It’s hard to say where and when it all starts for anyone that eats, sleeps and breaths an art form. But that Sunday night when Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles, music started weaving itself into the fabric of my being. Self-taught through high school, I was happy jamming with like-minded players that thrived on making music because it meant something more than a buck.
After a few wrong turns that led to a very humbling season in my life, a proverbial “everything happens for a reason” discussion opened up an opportunity to earn an associate of arts degree in music performance at a community college. It was late August, the school needed a bassist, I auditioned, they gave me the free ride. When the performance department head found out I couldn’t tell the difference between a dotted-quarter and a whole rest, he gave me the fall semester to get up to speed. Thankfully, I had world class professors and instruction, nothing to lose and a newly kindled passion for learning the science and techniques that enable expressing jazz and classical idioms.
Even before graduation, gigs started coming, followed by a few years as a performing Navy musician. I played on for many years, but never got my chops to the level it takes to make a living sufficient for a growing family. All but resolved that it was a nice ride while it lasted, I got introduced to songwriting by a co-worker who was a musician and indie artist.
For the last 10+ years I’ve dovetailed my varied musical skills and knowledge with the craft of songwriting. Living in one of the premier “song” towns in the world affords me to hang out and watch some great songwriters, most of whom no one will ever hear. It’s like I’m a sponge in a deep ocean of creativity, absorbing, ingesting — writing, recording and sharing.
Maybe I did “make it” after all.