In the initial days after a death, a family faces so many small and large questions that take a lot of consideration.
Which of his belongings should we keep?
Where should we donate the other things?
What about burial?
Who should we notify?
Why did this happen?
Should we have known this was coming?
Why didn’t we?
Those questions and their answers were all very difficult to face when we lost John.
As for the question of What do we do with John’s music? — we decided immediately that we wanted to continue to share John’s music with others. We are really happy to be opening the Music Shop today and have his CDs and MP3s available for you!
Throughout his ~10 years of enduring schizophrenia without medication (which I do not recommend) John would have times when he felt pretty good and was really interested in marketing his music.
The thing is, he wanted to do it all himself. He took pride in being able to write, play, sing, and record the music and also have skills in designing and marketing his brand. In the very early years, before his illness onset, we offered many times to be the “back office” of his company and assist him with management and marketing while he was the “front man” focusing on his music. He declined. I think he knew that our business styles wouldn’t have gelled too well — I’m too close to Type A personality, and he had, frankly, your stereotypical laid-back artist plus a perfectionist personality.
About a year before John died, he was very interested (again) in selling his music online and wanted advice about creating an online shop. At the time of our phone call, I was on vacation and I offered him lots of ideas, but declined to do the work for him, urging him to try do it on his own — maybe so he would have a project to do whenever he felt good, and mostly because I foresaw that I could do a ton of time-consuming work for him, for free, that would probably get trashed. Looking back, I regret not working with him — not because I believe the project would have ever been completed, but because it would have been an opportunity to spend more time talking with him about something we both love.
I purposefully waited to start on this site for about a year. We discovered what life is like without John. Then we started on this site. To get this business up and running, it took six months of work by three of us in our family with a range of business & marketing experience. We’re officially Hearttooth Inc., and we are extremely proud of representing and continuing John’s music legacy.
When most of us pass away, all we’ll leave behind is our clothing, a bunch of papers, and gobs and gobs of household items. Maybe a collection or two.
That is what John left behind.
But he also left us a treasure: Take a listen today.