Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Next 42 Years

So, tomorrow will be the last day I will ever be 41 years old. Man, there was so many things I intended to have accomplished by this time in my life!

When I was 14 years old, I knew exactly what I wanted to be: I wanted to be a Rock Star! I had my Kramer guitars with the Floyd Rose Systems on them. I got the expensive guitar straps with the parachute clips so I could sling my guitar around my body like the guys in Cinderella. And, yes, I had the Spandex (pictures surface from time to time)!

I started my first band at 18 years old. The band was called Little Dreamer and consisted of Johnny Holland on vocals, Terry Harris on bass, and Chris Wages on drums. We wrote our own songs and played a variety of 80's covers. We even recorded an album. I had a Marshall 50 Watt Plexi head and both 4x12 cabinets, and would lug them in to even the smallest of dives, because I was gonna act like a Rock Star! Little Dreamer went through various lineup changes through the years, and is where I started playing with Foosh, who has been MY drummer ever since.

When I was 22, I met my first "groupie!" I ended up marrying her the next year, and we had two wonderful boys together. But I still wanted to be a Rock Star, so the marriage slowly began to fall apart. I would like to publicly state that she is the person that really introduced me and turned me on to the Blues. She was so intrigued by them when she was at Ole Miss that she took Anthropology of the Blues Culture a couple of semesters. For the sake of her privacy, I won't call her by name, but for these two things, I want to say thank you for being a part of my life, if even for a brief moment.

At 23 I joined another band from Saltillo called Novus Jove. These guys had their own material, and after a little rearrangement by me (sorry guys!) we had a very solid set of music. We played all over Mississippi and into Alabama, and even played HempFest '97 in Biloxi, MS, the first hemp rally in Mississippi. Man, that was a crazy trip! We recorded two albums of original material, and even managed a meeting in August of 1998 with Robert Metzger of Capital Management in Nashville, TN. He was interested in a song I wrote, the title track from our second disc "Long Time Comin'," and was interested in promoting it on 5-Start Billboard Stations across the country. Inner turmoil among the band after 5 years of hard living, playing, and partying managed to tear that band apart in early 2000. So close! Curiously enough, this was also during my divorce.

I had another brief run with Little Dreamer from 2000-2002, where I starting playing music with Foosh, but it wasn't to be, and I put my guitar in the case for a few years. I had 2 young boys by this time and really wanted to be around them, so I cut my hair and tried to work things out with their mother. I took a job as a graphic designer I became a business man. But deep down I still wanted to be a Rock Star!

November, 2005, I was totally miserable. Things didn't work out with the ex and I was living alone in a town (Horn Lake, MS) where I didn't really know anyone outside of work. I lived behind Hooter's, so I spent pretty much every night sitting at the bar drinking and eating wings or a burger. I would take a paper towel from the roll, fold it in half, and just take a pen from the register. I would sit and scribble gibberish on the paper towel, stumble back to my apartment, throw the towel on the coffee table, and pass out. One night, I picked up my guitar (it had been about 4 and half years since I had touched it at this point) and just started playing. I played until the sun came up, finger sore and bleeding. I had forgotten how much I LOVED playing the guitar. Plus, I STILL wanted to be a Rock Star!

I had a short stint with Sugar Ditch in the Memphis-area, and moved back home to Tupelo in 2006. 

The Project came along in 2007 completely by accident, and with these guys I have played some of the most incredible shows! We have played clubs and festivals all over the state and have met some of the best people in the world. We've shared stages with some of the most talented artists in the world, from Memphis to Biloxi, Clarksdale to Huntsville, AL, and all points in between. Man, it's been an incredible ride.

I've witnessed the graduation of my oldest son, Elijah, and his acceptance into Ole Miss.

I've witnessed the artistry of both of my boys.

I've made friends with some of the most interesting people in the world. Even made an enemy or two.

I have had the experience of playing before a crowd (of roughly 20,000) that's almost impossible to comprehend.

I have songs placed in two different movies.

I have self-produced the last three albums I've released.

I've played country music.

But I never made it to a Rock Star. I guess a Bluesman will have to do, which is fine with me. Fits me better, anyway. Here's to the next 42 years. May you please have mercy on this old ass body!

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