A young man or woman goes to the music store.
Or the pawn shop.
They buy a beat up guitar.
Some blank music sheets.
Or a note pad and a number 2 pencil.
They sit in their basement with their headphones. Fumbling to play along to their favorite artist.
Or, on the side of a lazy river, scribbling the lyrics to their someday breakout hit.
Do they dream about fame? And fortune? Thousands of screaming fans clamoring for their attention, in desperate need to hear their favorite song? Isn’t that the goal, after all? I would imagine it is.
But I wonder if an aspiring artist knows that, despite their level of achieved success, they have the potential to make someone’s day, even change their life by sharing a piece of themselves with us.
Did Bruce Springsteen know that a 47 year old man would immediately go to his music while driving 2 hours on a cold December night, tears streaming down his face, to see his father before he draws his last breath?
Did Journey know that their music would make millions of 80’s kids remember sweaty fumblings in the back seat of sedans and slow dances with their High School Sweetheart?
Did Van Morrison know that Into the Mystic would always remind me of that one night, sitting oceanside, watching a thunderstorm in the distance, drinking bourbon in beach chairs with a dear friend that has since died?
Did Dawes know that in his song A little bit of everything he would perfectly illustrate, as if on a design board, how to approach life when you don’t know how many days you have to live?
Did Michael Franti know that he would inspire my blog when he sang Good to be alive today? The song that slapped me in the face and told me that it is so simple, and necessary that I spend each day trying to make the world a better place and just be glad to be ALIVE.
So many songs.
So many associations.
So many memories.
So many things to so many people.
So many powerful emotions. Smiles of nostalgia. Tears of angst. Pains of heartache, sadness and loss. Euphoria and joy. The urge to play air guitar or pound the steering wheel to your favorite drum solo. The feeling that you have been where the artist has.
I have listened to thousands of songs in my life. There are millions of songs that I still want to hear. Songs that I know could speak to me. That will make me feel something, experience something powerful. I can only hope that when I hear them, I have a takeaway. Something that I can relate to. A fresh perspective on a old subject, a new spark to light the candle of another fond yet dormant memory.
Here’s to the person out there, just getting started, setting out on your musical journey and hoping for all of the typical trappings of success. May they know that success can me measured in so many ways.
Always keep in the back of your mind that you may change just one life with your efforts.