Is Music a Young Man’s Game?

A discussion of returning to music making and band life after a "real" job, a wife, and children.
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As far back as I can remember, music has been part of my DNA. It helped form my identity by influencing my clothes, hair, and swagger. It was my social scene, and as a kid, it kept me at peace sitting in my room. When I was young, my band was my "team," and we were going to conquer the world. It is hard to describe this to someone who may not have the same connection to what some may call a "hobby," but for others, it is their life.

So it was natural for me to assume that music would always be a part of me. It would be my life’s love and career. But, like so many others who dream of their big break in the arts or sports, somehow it didn’t happen that way.

I can’t remember how it changed—when I went from being a musician, to merely saying, “Oh yeah, I play guitar,” to when I didn’t even think about playing. It's kind of how grey hair starts—you may remember the first one, but, after that it’s all a blur.

In my mid 40s, I found myself buried in career and family, and music was something I lost contact with—like an old high school buddy. One day, my daughter mentioned that her friend’s dad heard I was a musician, and wanted to know if I would be interested in jamming with his group of middle-aged weekend warriors. Although my fingers had not touched a guitar in about ten years, my ego instantly went to “ Dad band? Ain’t happening.” Thank God, my wife kept my ego in check, and reminded me to look in the mirror. I had to acknowledge I had become a dad, too.

Fast forward to my first night of rehearsal with the Dads. It was like a switch
was flipped, and although ten years had passed, instantly my guitar and I were
like old best friends who never missed a beat.

I bet my wife may have some regrets for suggesting I pursue this endeavor, because between work, taxiing the family, helping with dinner, and food shopping, I have become a hyper-focused, lick- practicing DAD. Although confronting that the fingers have become a little stiffer and the hair a little grayer, my life experience has taught me how to work through these challenges (physically and emotionally). I just need to find more time to practice, and a good hair dye.

Now, unlike my younger days where fame and fortune was a motivator, I can be content with just being in the music. I would like to share with you some of the lessons and experiences of my journey to create my music while trying to stay relevant in a world where sometimes I feel like Rip Van Winkle. For more of my "mature" musings, stay tuned right here at guitarplayer.com

Photo courtesy of MagicAperature

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