Posts Tagged ‘rock ‘n roll’



October 20, 2009


Life is good, routine.

The kids are grown and on their own. The wife has plenty to keep her busy between her work and seeing to the needs of her parents. You work each week at a decent job that helps pay the bills and gives both of you decent benefits. You help out with the in-laws whenever you’re needed. Occasionally, the two of you watch a movie together, sharing some air-popped corn and Snow Caps. Weekends are spent on house needs, avocations, farmer’s markets, garage sales or the inexpensive brunch together at a local diner. Life still throws some curve balls, but for the most part, nothing you can’t handle. Even the dog and cat are “BFFs.”

But you used to play rock and roll for a living.

And you want to play rock and roll again.

Not full time, just enough to keep you “in the game.” You’ve got the “gear” and the “chops.” Chances are, you’ve forgotten more about music than most young players out there bangin’ and shreddin’ understand. “They’ve got a lot to learn,” you tell yourself. “I’ve been there. I know.” Whether you really “know” or not, the desire to jump in intensifies.

Of course, spousal support is paramount.

Drummer1Chances are rehearsals will be at your place. This means the china and crystal will shift in the hutch and all through the house, pictures will have to be straightened out at least once a week. The house’s largest room – at the bottom of the basement steps – will become the “man cave” for the band and unavailable to wife and beast.

With the “go-ahead” behind you, it’s time to find others willing to jeopardize their comfortable routines to get back on music’s path. And there are others – many, many others – all with different experiences around a common need: to feed their musical soul. But the congruency of this need does not translate into musical compatibility and now, your desire to play music is forcefully challenged. People from all walks of life are parading through yours, as you attempt to assemble a cohesive group. It’s similar to having several people in a room wanting to resolve a common issue, with each speaking a different language.

Singer1For some, it’s getting together with others to play all the tunes they used to do – a “memories” jam – a social event. Or, it’s taking those same tunes and learning them just well enough to get a gig once in a while. With the addition of a little alcohol to either scenario, their musical souls are fed.

But you’re the player who wants to gather with like-minded musicians, for the purpose of learning tunes with vocal and instrumental precision and accuracy, creating the quintessential “cover band.” You’ve lived through the first two scenarios, but your soul remains hungry. This time, you want to perform music you’ve never attempted before – to get out of your musical cocoon – to “do it right” – one more time. Most people won’t know if the vocal harmonies are spot-on or the guitar player learned his parts perfectly. But if even one person notices, it’s worth it. The band will feel accepted – their collective soul fed. This effort will not automatically yield ultra-high paying engagements, but this has never been about money.

Guitar1In your scenario, the struggle to reach the “go live” point is not defined by a timeline. You work until you’re ready – whenever that happens. During this process, sadly, members come and go, sending “go-live” a little further down the road. Your resolve is continually tested, as is your patience. You’re tempted to fall back to an easier scenario: play songs you already know, getting through them with minimal effort, and not be too concerned with quality.


But you fight the urge to shift directions, staying the path – a path that could easily take a year or more to navigate. Eventually, the light at the end of the tunnel will no longer be the train coming at you, but rather, the elusive “go-live” point you’ve now captured. Membership is stable and planning for the first engagement is underway. Not knowing how the public will respond, a small amount of anxiety enters your thinking.




Bass1It’s been a long time since the last “introduction” of a new musical group – with you in it. Hopefully, everything hasn’t changed too much out there. Hopefully, well-performed music is still appreciated. Hopefully, there are smiling faces. Hopefully, there’s dancing. Hopefully, there’s applause.


Hopefully, this Weekend Warrior can write the next chapter soon.