Song Spinner at – Painkiller Morning

It was my honour and pleasure to be featured in The Day’s Song Spinner series, where I play, and discuss the background, to Painkiller Morning from Grope.

Article: Song Spinner – Tuckwood’s past reveals a new ‘Morning’


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#irespectmusic The New Improved Performance Rights Act: Because You Believed


I’m very honoured to have been saying #IRespectMusic since the start – well done Blake Morgan and everyone else for making the right thing happen.

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

Congressman Jerry Nadler and Marsha Blackburn, John Conyers and Ted Deutch will introduce legislation on Monday that responds to all of you who supported artist pay for radio play.  The thousands and thousands of you who signed the #irespectmusic petition, the hundreds of you who attended #irespectmusic events, the hundreds of you who responded to the Copyright Office’s request for comments on the Music Licensing Study and the “NABtweets” campaign on Grammy night, and who supported the Turtles fight against Pandora and SiriusXM.  All the bands who have hosted #irespectmusic shows around the country, all the fans who wore the “#irespectmusic AND I VOTE!” button at election time.

marsha blackburn

Janita, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Blake Morgan and Tommy Merrill


Tommy Merrill, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Blake Morgan and Janita

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 Janita, Rep. Ted Deutch, Blake Morgan and Tommy Merrill

Some of you joined this movement recently, some of you were around for the last…

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Frustrating, frustration, frustrated…

I’ve spent the past decade, and particularly the last couple of years, deepening my understanding of human needs psychology and how that feeds into change both at the personal and communal levels.

My study and practice has led to some interesting outcomes

[in myself an others]

whether it be anchoring states, use of mantra to condition change or simply recognizing the state people go into at points of challenge/crisis.

[thank you Anthony Robbins!]

In amongst all this is the area of transformational vocabulary.

Simply put, we have a relatively small set of words

[and bear in mind I’ve written well over half-a-million of them so far]

that we use to describe and categorize experiences and sensations. We use these words habitually as neural shortcuts and, if we’re not careful, they can nullify new experiences, shape our physiology and even, somatically, change our biochemistry.

As with all learning, the first place to start is with the self.

And I realized that a word I use a lot

[a LOT]

is frustrated.

I am frustrated. I am becoming frustrated. This is frustrating.

A lot of use is in my internal dialogue now, but it’s there – sometimes dressed up as boredom, restlessness, claustrophobia, inattention – but always, always frustrated.

And I keep putting myself in situations

[or act within existing situations]

to become frustrated.

Realizing this is a BIG thing for me – it provides me the clarity to shift my normality, because I know it doesn’t serve me well.

My change begins with finding new words, the beginnings of transformational vocabulary I will apply in my own everyday. I am on the search for two new words:

  1. A word that defuses the gravity of my frustration. It’s a word that I will use to break my pattern, to snap myself out of it, to scratch the record. This word has to describe the state in a comical or oddball way. It is another way  of describing frustration: “Oh, don’t mind me I’m just getting…”
  2. A word that will renew forward momentum whenever I have the sensations which I have labelled as being frustrated. This is an ACTIVE word, the so-what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it word.

As I begin to develop this transformational vocabulary, I’ll be reinforcing change through use of mantra, physical practices

[look for me chanting while working out]

and other conditioning techniques.

This is the work I do with my coaching clients, and I am excited to be healing myself in a similar manner.

So, let me ask you a couple of questions

[it’s not a test, I need your help]

Imagine someone who is very frustrated – they are tense, snappy, glowering – and you’re worried about them. You ask them: “how are you doing?” They look at you and say “Don’t mind me, I’m just a little…” and burst out laughing. You see the tension melt away with their giggles. What word(s) did they use?

Now, think of someone who is very, very far from frustrated… How would the describe their attitude to life? What words would they use?


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ps: interesting side note – you should have seen how easy it was for me to write about my ‘frustrated’ language set. It’s very, very deep in my identity, shifting it will be a joy.


Odd Songs & Old Songs: Open And Here

Listen to all Odd Songs & Old Songs here

Open And Here was written about a decade ago, recorded a couple of times in demo form, as well as performed live with my then-band, Monkey68. It’s still one of my favourite original songs, though I seldom play it out live any more, and doubt very much it will be recorded more formally.

I think I like it more for the process of the writing than the song itself. I recorded the music a long time before I had the lyrics. As ever, I listened to the no-vocals version over and again in the car scat-singing along.

