The Life and Times of Gerald Cometbreath

by Connor Shields

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Buried in the outskirts of what was considered by most to be livable society, in an endless sea of tents, bonfires, and trash bags, stood a kind and gentle vagabond. Well, at least for the moment, this is where he was standing. Tomorrow may be a different story, as yesterday certainly was. Nothing lasted forever, or even at all in the life of Gerald Cometbreath. A traveler, explorer, Coney Island regular (at least in an abstract sense), and lover. Lover of women? Perhaps, and only from time to time. Lover of the dream, the life, the lived? Always and forever! Gerald did not quite understand how he came to embody such a free-spirited existence, but he did know for sure that it was all he needed. Well, as long as he had a warm place to sleep most nights and a mediocre bowl of porridge every so often.
In dissecting this peculiar individual, it is impossible to look at him as a person with a definitive birth, or even as someone who will die at a particular point. Let it be known that Gerald’s life before his happy life is of no importance. It was not a bad time, or a good time, and is in fact not part of who his current self is. It just does not matter. Gerald Cometbreath, in all his mystery and eccentricity, was not born, and will never die. He was but a young child, known by few, and will always be an old man, known by few others. One holistic and coherent tale does not, and cannot, describe Gerald Cometbreath, for he is as mysterious and delicate as his name. Rather, his life’s story, or lives’ stories, can only be told be the collective sum of those he has met, those he has left, and maybe most importantly, those that have merely seen him passing through, and not said a single word or come within thirty yards of him. An ideal mix of Where’s Waldo and Walden, Gerald is hard to spot, but when found, is always discovered to be somewhere serene. So, as it can only be told best in this way, the tales that are to follow are but vignettes of an epic life, bleeps and blips on an impossibly large radar display.


released June 1, 2011

First and foremost, I would like to recognize Justin Hubler, for without his recording knowledge and resources, these would be little more than poorly-recorded acoustic demos. All slide guitar, rhodes, and most piano on this album were played by Justin. Thank you to my close friends for listening to me strum these out in dorm rooms, open mics, and parking lots. To those that inspired these songs and lyrics, thank you for making my life a little more interesting, be it for better or worse.




Connor Shields Sebastopol, California

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