Lights

Three years ago I saw an awesome 3 piece band perform acoustic rock in Cabo, Mexico. They were performing in a really cool, dark lounge near our hotel. They had a blue light that cast a deep, blue glow over themselves and their equipment. The lighting looked awesome and the music was unreal. 

As soon as I got back to SD, I purchased colored wash lights. To this day, I bring them to every gig. I know musicians who charge extra to bring lights for shows. I don't because I would not want to do a show without them. 

When I play out, I want everything to be great. I want every show to be special. I want people to come back and bring their friends. When I plug in, and my blue stage lights turn on, it sets the tone. It marks my stage territory and it sets the vibe. 

Howard Stern has said he spends a lot of time setting up his studio. He has a virtual fireplace on display, comfortable leather couches, and ambient lighting. He does this to create a special vibe where his guests can relax and feel good. 

When I show up to perform at a party or a lounge, I have the same intention. "All good things. Block out the bad. Bring in the good. Up, down, and around. Like a carousel." 

My lights may not seem like a lot, but they are very important to me. They reflect a mentality. They represent everything I'm about. Relax, check out for a bit, and enjoy something really cool. 

I love to fly Virgin airline simply b/c of the violet lighting in the cabin (shout out Vit). 

When my lights turn on, I get excited. It is special. It is go time. 

David and Goliath

One of my coaches in college told us the story of David and Goliath a few days before we were playing a really good team. I'll summarize the version he told me in my own words:

There were two armies facing each other across a valley. One side sent out Goliath, a massive, brutal soldier. They called across to the other side and told them, "Send out your strongest, best soldier. If you beat Goliath, we will leave. If not, you surrender and we conquer your city." The army stalled; they didn't know what to do. Everyone was terrified. People in town kept saying that Goliath was too powerful and deadly. Eventually, out in the hills, a young shepherd named David caught wind of what was happening in his city. He didn't like hearing about Goliath. David told himself, "I don't care about Goliath. I don't care how big he is. None of them know about me. They don't know what I've done. When I'm in the woods, and a lion comes and steals my sheep, I chase down the lion and I kill it. I am a lion killer. When a bear comes and tries to eat my sheep, I don't back down. I stand toe to toe and I kill the bear. Goliath should be worried about me. I'm a lion killer." Then David goes out and slays Goliath. 

I love this story. I have thought about it many times in my music career. I've had to walk into a packed, rowdy bar on a Saturday night and perform. The people in there are drunk, and yelling out and all staring at me while I set up. It can be daunting. Or the time I took a private party gig on a yacht in San Diego, and I had to get out to the boat on a small dingy with five guys who I'd never met before. They were taunting me, "wow, you don't know where we are taking you. We could be abducting you! Aren't you worried?" Or performing corporate gigs in front of a sea of people.  In those situations, I think about everything I've been through with my music career. I think about the time my guitar was stolen while I was loading it onto my moped after a gig. I think about managers that have fired me. I think about scraping by on peanut butter and jelly sandwich to pursue my career. I think about all the hard times I've been through to make this work. 

So when I go into a packed bar and I'm about to play, or when a group of random dudes ask me if I'm nervous, I tell them, "ahh... you don't know where I've been. You don't know about me. You don't know how long it's taken me to get here. You should be worried about me! I'm here to slay!"

 

 

 

My Cargo Bike

I was 23 when I decided to go into music as a career. I was really excited but I was also nervous. I used to watch this Arnold Schwarzenegger motivation video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftl9Qk0v6Lg

I've memorized the video word for word. He says, "break the rules. There are so many rules in life. You have to break the rules. Not the law, but you can't get anywhere without breaking some of the rules." 

When I was starting in music in San Diego, I used to wake up at 8 and ride my bicycle to my rehearsal studio. I would pack two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my backpack and lean my guitar against my handlebars. Everyone else was starting their morning commute and I was riding my bike to play guitar. At the time, I felt like I was breaking the rules. 

Now I am 30 years old working as a full time musician in Boston. I ride a cargo bicycle to get to all of my gigs around the city. All of my equipment fits inside my cargo bike. I love riding my bike. I strap my guitar to my back and I cruise. It is a blast. I still feel like I am breaking the rule. 

 

  

Jay Peak Getaway

Yo, 

Sunday night and Monday night football bounced two of my gigs this week at the Point in Boston. I cruised up to Jay Peak Vermont the past two days to break out of the city. Love getting out and about. Time slows down up here. Just heard a good quote, "inspiration is for amateurs. Professionals wake up and work every day." Great quote. Still, it is nice to bring the guitar and get up in the mountains. 

I am thinking about doing a weekly blog on the website. I write in a journal often. This reminds of that. I am back at Ocean Prime this Wednesday and Thursday. I really enjoy working on the vibe there. Here we go now.