Saturday, October 03, 2009

Star Trek...Bruce Lee.....Wisdom

So I got a new guitar last week. It's a Breedlove acoustic/electric and it's like a little slice of heaven. I started doing some solo gigs again and I had to make the move. For a good acoustic guitar these days you have to be looking in the $1,000 range. I was going for a Taylor and had just about decided on one when Mr. Breedlove crossed my path. A done deal.
As I was paying for my guitar at the Guitar Center counter I flashed back to a Saturday afternoon at Gregory's music store in Plainfield, NJ. I was twelve, the year was 1964 and my mother decided she'd spring for my first guitar. Eighteen dollars....with case. The strings were so far off the neck you could....well...they were really far off the neck. I loved that guitar. Developed some real healthy callouses with that baby. About a year later I got my mom to go for my first electric guitar...with case and amp. It was a $50 Crown guitar and a $30 Kay amp and life has never been the same. But the thing with guitars, amps and any musical equipment is.... you always need something else. My problem is I can never 100% focus on one thing. Bass took up a good chunk of time but there was always guitar, dobro, banjo, pedal steel, girls, drums, harp. Jack of all....master of none. Would I do it differently if I could? Probably not. But for now the focus is on the acoustic guitar and learning and refining things I should have learned and refined a long time ago. I was never one for practice. I could and can always play for an hour or two at a shot just for fun which I guess translates into practice. But the serious guys I've met over the years do about six hours a day. Can't do it. The solo venture I've re embarked on has a different slant this time. No backing tracks...just me and a guitar. Very liberating, frightening and a lot more enjoyable. We'll see. Still playing bass in a couple acts and got to play drums last week in a local bar. HOOT!!!! But still looking for that one real solid, steady bass gig. I'm starting to believe it ain't gonna happen. I don't mean Madison Square Garden. Just a 3 or 4 times a month money making, music making, thumping band. I've had it a few times in this life and it spoils you.
But man, I can't complain. Life is good on the river. I wonder where'd I'd be if I'd stayed on the corporate track. A lot more in the 401K but, I'll bet, even more gray hair, an ulcer and a lot of what ifs.
I am one lucky son of a gun. I've really managed to live life, for the most part, on my own terms. If I live too long things could get dicey. But if I take a final bow about when I should, things should be just fine. I had a friend who got through life without ever having a real steady job, lived with his parents till well into his fifties, got some inheritance when they passed away and then died a few years later. I'd always tell him, "Just're gonna have a tough road in the end. What're ya 401K? You'll see!! Well he had the last laugh. Not my choice, but that's what makes a horse race.
As Bruce Lee once said, "The choice is yours, my friend." (He also said, "Be like water." Always liked that one.) I have arguments with some of my liberal friends about this. I've always been a bleeding heart liberal but as time goes on I'm bleeding less and less. Anybody can do anything....if they so choose.....and are willing to work for it. I'm convinced of it, I've seen it, it's my credo. Is it harder for some than others? Is life sometimes unfair? Is the playing field slanted? Do you hate people who ask questions only to answer them in the next sentence? Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. The question always comes back to me, "Then why aren't you on the Forbes 500, loudmouth?" Never desired it. Period. Believe it or not.
I have an earlier blog in here somewhere about roads taken and not taken so I'll leave that alone. But I like the alternate universe theory that says we live out every possibility somewhere...sometime. Ah...time lines. The things of which Star Treks are made? And the wonderful thing one can say...... with absolute ain't so. So, I guess somewhere, sometime, I am.....was..... will fielder for the NY Yankees. And I do look good in pinstripes.
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