Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 04-21-15

Are we there yet? No, really…



We, as musicians are cursed. I would imagine all artists or creative-types are cursed, but with the constant hype and expectations of the performing world, we are possibly reminded of it more so than an author or painter. You see, in the ‘normal’ world, being the CEO of your company is as high as it gets. In our world, there is no ceiling. This is dangerous on many levels. First, it means we can accomplish anything we want (which is actually true in anything, but stay with me), and become the toppermost of the poppermost. Even after conquering the highest of mountains, we are never satisfied – we artsy folk keep pushing our creative and experimental boundaries, and want to do more and more. Being in the spotlight, the harsh throes of aging and criticism (I can see his wrinkles from here!) come into play, and sadly, many performers fade from the spotlight and move out of creative mode, thinking that public performance is linked to success. Quite the contrary – each of us have gifts that have been given us, and to silence them because of vanity or ‘lack of success’ is very sad. And time or age doesn’t matter. Some of the most successful writers and painters started very late – possibly after selling insurance for 20 years.


So to ask the question ‘Are we there yet?’ is actually a trick. We are never there. And that goes for everyone. We should never stop moving forward, climbing toward the ‘unreachable goal’. Why should we keep moving toward a point on the map we’ll never reach? I ask you this: How do you know you’ll never get there? And what about all those amazing things you’ll see on the way?


Such is my life. I think about these things every day. This day is not a do over, and it’s not even guaranteed. So what are we going to do today? I’ll tell you as soon as I tell you what we did last week.


Thursday night I was editing video right up until the midnight bus call to head out. With little one and Momma’s schedules, sometimes 10PM is the only time I can get to my tasks. No worries. I managed a little sleep and was able to watch the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains as the morning dew was burning off the edges of the field grass in the most beautiful state in the Union: Virginia.


We were in town to play a fundraiser for the Miller Home of Lynchburg, a fantastic place for teenage girls to be given a shot at a decent tomorrow. Phil has been raising money for this home for 5 years now, and I’m always happy to be a part of the process. Giving every living thing a chance is about the best present we can give.


I was able to spend a few good hours with my oldest brother, which made my day even better. The show that night was a huge success, and we can’t thank the City of Lynchburg and Miller Home enough for letting us come make some noise.


The next night we were scheduled to be in Syracuse, then back down to Manassas, VA. When the bus took off from Lynchburg, I fully expected to see the bright lights of upstate NY and hear some funny accents at breakfast, but I was wrong. The bus was stopped, but my handy smart phone map told me we were in Northern Virginia. Maybe I read the schedule backward and we were in VA tonight? Then there was a knock on my bunk. It was Gordo, telling me we had trailer problems, and we had to help load a box truck with our gear. Well, an early workout was on my agenda anyhow.


With 500 miles left to go in our journey, I was able to take in some of my book and get a little work done. We made it to Syracuse and set up in record time. The show was amazingly packed, and the crowds made the setbacks of the day disappear into the rowdy night. We packed up our things and moved on to the hotel, where we had some (much needed) showers and KT climbed into the box truck to meet us at the next show.


Driving through the night is a feat in itself, especially after being up all day, but what makes it more heroic for our cause is that the box truck we were given was a complete POS, which meant it handled like a tank and made 0-60 in about 90 seconds. IF that.


We woke up a few miles from the Manassas Battlefields, (or Bull Run if you are from the North), and Jeff (my other resident Civil War buff), Jay and myself set out to see some history. The landscape is eerily beautiful at the park, and although there are a dozen miles of trails, we opted for the 10 peso version and only stayed on site for about 90 minutes. We learned a lot in that short time. The last time I was there, I was about 13 and on a Boy Scout hike. I was felt like a kid again as I pictured the battle on the field. One thing is for sure – war sucks.

IMG_6042 IMG_6034 IMG_6036

The venue this evening was the Hylton Performing Arts Center, a beautiful, beautiful room on the George Mason satellite campus. It was a different kind of party than the club show the night before. There’s a more refined air to a theater, well, some theaters, but typically the party will break out eventually. And we like that. Big thanks to the venue staff and the fans for making it special.

IMG_6041 IMG_6038

Someone I went to high school with AND marched in the marching band with in Virginia Beach stopped me after the show. This world is entirely too small sometimes, and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful for the friends who made the time to come down from DC and say hello.


So after my shift in the box truck (those 4 hours seemed to fly by), we finally made it home. I was happy to have some of my day, since it could have been much much worse. We risk a lot every time we go out, and a few vans and buses didn’t fare so well last week. Prayers for speedy recoveries to all our touring brothers and sisters out there.


So where will your week take you? Where do you start your never-ending journey? And why are you still reading this? It’s time to get outside and PLAY!

See you on the road!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.