I’m not sure what it was exactly, but something came over me a couple of days ago in regards to this place, my city, that made me feel different inside…deep down. Almost like a voice said, “Everything is gonna be okay” and I was instantly relieved. I had just been to see my ex-girlfriend, Sara, whom I’d spent five years with and was engaged to, but broken up with not more than a year ago. I was there to drop off some music to her and she informed me that she was now seeing someone. Well at first, there was this pain and then grief, but it soon changed to happiness, as I suddenly realized she had in fact moved-on and was living her life. For me, it was the closure that I needed so badly because I had been holding on to this thought in my head that maybe, just maybe one day soon, we would be able to see one another again and work through our differences. That this year apart from one another was all the time we needed to realize there was still something between us, that the bond was still strong. Sadly it wasn’t, it’s really over and I was glad to have finally reached a place in my heart where I felt good about that. The feeling washed over me.
Strange, too because for several months I’ve been fighting this urge to wanna pack up and shag ass outta here to someplace else, Chicago, San Fran, NYC or maybe even Europe. New scene, new people, new friends, different surroundings, nothing familiar, but I know I’d just be running away from my problems instead of standing up and facing them. This has happened before. Back in ’91, I quit my old band, broke things off with a long-time girlfriend and left Memphis, headed (first) for the West Coast, then New York and elsewhere, spending fifteen years trying to find “it” in different cities. That “it” was actually right here, inside me all along and is now waking up again and speaking to me. I believe it’s my soul.
When I first moved back to Memphis four years ago with Sara, it was like rediscovering this place through someone else’s eyes because she completely fell in love with the city. For a while, things seemed new and different, we were having a great time but upon closer inspection I came to the realization that nothing had changed and I felt a tinge of sadness that the city hadn’t progressed very much at all and it seemed as though people were still struggling, especially artists. It made me want to leave and when she and I broke off our engagement, the feelings grew. Where could I go? The search began and for months I looked all over this country, talked to dozens of good friends and to my surprise, most of them were going through the same trials as me. Musicians, as well as people in other professions, everyone was feeling the pain of a troubled economy. It seems to be a widespread thing, happening here as well as every major city in the country, maybe even the world.
If I sit back for a minute, I can easily remember all the places I’ve lived and what my life was like at those moments. It’s pretty much always been a struggle, but mostly a good one, so seeing as how I’m back in my own hometown, why not just dig myself in, get comfortable and work my tail off to make a noise right here. As far as the everyday stuff, rent, bills, food and fun, it’s pretty easy to live here on a small income, which is about all there is. But I’ve got my band, The City Champs, a brand new record is coming out in a couple of weeks, we’re hitting the road, there’s also the new jazz trio with Chris and Jim, which is gonna be playing out soon. Not much to complain about really. As tough as it might be to get by, I hear that voice and that feeling hit me…I am exactly where I need to be, right now, so relax, take a deep breath and know that everything is gonna be alright.