Once I turned my attention to words, I got the chorus pretty quickly, and thought it was going to be another of my intravert against the world meditations. Little did I know that, visiting a local Starbucks, this story of post-marital dysfunction would emerge, literally as I pulled into the car park, I sang the first line along with the backing track

You gave chance a last glance
as he walked out of the bedroom

It was springboard enough, I found my protagonist and narrator

[her ex- who is tired of lending his shoulder to her post-coital remorse]

All in all, I still love the lyric, but just love others more for the recording right now.

Open And Here – Vincent Tuckwood

You gave chance a last glance
as he walked out of the bedroom
This is how all flirtations should end
Turning on your side
Got just enough light to guide you
This is how you’re feeling
Don’t pretend

Turning up this evening
with that wasted smile on your face
“Have you got a minute made for me”
Sitting on the sofa
with your legs curled up beneath you
“You make me feel guilty
here’s my plea”

“This makes me feel worthless
this makes me lower than the dirt
Empty grieving silence hurts so bad”
Well, I’ve heard a million verses
while you’ve play-acted the chorus
You made your decisions
named your terms

So what do you want me to say?
I have spoken
What do you want me to do?
I have offered
What do you want me to feel?
I am open
What do you want me to be?
I am here

I am here

Being present, and the need to recharge

In every moment, we choose an identity; we are who we are in our evaluations

[what does this moment mean]

and in the decisions we make based upon them

[what I do next]

Being there for people, helping them change and grow, is a huge part of my needs structure, my identity and my contribution to the world.

I have faced tough realities for myself, and I have changed. Anyone who seeks my help in changing had better be ready to change;  there is a hard edge to my empathy, and I often call situations and behaviors honestly, with an unflinching stare.

This is my presence in the face of change; pragmatic, visionary.

I received some wonderful feedback last night on how I have impacted someone over the long term, partly through my presence when practising karate. What a gift, I am full of thanks! My friend shared that one of the things he valued was how I never get angry.

That sat with me overnight.

Because I know I get angry; not to the point of rage, but definitely beyond tetchy.

I know that offering my presence for others can often exhaust me, that I am at constant risk of emotional and spiritual burn-out.

It is a risk all counselors know, the weight of appended emotion; of carrying another. It’s a natural effect of empathy, it is the weight of being human.

I have learned to listen for the signs that I am carrying too much, that I need to recharge. These symptoms are familiar; avoidance of writing and music

[the longest period of block was 5 years]

Snapping at the kids

[oh how I hurt to feel myself doing that – I’m getting better at apologizing sooner, and opening my frustrations to them]

A vague sense of just letting time slip by without engaging.

A slump of the shoulders and a frown that won’t shift.

A yearning to help someone through a massive change, while simultaneously not wanting to talk to anyone.

It’s a cycle you see, my needs driving my presence, which exhausts me to the point where I can no longer be as present, which makes my needs drive my presence…

I can live in this cycle if I recharge

If I write

[why else would I be writing this right now?]

make music

[which I already have, and will later, today]

spend time with family, and pause to strengthen mind, body and spirit

[workout this morning, karate tonight]

Right now, I’m tired, but I’m slowly recharging.

This is who I choose to be, I guess, this is the cycle I live in, and the needs I’m getting to know better with each passing moment.

Who are you choosing to be right now? Why?


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That thing you do

You know that thing?

That thing you do. That thing that makes you feel the way you always feel. That thing that you want to change, yet somehow don’t get around to changing.

That thing that makes you go out and find a web meme, perhaps an inspiring quote, some role model’s latest energizing exploit, which you post to your Facebook wall so that people know that you know you need to focus on that thing.

To persuade yourself that you really are the sort of person who could focus on that thing.

You know… that thing.

Right now.

In this moment.

What are you doing differently, to make sure you don’t do that thing you do?


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I told you so

Well, it looks like another boy band has lost a founding member.

Puts me in mind of Jay, the Empire Records A&R guy in Karaoke Criminals:

“Three bands, one night. Easy, compared to normal. He was getting off light. If he hadn’t had the boy band – ‘N-TaPrize!’ – on the way through, he’d be more active.

But he had.

So he wasn’t.

They were made to measure, career already mapped: three singles, a hit album, first pre-pubescent tour, fainting teenage girls, two more singles, self-written songs, internecine rivalry, second tour and a final, musical-differences fuelled split followed by solo careers for Dave and Billy and drug dependency for Ralph; a period drying out at the Priory, closely followed by a tour of regional theatres.

The money was close enough to in the bank already.

Ah well, soul-destroying as it was, at least it wasn’t panto. Not yet.”

Not to say I told you so or anything :)


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