The grass is always greener “on the other side”, right? That’s kind of what we all think at certain times in our lives. We think, “man, I gotta quit my job with this company and go to that other company” because they pay better or have better benefits. Or maybe even, “this girl (or guy) I’m with has gotten tiresome, I’m sure I can find better”. Well, let me tell you, after 53 years on this earth, it ain’t always, if ever, true.
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One of the biggest compliments I have received over my years of one-man-banding is…why are you not famous? Why are you not in Nashville? When people say these things to me, it absolutely warms my heart and I thank them profusely for their kind words. It does a lot for my weak confidence and reassures me that my performance is coming across the way that I want it to. But the thing is, I’m happy where I am. I also know what my limits are. I know my psyche. I know my talent level and I’m right where I belong.
I have always taken my job VERY seriously. I have spent countless hours practicing. I have spent countless amounts of money on guitars and microphones and professional sound systems to try and present myself the best way possible. I know it’s “only a bar”, but to me, if you are putting yourself out there in front of people, there’s no half-assing allowed. My job is much like a relationship. It ain’t always perfect but when it FEELS right, we do anything to make it flourish. We sacrifice, we compromise, we ebb and we flow.
How Do I Know I’m in the Right Place?
Fortunately, I have not been the recipient of too much “hate” mail or nasty criticism but believe me, I have had my share. I woke up to an email once that told me I was the worst they had ever heard in a bar and I was a joke etc. I once had a dude stand right in front of me in a bar because he thought I wasn’t playing the guitar and was lip synching. WTF? This always hurts and cuts deep. I take that shit personal! So, how do I know I’m in the right place? Because if I was in a “real” job and my boss said something like that to me, I would quit on the spot. It happened more than once when I was growing up. Call it thin skin, call it what you want. I have no excuses or apologies. I feel like when someone talks to me in that manner, there is no coming back from that. How do I show my face the next day? But this music job? No matter the adversity, and the shit that has been said to me, this has been the only job that I have stuck with through thick and thin because it…just…feels…right.
As I age, and my wife ages beside me, I’m not sure what the future holds. She has worked SO hard for our family. She has been the “steady Eddie”, if you will. She is super smart and has been our nine to five, five days a week rock of a woman. She deserves a rest and I hope I am the person that can give that to her. If I somehow manage to live to an old age, I will play my guitar until my fingers fall off in some tiki bar while she swings in a hammock. I owe it to her to be wherever SHE would rather be.