I have recently had sort of an ephinany about being in a band right now and being allowed to still play music in this day and age. It sort of also ties in with like..life and stuff.
I am very lucky to be able to keep doing this thing that I should treasure at all times because you know it is a gift, or a privilege, and it won’t be here forever, like anything else. I can remember looking back at the first year of this band I play in now and how I fought it, looking at it as this thing that was supposedly a pain in my ass but in reality was always this really good special thing to do. Especially with people that you have known and been friends with for over twenty years. That means something. You know, it isn’t everyday that you can re-connect with a handful of people from that long ago in this manner. It has been over four years now that we have been a band, and nothing has seemed to stop it, not ourselves, not our everyday lives, not our problems, not our ages, nothing. So that is pretty cool. Doing a band now seems to mean something FAR MORE NOW then it did when we were children. Back then, life was easier. You thought that you had all of the time in the world, so no big deal. Well, it is different now. You don’t have all of the time in the world, time is running out. I have found that being an adult with adult problems and concerns and responsibilities makes the outlet of having the outlet of playing fucked up crazy music seem more sacrosanct. It is way more of a release and makes me think that more oldsters should do it if they want to. Punk rock: originally designed for children, secretly made for adults. Who knew?
I will let you in on a little not so secret: I have more than occasionally had a love/hate relationship with the idea of being in a band and playing music. Being in so many bands over the years, it is easy to get that way. And as a lot of you know, being in a band is a lot like being in a relationship with three or four people at the same time, like being married to them or something. It can be tough at times. In this band, we finally learned how to yell at each other if need be and not make it a big deal. It took me YEARS to realize this. And then things were fine afterwards. It would have been nice to realize all of this earlier because it would have saved me a lot of unnecessary petty bullshit but that is okay…better late than never.
I am going to now talk very highly and somewhat lovingly about the concept of being in the band I am in now. This is not something I usually do, talking about how great something I am doing is, but here goes: A neat thing about this band is that in a way we are defying what is expected of anyone at our advanced ages; people at this point of the game just don’t usually play in bands, much less a band like this. We are not re-living old glories with an old band of ours, we are doing something new. We are not re-inventing the wheel or are on some holy crusade or anything; we are just weirdos doing what feels good. And I think that we have sidestepped all of the things that people who play music are supposed to care about. We are all years past wondering or hoping if we will be popular or famous, years past thinking that we are going to spend a month in a van on tour in hopes of some kind of career, years past impressing all of the right people or being cool or caring about that. Just playing is enough. And to have people at your shows is even better, especially when they are into it. To have kids come to your shows that wear homemade t-shirts with your band’s logo on it… I used to do that when I was a kid.
That is great. I can’t think of a better endorsement than that. I remember meeting creepy older people in bands when I was a dorky kid and how much it meant to me to find out that you could go up and talk to them, that they were actually people instead of heroes and you knew that it was okay. To become one of those creepy older guys with instruments in their hands that play scary music, to help send some people on the same path that we were all sent on years and years ago is really cool. It is like getting the torch, passing the torch, and then having it handed back.
An old band mate of mine told me years ago that if you weren’t going to be excited about what you were doing, than what is the point of creating it? took me awhile but I have actually relearned a few things just by being in this band, mainly, if it makes you happy, gives you purpose and it makes you feel good, than keep doing it. Don’t let anyone tell you not to do it, don’t talk yourself into thinking you shouldn’t do it because of your age or how you look or if it is good enough, just fucking do it.