Lachie refers to these as my “Ted Talks”, so to save some time tonight. Here I go!
Tonight we are about to do, the craziest thing I have ever done, we are about to perform on stage at Lizottes, in a band that had its first rehearsal … 2 months ago today. And it was a total disaster!! But from that disaster we took our lessons and worked hard to be better.
Lachy, Dom, Gage, Rishi & Scott, I am truly grateful to each one of you for the time, effort and commitment you have dedicated to making Pink Houses come to life. For me, Mellencamp has been the soundtrack of my life. If I had a spirit animal, it would be John Mellencamp. No artists has connected with me like Mellencamp.
I know that none of you knew much about Mellencamp, I remember Rishi’s quote when he said, “I never thought I would be playing country rock”! I think you were all thinking the same. Thank you for having an open mind, dedicating yourself to these songs and opening your heart to the music of John Mellencamp.
In this short journey, we have been fortunate to have met and been helped by some insanely talented and successful musicians. People who have inspired me like Brien McVernon. A few other people who have been instrumental to this journey are Mick Fetch, who provided some “tough love”, Dane Baldwin who put me in touch with Marty Worral and yep, Marty Worral who saved my ass!
And, let’s not forget … Brian Lizotte, for giving us the opportunity to play at his beautiful venue.
These people, by their own admission, will tell you that music has provided them with a good life. Just like, (if it is something that you truly want to do), it will provide you.
But be sure to understand one thing, building a career, (you know the traditional “get a job” type of career) and building a life, are often not the same thing. Although for those people who are able to say they have both, you are so very lucky.
For me, it wasn’t like that. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a pretty great life. I have built a career at something I am pretty handy at. I have a great family, two amazing, though somewhat crazy kids, I guess you can blame the DNA for the crazy, and a wife who, since 1991, has had to endure my moments of “inspiration” that come and go. A lot of people tried to tell her that we “wouldn’t make it”. Well I guess the jokes on them! 😮
But, this great life, has always felt incomplete. Something has always been missing, that something was PLAYING MUSIC. There are probably only a handful of people who truly understand what music means to me. It has always been the thing that “lights me up”!
My first musical instruments were ice cream containers and chop sticks!! I was probably 8 or 9 at the time. Ironically, I would set them up and put on the Destroyer album by KISS and play Detroit Rock City … over and over … and over. Tonight … Detroit is part of your KISSTORTION set.
From then on, music has felt like it was part of me, just like the blood in my veins. The challenge was, I had never touched a musical instrument and music theory was a complete mystery to me. Nevertheless, I found a way and here we are today.
In about 1983, the first “real” musical instrument came into our house when I bought an awful dark brown timber bass with a 15 watt Gorilla amp. It was hard to play and made a sound that was as bad as it looked! Though, I didn’t know it at the time, my lifelong love with the bass had begun. After that came a Steinberger “knockoff”, just like John Kirk played in the Uncanny X-Men and then my first “real” love, the jewel blue Ibanez SDGR, which will be on stage tonight, and was bought with a little help from Brien McVernon.
So tonight, we are fortunate to do something that just three months ago was just another one of my hair-brained ideas, but here we are! As you all know by now, I’m a big believer that, if you ever want to do something, go “all-in”, scare the shit out yourself and just do it. The greatest joy in life is often just beyond your greatest fear. Don’t let fear deprive you of your greatest joy!
Remember, whatever you choose to do to build an amazing life, and let’s hope music is part of it, remember this, be good, be kind to people, respect those people who have done what you are trying to do and be grateful for those people who help you along the way. When the times get tough, and they will, those same people will be there to support and take care of you.
Lets go and have a rocking good time … then we can start work on John Mellencamp The Musical. Just kidding … no, not really. 😉