Road Reality Check

This could be titled dreams vs reality. What is the yardstick of your life? What do you measure it by? I used to think I had a good grasp on this. The answer was basically “doing things I believe in” This meant drumming, playing in bands, helping others, making art, starting some business of my own. All things I’ve done too many times to count. Then reality hits. The phrase “You’ve got to face reality” is a common one. But what does that really mean? What IS reality? I think it depends on who you ask. Talking to a friend the other day we agreed that there is never any good news in the papers or on the news. So from this reality it would seem the world is totally in chaos and everything is falling apart and that there are these two parties who are claiming to have leaders who know what should be done to fix things. On and on it goes with this thing called reality. My current reality is composed of a hotel room, actually I’m writing this in the empty continental breakfast room in the hotel. We played a great show in New York City last night, but that reality is gone. So it seems reality has nothing really to do with the past. I guess you could say “I had a reality last night that was pretty good….” but seems to indicate that the past is a reality. But it’s gone, so that can’t really be much of a reality. I’m in this hotel, alone and my girl is mad at me because I’m away and it’s not looking like we’re going to make any real money on this tour. That is part of my current reality ¬†because I’m connected to someone I love and my attention is on her. But I’m still in a hotel lobby getting ready to pack up and head to Boston for tonights show. I think that reality is basically the future. The future however doesn’t really exist yet. The gig tonight may be amazing and sell out and we could make more money than we thought and things will work out. But all that potential exists in the future. We are always able to change the future. We can’t really change the past although we can learn from the past. But the past happened the way it did because of decisions we made at the time about the future. We look at the present and decide into the future something we hope will be an improved state. And sometimes we mis estimate. Life seems to be a...

Read More

Your Comfort Zone Sucks

One thing about this project that I didn’t fully anticipate was the consequences of pushing myself so far out of my comfort zone. In fact, I didn’t really consider I had a comfort zone. I tend to live by my own rules. Like, the idea of playing drums on the street as my sole source of income is something I am very passionate about. The idea of being 100% self sufficient and doing it 100% on my own terms cuts to the heart of who I am. My personal standard of my own integrity is defined in the proceeding sentence. That doesn’t mean, however that this is practical. But I hate practical. Who says it has to be practical? So, how to reconcile this idea of integrity with the “practical” requirements of being able to pay your way and survive with a roof over your head? And why should I worry about it anyways? Why don’t I just do exactly what I want? I’ll tell you why. Other People. There are other people in the world. I’m in love with another person. Maybe I could have written this blog for years concentrating on drumming and how to make a living as a street musician. Looking at the world of buskers and street performers I am continually inspired by their dedication to living outside the box. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have some questions for them. Are all street musicians homeless? Do they pay taxes? Live in boxes? Can they afford to eat organic food or do they have to eat McDonalds because it’s all they can afford? And most importantly, are they in love? Do they have someone who depends on them to pull their weight? I do. And that fact requires a lot of inspection. Loving another person and being responsible for their happiness and survival do not necessarily go hand in hand. I could just “do what I want” and play drums and write my blog and probably talk forever about all the experiences I have in that arena. But in the back of your mind you’d probably be asking yourself, “I wonder if he has a girlfriend or wife?” This problem I’m outlining here seems to be the trap of many musicians. I dare say most artists and musicians are trapped by it. “I’m an artist” ¬†seems to be used to justify an awful lot of non survival behavior. And I am as guilty of this as the next starving artist. And it’s really bullshit. There is no question that I am happy when I play drums. Theres no question that I’m great at it....

Read More