doing what was expected of me. I had never in my life been so depressed.

Here’s how Del felt about the same moment:


Del: Now we’re able to laugh about it, but there was nothing to laugh about then. I felt certain that it was time for me to leave, but there was nothing else certain about my life.

I didn’t know where I would live, where my next meal would come from. Looking back I see a mixed-up kid whose emotions were all over the map. I was scared shitless, but utterly confident that I was doing the right thing. To read my letters home you’d think I was having the time of my life.

“Hey, things are so happening here. Got a job working backbar at Max’s Kansas City. Meeting famous people nearly every night. Just the other day I was shooting the shit about the music biz with Lou Reed. I’m writing some great stuff! And the women here. I tell ya, New York has more pretty women than Carter Has Little Liver pills … gotta keep this short. Hugs to Cassandra!”

Del, in letter to Greg and Cassandra

But … the reality was an entirely different story. I’m living in a rented room in a sleazy building, eating crap food, working a shit job that pays next to nothing. You can hear it in the music I was doing …

4 thoughts on “A World Turned Upside Down

  1. I lose the thread of Grendel real and imagined here sometimes in the storyline,but that is probably just me’. Upside Down = very effective.
    Personally and in my reality I believed with an album of my songs released in 1981 at age 31 I would be able to support my family,continue writing and performing a bit… That did not happen, but happiness did.
    2 songs about the downside of “making it musically” come to mind. One very successsful = S&G’s “Homeward Bound” and less known but a gem by Jesse Winchester =”A Showman’s LIfe – Nobody Told Me About This Part”
    Mike – traveling with Cyndy Lou in the mountains of New Mexico

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