Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I Used To Love Jane Siberry

Siberry Swirl
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Right after 9/11, I went to see Jane Siberry in concert at a small venue outside of Philadelphia. I was, at that time, a major fan and living in Maryland.

When I arrived at the club I was shocked to see that the Celtic twist design Jane had chosen as the central symbol of new new album, "City," was the same design on a silver ring I just happened to have recently purchased and just happened to be wearing that night.

I thought it was a very cool case of synchronicity.

Between sets, I waited for Jane to emerge so I could say hello and give her my ring. I wanted her to have it.

I had met Jane a few years before, also in Philadelphia, where we had chatted for a few minutes and she had been lovely and friendly and had signed a poster for me. She remembered a letter I wrote her in 1998 or so, and remarked that she had wanted to write back but never got around to it.

This time, I showed her my ring and said, "I think it's really weird that I happened to wear this tonight -- I got it in Chartres, France recently -- I'd like you to have it."

Jane looked at me like I was trying to unload a stack of used beach chairs on her and replied, "Oh, I really couldn't. I'm trying not to collect any more THINGS." I stood awkwardly with my offering, stammered a few words of incoherent assent and walked away. I sat through her second set and never, to this day, realized how angry and disgusted I was. All I know is that her music went to the very bottom of my rotation pile and has remained there for years.

What an ungracious ingrate. If there was ever a time to just say "Thank you" and accept a gift, this was it. I had just driven 3 hours to see her play, and spent over $100 on tickets. All on a minister's salary. But the burden of a 3 oz. silver ring was just too much for the ethereal songstress. She's just so spiritchal.

After all of these years I realize that I couldn't agree with you more, Jane. I can't claim to be nearly as spiritual as you, of course, but I do see the danger in filling my life with extraneous THINGS. Therefore, I am divesting myself of some unnecessary material items: specifically, hundreds of dollars' worth of your recordings.


Anyone who wants the ring, just let me know. I'll send it right off.


Blogger David said...

I would have probably left the impression of the ring on her forehead. You could get away with that. Just tell her you were attempting to drive out the demons. Just make sure you yell "demon be gone" or what ever you preachers/priest/revs are required to say at that point. ;)

I wonder if her rejection of "things" includes that "thing" called currency that her fans delve out for the cd's?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I always liked about about her is... SHIT, I can't remember what it was.

'sounds like a real class act though. when I used to be a touring musician, people would offer all kinds of things that I turned down. beers (half full), herpes, career advice, etc...

Speaking of career advice, Here's some for Jane. When recording your next disc, hire a producer that has taken music theory classes.

Blogger fausto said...

Does this mean you will soon be making room available in your heart and record library for the Kingston Trio?

Blogger PeaceBang said...


Anonymous terrance said...

Wow. I was a huge fan of hers too, when I was in college. Still listen to one collection of her best stuff.

I guess it's important to remember that the celebrities whose work we admire are just human beings. I like Madonna's music, but I might not like her so much if I had to live next door to her, or had other dealings with her. KnowwhatImean?

Blogger Oversoul said...

Wow, Jane Sibbery...now there's a name I haven't heard in ten years...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PB said, "What an ungracious ingrate. If there was ever a time to just say "Thank you" and accept a gift, this was it."

Yeah, PB--I know the feeling. I have a "friend" I have given many gifts to who chooses to ignore the offerings and I don't know what happens to the gifts. People like that can be pittied, but perhaps it would be better if someone just kicked their butt around the block until it jarred loose some "sense" in their head.

Blogger BoulderBill said...

Heh-heh, looks like Jane saw the ring wasn't really a gift afterall... "Take this ring or not only will I never buy another CD, I will also trash you on my blog!" She must have wondered what the cost would have been had she accepted and decided it may be too steep (David Letterman knows all about that).

There are boundaries and I assume not too many performers accept gifts from fans as I don't from clients.

Now the real reason for this comment: If you really plan to follow through with what you wrote, you could send her CDs my way. I might even return the favor with a couple of my J-o-h-n Stewart CDs!

Blogger bradrm said...

Yeah, Jane may have been bitchy at the moment, but deal with it. You may assume she has a cosmic connection to you, but the delusion is yours, not hers. If she was a wise and confident artist (and you must know that shie is not), she would have taken it graciously. I think that Jane's magic is the haunting edge that she brings to everything she does. I think "The Vision" is the most haunting song ever written. All Jane owes me is the haunting beauty of her songs...and she doesn't even owe me that. I'm willing to keep her on a distant pedestal. That's what we both want. Bradrm

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Sorry Brad, fish ain't bitin'. Have you ever gone on Jane's web site? It does nothing BUT perpetuate the groovy one-world -one-soul stuff that Jane sings about with such haunting intensity. Here's the thing: if you assiduously nurture a public persona that's all about intimate connection with the peeps, then assume your peeps might be offended when you turn out to be full of shit. I'm not deluded. I was offering a gift; a teeny tiny one. I didn't expect her to take me in her arms for a big soul kiss, and then best friends pinkie swear. I expected decent manners and kindness. I pay her bills, fer chrissake.

I, too, communicate soul in my work. When that provokes total strangers to approach me and to compliment me with a gift or token or appreciative comment, I wouldn't DREAM of shaming them with a cold dismissal. Even after two shows, services, what have you.


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