Shinybass journal entry 01-16-13

Some days hit harder than others…

Good Wednesday morning.  I know it is Wednesday, because after skillful prodding from some of you, I am reminded that it is Wednesday and that I have neglected to blog in my usual manner.  My intentions were to do this on Sunday night, then I guess the beauty of a lazy Sunday evening took hold, and boom – now it’s Wednesday.  Actually, this is the first post I have written in the new year.  We didn’t have a New Year’s show to report, and having the ‘amateur night’ off was just fine with me.  I refuse to pay $40 to get into the same bar I attended the night before for free.  Call me silly.  Regardless- here it is – the first entry of 2013, and it hits hard.

Since my last journal entry was on the 29th of last year, I would be remiss to mention that we played the last Titans home game of the year on the 30th.  It was 23 effing degrees at sound check.  That’s 23 if you are scoring at home.  The fingers held up surprisingly well for being 23 degrees.  I am sure two things contributed to this – first of all, we’re professionals.  OK, maybe just one thing : Our guests for the morning were the legendary Keb’ Mo’ and long time Genesis/Phil Collins drummer Chester Thompson.  We also had studio and live guitar ace Jeff King on the gig, too, so we were ALL on our best behavior.  The groove was sick, and I was a beaming little boy at Christmas, as evident in this picture.

So we venture into the new year, with our resolutions, our disillusions, our products of distillation, and hopefully, here at the two week mark, you are sticking to your guns.  I am going to go ahead and say that our resolutions have been going swimmingly – less red meat (actually having meat only 2-3 days a week), and less drinking.  A little reset button, if you would.  I’m sure I’ll run into one of you while on the road as I sink my teeth into a 20 oz ribeye with a Woodford Reserve and I fully expect to get the disapproving glare.  It’s OK.  We’re only human.  Actually smaller portions for everything is the standing order, so no ‘sides of beef’ for me.  It was time for a little change, so don’t judge.

Lately, things have been, well, different, odd, random yet all connected.  On Dec 7, I lost my Stepdad, Roger, to cancer.  Maintaining some sort of restraint to ‘post’ such things is an interesting notion, but I felt it best to keep it all close to the chest.  Until now, of course.  He lost a very quick battle with cancer, and if there is any consolation, it is that he didn’t suffer long.  After learning Roger had cancer, I reached out to my friend Ken Block of Sister Hazel, since his brother passed at an early age from cancer, and his Lyrics for Life Charity is a strong force.  I was looking for answers- help, advice, anything to help.  Ken returned the call, but by the time he called, Roger was in a bad way, so I waited to call back.  When I went to call Ken, his father had passed, so here we were in some odd grief period together.  I waited a little to reach out to him, and we finally caught up, and had a great conversation.  I am thankful for such people in my life.

January 8th we played in Charlotte, NC for a private function.  (Don’t worry, I switched gears for a reason, but it all comes back around)  And speaking of gears, we visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame (How about that tie-in?).  If you have the chance to visit this great museum, please do.  You’ll be glad you did.  Anyways. the convention was huge, and the show was a 2-hour jam that was simply fun to play, since we’d been off for a couple weeks.  During shows, I like to study the crowd – see who is having fun, who is fighting with their dates, who is there with parents, etc.  It’s all there for us to see (so be careful). As we played the song ‘Last Day of My Life’, I looked out and noticed a woman sobbing, and being consoled by her co-workers.  The tears lasted a few more minutes, but as we kept playing, her tears turned to smiles, and she and I were sort of laughing at each other.  After the show, I sought her out, just to say hello, and asked one of her friends where I could find her.  Her friend asked me ‘Do you know who she is?’ I had no idea. A s I shook my head no, I was told that she was Sandy Phillips, who lost her daughter in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

As I approached Sandy, she smiled and gave me a big hug.  We talked for a minute, and she asked if I knew about her story – I said ‘I do now.’  We walked and talked for a little while as I escorted her to the bus to meet Phil.  We had some heartfelt and great moments together, as she talked about her daughter and I spoke of my Stepdad.  It was an extremely moving experience, and in sharing words with her, I would like to think that I made a new friend.

I preach love, spending time, and telling people exactly what you need to say while you have the chance.  Our lives are but a blink – and tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Embrace the chances you are given. This journal entry was delayed for a few reasons, and maybe I had to wait until I was able to tie it all in.  I just know that everyone has grief and happiness, wealth and poverty, and great days and shitty ones.  We need each other to get through, and talking is an easy and free first step.

I can’t begin to think of a good transition into the ‘hey we’re on the road this week’ paragraph I have to start, but bam! – here we are.  The next show for the gypsy kingdom is Joe’s on Weed St. in Chicago.  This show guarantees several things – first – that it will sell out.  Second – that it will be an amazing time.  Third – that we have some new songs and tricks up our collective sleeves.  I hope to see each and every one of you in the new year, and have the chance to say hello.

Thanks again for checking in, and for taking the time to stop by.  Stick to your resolutions, or at least get close to them, and may 2013 bring you everything you dream.  Anything you want is possible.  Get to it.

Be nice to each other, and I will see you on the road!!


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