While vacillating under the influence of vodka & vicodin, thru that haze of exhaustion as well as chemical elements, I’ve become aware that my career has come full circle. Yet, I’m blithely aware of how far I’ve gone to get to where I am. And where exactly am I anyway? Well, in the physical sense, I’m back working for the very first artist that gave me my start in the business. I flash back, having worked for countless bands and having traveled the world 12 times over. Then I fast forward nine years and I’m back working for the artist that started it all for me.
Is that considered success? How does one quantify success? I’ve yet to come to my own personal definition so I cannot conclude whether or not I’ve succeeded.
Dictionary.com defines success as; “favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the attainment of wealth, position and honors.” By web site definition, I suppose I could be considered successful but I’ve never used another’s definition by which to define myself. I might be successful but still at a loss at discovering what it is, that je ne sais quoi, that constitutes my success.
I’d much rather consider my life full of circumstantial luck. Many factors have been brought on haphazardly – right place, right time – simply being open to possibilities, some how making my own luck. And maybe that’s it. Lucky people are open to possibilities. They look for new experiences, they’re open to change and impose no limits on themselves or what they can do.
I dither no longer, as I now see that I have my definition.
Happy Gobble Gobble!
There’s something fundamentally wrong if I’m eating take out from Sbarro’s Pizzeria on Thanksgiving Day.
It was the only place open in the food court near the venue. Yep, one of the many glamorous hazards of a gig that requires you to travel for a living. Touring during the holidays can be less than festive, as the holiday simply morphs into another gig day. Then there are times you work with different cultures, those who don’t celebrate your holiday, and so it becomes a mute point.
Despite the fact I’m actually in my country of birth – today, I feel like a million miles away because I am not with my family. Usually, your touring family can carry you thru these times but some tours lack the cohesiveness that one may have experienced before.
No tour can compare to the last gig nor can the future gig be compared to the present. Hence, comparison becomes a waste of time.
Today, I actually wish I were on the other side of the world versus being on the other side my own country because it’s too damn close and so is McCarran airport, which compels me to get on a plane and fly home. But here I sit, in my hotel room, glass of Cabernet in hand. No turkey, no stuffing, no apple pie. Thank god for mobile phones because calling Mom and watching the Macy’s Day Parade together while listening to her four yappy dogs bark at the parade balloons, well, kind of makes me feel like home.
In the last 30 days, I’ve grown more territorial with my time. Tired of giving it away to people who pay me for it. Time…up for grabs to the highest bidder. Sad, yet it’s the way of the world. We all need to generate income to maintain our lifestyles, pay off our past and advance forward to meet our future. I’ve been gainfully unemployed for the past month and despite the need to feed myself, keep Visa happy and top up the negative balance of my bank account, I sit here on my balcony basking in the afternoon sunlight. Listening to the waves crash the shore, feeling the sea breeze glide over my skin, wind whisking thru my hair like a Whitesnake video and I write. I’m reading several books, working on my own book and martini-ing (apple of course) and I couldn’t be more content. Contentment, as if I’d won the lottery, having no worries and the construct of time now irrelevant. And secretly I wish for such divine intervention.
I love touring but I’ve discovered during my “fortnight squared” that I love being home. I’ve embraced having time as my very own. The next gig starts in less than 5 days and will occupy the next 42 weeks of my life. A great gig with excellent pay and I’m forever thankful for the opportunity but I find myself woolgathering. Hoping to win the lottery so I can stay home, go to the gym and work on my book. That sounds so idyllic. And it’s doubtful I’ll find someone to pay me a preposterous amount of money to stay home. Struggle brings about appreciation. So off I go to 7-Eleven, I’ve a few lottery tickets to purchase.
Once home from touring, everything comes to a drastic halt. Having worked & traveled for months on end, at breakneck pace, to then find yourself sitting in your very own living room. You hit a wall of exhaustion and two weeks later, when you wake from your blurry eye slumber you realize you have no friends to hang out with. All your friends are still out on tour or live in some other part of the world. A great distance, divided by continents yet connected thru technology. Via email and instant messaging – we play the virtual game of “Where’s Waldo” to find one another.
Currently, I’m in Tampa – having just flown in from Paris.
My best “moo” friend bounces between Phoenix & LA and soon the UK.
My favorite ex is in Melbourne.
My fabulous girlfriend is in NYC.
The sweetest guitar tech in the world is in London.
The grand poobah of tour managers is in Newcastle.
One seriously great production manager finds himself in Mexico City.
And yet another is nestled somewhere in the jungles of Thailand, riding on the back of an elephant.
Having an interminable traveling gig, while touring with a rock star, can weight heavy on you. Those who tour for a living not only travel for work but also travel to escape work. This can limit your friends because those who live & work in the same postal code can’t grasp traveling the world year round. And those of us perennially traveling cannot grasp the concept of working & living in the same place. Roadies scare the hell out of suburbanites, yet they all secretly wish they could run away and join our circus.