When I was sixteen years old, my Mom sat me down and had a talk with me about what I wanted to do when I grew up. She could see that I had a growing passion for playing guitar and writing music, but she wanted to see if she could try and suggest a “safer” and more “secure” path. She suggested, as any loving, well intentioned mother would, that perhaps pursuing a career in music wouldn’t be the easiest or most secure choice of a profession.
My mom is a doctor and I’ll never forget my response to her, and neither has she. I said, “Mom, you’re a doctor and you help keep people alive, which is an incredibly noble thing, but musicians and music give people a reason to live”. Now, maybe I was young and being a little melodramatic, but I really don’t think so.
Imagine what life would be like if there was no music or arts. Imagine what life would be like if we all spent the majority of our waking days simply making money to keep our system of making money alive. Imagine people spending the majority of their days and years in cubicles or offices, working for corporations that make stuff to sell, so that people who work in those corporations can make enough money to buy stuff other people make and sell.
Around and around we go, but for what? To simply survive long enough to have a few
kids who will simply be born into the same system, spending the majority of
their lives perpetuating the same ideas, who will then have more kids who will
perpetuate the same ideas and so on? There has to be something more.
Now I’m not a big enough of a hippie to think that rock and roll can save the world or anything like that. But a good song can inspire people in ways that a new Iphone or Samsung Galaxy never will come close to. A good song can resonate at the core of your very being. A great song or a great performance can change lives.
My love affair with music and specifically the music business, has been a rocky affair. I’m not here to tell you that being a musician is always easy. I once read an interview with Tom Petty where he said that being a musician is one of the craziest career paths there is and absolutely don’t do it unless you have to and are 100 percent driven to be a musician. I thought he was just saying that to be dramatic. Now I understand why he said that and he wasn't joking. The music business is f&*^ing crazy.
Pursuing a career in music is not about taking the easy way out. If you simply want to survive and perpetuate the species, there are much easier and secure paths to accomplishing that goal. For me, writing music and pursuing a career in music, is about trying, in my own small way, to change the world. Music is a sacred thing, in a world that’s filled with a seemingly infinite amount of trouble. Music is the calm within the storm.
I may never reach all the crazy goals I’ve set for
myself, but then again I might. As Jim
Carrey eloquently said in a recent commencement speech (see below), “You can fail at what
you don’t want, so you mine as well take a chance on doing what you love.” Amen.
In : June 2014
Tags: jim carrey reaching goals
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