Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Band

I have a great band. I’m not saying that lightly, or trying to create truth out of nothing. I have a great band. Richard and Tom are truly two of the finest musicians I have ever played with. Being in a great band, however, doesn’t stop at talent. While they are great, creative, fluid musicians, who have devoted much of their lives to their craft, they are amazing human beings. They love their wives, they are loyal, and they genuinely care for others. They are truly good people. We’re not very different from any other band. We work hard. Sometimes we drive hundreds or thousands of miles to play to empty houses, people that don’t know us and don’t care, we play with all kinds of variables that should distract us and at times make us throw in the towel, but the mark of committed professional musicians doesn’t allow for giving up. To quote one of my favorite songs, “the show must go on”. We’re never too sick; the equipment is never too broken, there are never too few people or too little money. I see these things for what they are. I live under the philosophy that ‘that which does not kill us, make us stronger.’ and we are strong! But I’m just one guy. Just the guitar player. By myself, it isn’t much of a show. Tom and Richard are my brothers. They go through everything I go through. They make every mile of every drive. They eat all the same food, sleep (or don’t sleep) in the same motels, deal with the same problems and they do it all with the same positive, never say die attitude that I have. More so than me, they put their faith in me. They trust me. They protect me and look out for me. They hold me up. They take the music that I try to make and they create a beautiful foundation to put it on. I stand in front of them and I feel like we are the best band in the world. I stand in front of them night after night and I’m continually amazed and surprised at their endless talent, their endless enthusiasm, their constant ability to rise to the occasion, to never give in, show weakness or appear less than what I know them to be, which is to say they carry themselves as the excellent human beings that they are.
So why am I saying all of this now, in this forum? Many reasons. We’ve been rolling hard for the last 8 weeks. In that time, we’ve dealt with equipment issues that threatened to derail the entire show, personnel issues that threatened our sanity, business issues that threatened our livelihood, and through it all, I see Richard and Tom right there, not giving in, not collapsing under the strain, not allowing whatever clouds are around us to get in the way of what we have to do. I see them not only surviving, but getting stronger, and it makes me stronger. We have a new record coming out and it’s the first record that we’ve ever done, that will be toured and supported by the musicians that played on it. It’s right because these are the guys that are supposed to be here. I’m blessed. As a Christian, I believe that God guides and has a plan for my life. Music is ingrained in my life and these are the people that I feel closest to when I am creating that gift that God has given me. I’m also a part of their gift, because as God has seen fit to put me here, now, he’s placed me in their lives as well, and I am honored beyond description. In the van, it’s the 3 of us. Sometimes, we have others in the circle, but at the end of the day, I consider myself blessed and honored to be part of this trio and a member of what I truly believe to be the absolute greatest band in the world. Thank you Richard, my friend, for allowing me to share the stage and the studio with you. Thank you Tom, my friend, for allowing me to share the stage and the studio with you. I am better for knowing both of you. I am better for what I’ve learned from each of you. The world is better for every person who comes in contact with either of you.

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