I Hate You, LA

I’m still the guy in this picture, 5 years after my first “photo shoot”.

I look at LA as a person. I take all of it’s personalities and backgrounds and stories and mesh it all into one giant hulking gob of goop, sculpt a man out of it, and treat it like it’s someone I know, or am getting to know, and I have to admit, I’m probably not fit to be friends with him or at least the perception of him at this stage in my life.
You see, I come to this conclusion almost daily. You’re told as a kid that you can “Do anything you want to do”, and that “Everything is possible” and I totally believe that this is true for some people. Some people were BORN for LA. They were destined before creation to have all of the tools necessary to succeed in this relationship. They have the right look, the right talent, the right swagger, the right demeanor, the right size of balls/guts to put up with the relationship, or the complete lack of sense and total absent-mindedness to put up with LA’s bullshit.
But do I think I’m one of those people? No. I know who I am. I’m a guy who writes songs that are simple. I’m not changing the world with an amazing voice or new “look” or “style”. I’m an ox- a hard worker, who wakes up, looks at the tasks he has in the morning, and gets low to the ground and does the dirty work. I may sound “talented”, but it came from steady and thoughtful work. I didn’t get here cause I woke up Tuesday morning and decided I wanted to be a performing songwriter. I’m not looking for a “flash in the pan” type of success that so many people seem to want. I don’t want to be a “one-hit wonder”. I want to consistently put out quality, and know that at the end of the day, I’ve given it the best I could. And anyone who wants to take 2 seconds to listen to my work, make a quick judgment, post an ugly or kind comment and walk away unaffected can do so, but I’m not playing for them. I’m playing for the person who will listen to that same song, and walk away with it being a part of their lives… They absorb it. They learn from it. Grow from it. Cry to it. They “Get” it.
I can try as hard as I can to be the best looking guy, “cooler” than everyone around me, and round up my fans like cattle and beg them to “vote” for me like I see so many people do, but that’s not what I want to be about. I’ve won a San Diego Music Award, 6 H.A.T. Awards, and almost did “Nashville Star” that way, but I just can’t do that anymore. It’s just not me. I don’t feel “right” or “good” about using the people who have come to love my music in this way. I can’t leave all of my hard work “Up to chance” or tell people that “If they don’t vote for me in this contest, I’ll never make it in show biz…” Because I’ve worked too hard to get here. I can’t text everyone in my phone and harass them to come to my next show because quite frankly, if they aren’t putting in the time to check my website or facebook to see when I’m performing, I don’t really want them there. (Sidenote: Quit texting me and telling me you would’ve come to my show if I had personally invited you. I do everything personal. If you haven’t noticed that, you’ve missed what I’ve been trying to do all along here. It’s not my fault that you didn’t come to my show…) I’m not the “American Idol” artist that is going to “wow” America, once a week for the next 14 weeks and become a star from it. The Beatles didn’t do that. The Rolling Stones didn’t do it. Buddy Holly didn’t do it. Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, and Adele didn’t. I don’t want to be anything other than an artist like this. I want to be respected for what I’ve worked on, and not because I look cute on stage or can get more “votes” than other talented artists. My goal is just to keep on creating good music that made you take notice of me in the first place. If you don’t like it? That’s fine, but maybe I’ll write another one that’s more suitable for you. In the end, I’m still going to put out an album that I love, regardless of what might be popular in culture. I’m not going to try to sound like Daughtry or Nickelback because it will sell more records. I’m just going to be me, and I’m going to look for people who believe in me to do business with and if you’re a record label, investor, or broke-ass fan, that’s just what you’ll get from me, cause that’s what I am.
Back to LA. He is a two-timing backstabber who gets your hopes up, has you tell all of your friends about him, and then lets you down the minute after you do. He’s the cutest puppy, that you absolutely love, that chews up your priceless valuables when you’re away, working to pay for his expensive dog food. When you give him attention and love him and do what he wants, he treats you like royalty, but the second that you try other things, he spits you out, ignores you, blows off meetings, can’t return calls cause he’s so “busy”, but promises that he still cares. When you feel like you “need” him, he’s so far away, but in reality, he’s just next door… making out with your best friend, and you have to be okay with that, because you’re supposed to “share” him. You can strive to band together with your friends and tackle this beast in a group, but he’s already affected someone in your circle of trust, and the second you’re all about to chuck your spears into him, your friends will turn and launch them into you instead. He is a selfish, jersey shore looking clubber, who is playing the game just like everyone else. I don’t want him. I don’t want to be him. I don’t even want to necessarily have him hit me up and buy me a grand slam at Denny’s. But in my heart, I feel that I have to put up with him in order to get to where I want to be. I need to grow tougher skin, and not call my parents, grandparents, or friends because he bought me flowers, or said something nice to me. I need to not expect him to do anything good for me, and just slowly and steadily keep doing my thing. Nose to the grindstone, left foot in front of the right, I keep pushing until something good happens. I thank “LA” for his gifts, should he decide to give me any, but I don’t “beg” or “plead” that he owes me anything.
In the end, if I’m successful or not, I know that I’m a product of my own work, and not simply “chance”. If I got “lucky” it’s cause I made myself that way. People can wag their smelly little fingers and say, “You’re only big because ‘so-and-so’ signed you…” or “You sold out because you did ‘blah blah blah’,” but in the end, I know that I put myself in a position to be great. I didn’t wait around and ask for someone to give me a hand out. The “Josh Damigo” sitting on “2nd Street and Broadway” didn’t stay there, he got on the bus and he kept working.
So take that, “LA”. Call me your “favorite” and then forward the same text to 10 other peeps. Tell me I’m “special” and then tell me I need to prove how “special” I am to you. Give me gifts in the form of advice, praise, adoration, and then take all of my hopes and dreams away… but I’m gonna just dust myself off, and keep swinging until the final bell sounds in round 10- Not because that makes a cute story, or is what you want, but because I’m Josh Damigo, and that’s just what I do.

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About Joshua Lodge

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses and clubs. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident Josh retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for "Best Acoustic" and "Best Local Recording," opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third EP, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Josh spent much of the year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his album I Will Be There out now on Randm Records. From the joyous encouragement of “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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5 Responses to I Hate You, LA

  1. Tim Mudd // Webmaster says:

    Is there a story behind this story?

  2. mary says:

    nut up or go home! who told you this would be easy?! sheesh.

  3. Kelley says:

    From the moment I met you you stood out. You stood out because you were true to who you are. I have seen LA change you, but after reading this it is nice to know that the guy, the Josh Damigo i grew to love and appreciate as a friend and artist is still staying true to himself. Always behind you and always praying for you.

  4. Nacho Libre says:

    LA’s a bunch of hipsters, assholes and douchebags. Don’t even bother with it cuz it’s not what you’re about. Focus on the places that encourage and support artists like yourself – and when, eventually, you’re making it without her, she’ll come a-callin’. That’s a fact, brother.

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