Sometimes, for me, there is nothing more intimidating than a blank page. I’ve been sitting here for a couple of hours already, trying to figure out what to write. I’ve erased the next line seven times already; I’m still not sure what exactly I’m going to write about, but I do know that possibly the most boring & trite thing people can read is someone rambling about not knowing what to write, so…
Welcome friends, to the lovely month of April! I’ve been doing my usual post-St. Patrick’s Day recovery routine. Lots of sleep, lots of avoiding human contact outside of my family, not nearly so much whiskey as I used to consume; I haven’t the stomach for it any more, you see. It’s the damndest thing, getting older. I’ve remarked a number of times over the past couple of weeks that back in the day, the first time around making music, it felt like I could do it forever. One memorable Paddy’s, my band played 6 shows. SIX. We started at 7AM, and finally shut down the last venue at 1AM. I slept in the next day, took it kind of easy, and by the day after that I was ready to jump back on stage again. No one told me that as a musician, I had a shelf life, that there would come a day when the basic physical demands of this job would exceed my capacity to meet them. I most likely wouldn’t have listened anyway.
That younger version of me…man, this was all he ever wanted. Make music. Listen to cheering crowds. Enjoy a bottomless bar tab. Get paid. Lather, rinse, repeat. He had a pretty girl to go home with, money enough for his modest costs, and absolutely no need to think about what happened next. Everything was now. Living this dream, with no consideration for tomorrow.
I miss that version of me sometimes.
Twentysomething years later, things have changed. The business has changed. I’ve changed, rather a lot actually. You’d think that’d be obvious, and perhaps it is to everyone else. I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes, though. Years, decades have passed, but it was just one day after another from inside my head. Tiny little incremental changes, slowly adding up to a middle-aged guy with gray in his beard, a creak in his back, and a very different perspective on life. A guy who looks at the future with a little trepidation. A guy with a shelf life.
Relax. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve got a lot more to say, and a lot more I want to do. I want to ride this new dream as far as I can possibly go. I want to record more albums. I want to play bigger stages. I want to tour, watch entirely new faces as we put music into their hearts. I want to write my own songs.
Which requires facing more blank pages. Okay, I need to get to work on that next. After all…
…The clock is ticking.