Shinybass journal entry 12-30-13
This is it!
Make no mistake where you are…(Thanks, Kenny Loggins) Welcome to the last journal entry of 2013, the Year of the Snake. The absolute worst part of this time of year is reading or seeing the ‘Who we lost’ or ‘Tributes’ sections of the news, and as clips roll from famous faces that are not with us anymore, my age-old sentiment reverberates in my head – ‘Who will fill their shoes?’ Is there a Lou Reed among our 20-somethings? Is there a Jonathon Winters? Is there an Annette Funicello? I’m not saying there isn’t amazing talent out there, but these days are filled with short-minded individuals who want the ‘audition and win’ mentality, as well as playing the controversy card to become famous. Fading are the days of struggle – true struggle – to hone and perfect a craft.
I realize it’s a slippery slope when I start talking about this, but I love Miranda, so girl, I ain’t bashing you, I promise! There are many, many talents out there who practice and actually care, and use the new contest formats to launch themselves. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Just like scoring a record deal, it’s what you do after you win that is important. Staying hungry and wanting to actually get better and progress is the name of the game – any game. And, as we close 2013, the wild tangents continue. Back to my original thought. The loss of great and famous people is sad, for they brought us joy on a large scale. The loss of soldiers is terrible, for they were simply at work for the rest of us. The loss of family and friends is of course the hardest, and famous or not, they need to be cherished and remembered. And my heart goes out to anyone who lost someone close this year.
Another set of lists that you’ll see out right about now are the ‘Best of’ lists. I probably couldn’t name 10 movies that came out this year, or honestly say that I have listened to 10 whole new albums this year. I’ve listened to a lot of music, but my search for new music generally comes up with a limited list of folks, and I simply won’t listen to album cuts (or radio singles) by the flavor of the month. I will say that Lorde’s ‘Royals’ turned lots of heads, and I appreciate that. It was a breath of fresh air, and then radio got a hold of it and made it not so fresh. But I still listened after that, which is rare for me. I am a music lover, through and through, however, sometimes I need direction, just like the rest of us, I suppose. I appreciate the indie record junkies out there, and would appreciate the names of any records to check out, this year or any year.
Personally I had a wonderful and stressful 2013, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We moved into a new house, which is always a big task, made even bigger by my schedule that kept me away most of the summer. No complaints here or anywhere else. Life is life, and we have to walk the paths we have chosen. And being away from home is part of the journey sometimes.
And speaking of being away from home and missing moments and stress and music and such, I shot and produced and edited a video for Phil’s song ‘Don’t Miss Your Life’. (Shameful self-promotional plug) I put it together using footage I shot over weeks of touring. This shows some fun stuff, and life on the road is a good time. I like watching it so I can remember some places we visited. Extra points if you can name some of them, and bonus stars if you find yourself in the video. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed making it.
So now that you see how much fun we can have on the road (and get to meet some great folks as well), here are some snapshots that were highlights of my 2013. The wifey stuff is personal, so don’t get bent out of shape because I didn’t post our anniversary pictures.
There were some big moments in 2013 for me. First, I met (and backed) Charlie Daniels at Phil’s charity show in Lynchburg. This was a meeting 30+years in the making. I have been a fan for so long, and to just chat about places to live in TN for a bit was perfect. And I am glad someone captured the moment. I also did some freelance video work with my friend Billy Ray Cyrus, who was promoting his new book and record. It was a fun shoot, and we had a great afternoon running around the compound getting footage. I also found that wearing a ‘pimp’ outfit during sound check will cause you to shed water weight fast.
In 2013, I hit some personal milestones. I was able to get home again to Virginia Beach, which is always a recharge of my batteries. I can sit by the ocean and not be overwhelmed as I have in the past. I can look at the ocean and be thankful for the view. And the Virginia Beach view ain’t so bad. I also visited the site of my very first paying gig – a pool party at Oceana Naval Base. I ran a 5K this year, and, as I mentioned before, bought a new house. In moving, I found this box from the KK days, which lit a fire for my record project. I also have been carrying around this poster for the past 20 years in hopes of a garage in which to display this bit of greatness. It was the first thing I hung in the house.
Of course we did a bit of traveling, which is sort of what we do. I had a ‘reflective’ moment in Chicago, and a ‘look at me’ moment at the Salt Flats. I took yet another ‘selfie’ (that’s the first time I have ever referenced a picture using that word) at the Canyon of Grand, and I was floored at the Pittsburgh Pirates success this year. Watching a city rally around the baseball team was insane. And I realize that as I look at these pictures, I am a Pittsburgh nut, I love to see new things, and I have been a lot of notable and wonderful places. I met someone on a plane a few years ago who told me of travels all over the world, and showed me pictures from the most remote locations. I am trying to be that person. And as long as you look, I will keep posting pictures from the middle of nowhere.
Of course there are many more in-between moments, and the little moments are the ones that usually overshadow the big ones. Don’t forget those small moments. The little laughs, the little things that get us through every day mean a lot. Sure, being at the Grand Canyon was great, but the fact that it was raining and I saw a wild Elk up close were a couple baby details that made the day even better.
In the year to come, don’t forget to take stock – every day – in what you have and what you are. Life moves in crazy directions, all the time. Remember that you are your own true north. That thing that makes you warm and fuzzy and smile uncontrollably? That’s what you should be doing. So in 2014 – do it.
See you on the road!