Well if that ain’t the most annoyin’ business I ever heard of. Ya spend a lifetime o’ plyin’ yer craft an’ scratchin’ out a livin’ an’ then ya get sick an’ croak. All the things you’ve accumulated one way or another durin’ yer lifetime get tabulated, sold off, given away or thrown in the trash an’ the matter is settled. Everybody can get on with their lives (or deaths as it were) – unless you are a writer, poet, or musician that is.
I just read the other day that Leonard Cohen’s sales (I assume on recordings he has done) have gone up four hundred and seven percent since his passing. That really, really sucks as far as I’m concerned. I mean if ya really think his material is that important to have in yer collection, why’d ya have’ta wait ‘til he croaked before ya acknowledged him? He could’a used the money for medical expenses ya know.
The business with Gord Downie is a little different. Though news of his imminent demise was a wake-up call to his many fans and followers, he has a little time to arrange the direction of his (potential) income. He also has the opportunity to stick it to the scalpers eager to cash in on the situation by broadcasting his entire last concert on CBC.
Of course, ya can’t take it with ya. We all know that. There’s no bankers in heaven. They’re all in that other place, together with the lawyers an’ politicians. But we should have a say in what becomes of our posthumous earnings and who benefits from them. I guess that means we gotta mix in a little economics in with our artistic talents. My late father-in-law had found the perfect solution. When he drew up his last will an’ testament, he of course looked after the family, but then he sneaked in a clause sayin’ that if anybody contested the will, all of it would automatically go to a charity he named in the will. No one contested it.
What he done in his wisdom was to look after the family an’ not only that, he kept them from fightin’ over any of his decisions all at the same time. Smart thinkin’ I figure. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.