I believe the game of life is to be in the right place on the right time. I believe there is such a place and there is only one time – now. When we are in the right place at the right time, there is the chance we have something that is needed and we can be useful. To be useful is a great joy.
These days it is cold outside, but each wednesday I go to Solvang to play with a motley crew at the Brewhouse. It’s officially “open mike”, but it’s more like “jam-night”. I do all sorts of goofy things, playing drums and organs while Dave Smith sings all the songs I never learned before. It gets lively, and musicians have come to join for the sake of music alone – as no one gets paid except for Dave (and that’s only a rumour).
Why do musicians play? I’ve been in many places and there are two reasons that I can see. Some, have something inside, something they want to say and they use music to express it. That’s cool. That’s most of succesful stars and shedders in the rock’n roll world. Shoot first, ask questions later would be one way to look at it. Others are seeking someting to be part of, they listen first, then play. They serve music and seek to find that moment when everything is in harmony and they carry their part.
Last Wednesday, the usual outfit of Dave, me, Randy and Danny were augmented by a fellow named Michael and yet another who sat at my keyboard while I took at turn on the mike using Dave’s guitar. It is hard to describe, but this evening all of us were actually listening to each other and somehow I was permitted to steer the ship, to guide the flow. It is a process unlike directing and telling people what to do. A conductor conducts energy, then pass it on. Many moments were reached that evening where every note could be heard even though 6 people were playing. Like a moving three-dimentional puzzle, each had their part to contribute, but remained in touch through time. It was music to my ears and I was sorry that the fellow who did an amazing job on my keyboard left before I could tell him thank you.
The evening started out with three people in the audience and 5 big-screen TVs competing for attention, but as time went by people came in and most stayed as long as the music played. They whooped and hollered and nobody was watching the ballgame for once.
Even in a bar magic can happen. That evening I dubbed the band: “The Too-Good-for-This-Place-Band” Music is illusive but inclusive, a languare we all know, but cannot understand. Time is precious and music demonstrates that. A world where everyone enters with different tools, background, ideas and ability, but all that is needed is to listen.
That’s why I play.