Howdy folks. Found this entry from 2009… Interesting to read now, and I must say I am proud of it. Now, back in time with you…
It has been a long, long time. I’d like to tell you why in just a minute, but first there is something I should announce: I’ve got a gig at the famous Momo’s club on 6th street in downtown Austin, Monday Dec. 15 from 7-8pm (see Tour page for drecWhat’s even crazier is that I will be opening for Dan Dyer – one of those artists on his way from local to national. And even crazier than that – I haven’t played guitar in over 2 months. Thankfully, though, a gig at Momo’s is enough to get me nervous and motivated, and I can’t tell you how much I need that right now…
I thought I’d start this post with an “I’m Baa-aack” kind of vibe, but the truth is – I don’t know if I am. This year has often felt like looking in the mirror for the first time. The honeymoon of moving to Austin to “do music” crashed and burned at a Thunderbirds Coffee House gig, and I’ve been sifting through the wreckage for anything I might recognize ever since. There’s nothing really there. Well, I take that back – there are things there, but I’ve somehow imposed a weight limit for how many things I can carry out of the mess with me, and I’ve had to face some tough decisions.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t left music in the pile yet, but I’m looking at it awfully hard, and that scares me. Do I really need it? Why? What do you mean when you say you need something? Why do I “do music” in the first place? The worst possible answer is the truth: I don’t know.
I do know that moving to Austin has not been a mistake. This place has hammered into my head that true success – the kind you can know – is a direct result of doing things for the right reasons. From the first day I picked up the guitar, I have been dishonest with it. I wanted attention; I wanted acceptance; I wanted, and that’s the filthy bottom line I buried so deeply it took 13 years to dig up.
A true musician turns to music because it is the only way he or she can deal with this world. In this way only does music become the tool they unknowingly utilize to communicate and connect with other people. That connection is what makes music a part of human nature, and what makes someone’s music meaningful and valuable to you. This year, I realized that I am to real music as Kraft is to real cheese. Truthfully – singing and playing made me feel like the biggest phony I know.
So, I stopped. And I haven’t even wanted to pick it up again – it felt so good to act honestly for once.
Instead of music, I’ve been taking Robert Pirsig’s advice. He says to build a perfect motorcycle engine is easy; become a perfect person and then build something naturally. Instead of bikes, songs. Instead of perfect, meaningful. In this way, I guess I have been working on my music. I’ve been working on me (and that needs a lot of improvement). I just figured out that means committing to healthy, positive decisions in your life and doing pretty much everything differently.
So there it is. I am exposed. If I have disappointed you, believe me I know that I have and I feel that every day of my life, and I am sorry. BUT, there’s a but… for once I am sincere in my interest to discover what in this world I can do for the right reasons, and that’s saying something. I am hoping it’s music. I am hoping it’s my own music, because I feel like I can connect with you, and finally find some peace.
The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.
Robert M. Pirsig (1928 – )
Source: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : An Inquiry Into Values
Dave is a singer/songwriter from Austin, TX. He plays a unique style of acoustic guitar and writes from a raw heart. Please contact Dave if you’d like to schedule a performance for your public or private event.