That was a favorite phrase of my dad’s, whenever we were on-stage together and he wanted a certain section to get louder or grow with intensity, like during a guitar solo. “BUILD IT!”, he’d yell. So, I would play a big roll or something and come crashing down on the cymbals and the crowd would go nuts. It was a good lesson in dynamics and Dad was (is) such a pro when it comes to putting on a show. “It’s all about the people”, he’d tell me and he was right on. “Son, you look out there into the crowd and if they’re shaking their butts and tapping their feet, then you know you’re doing you’re job.” I’m so lucky I’ve had him around to show me what’s really important in life. His words have had me thinking a lot lately, about where I’m at…in music, in life and living out here in Los Angeles.
This place gets a bad rap sometimes cause it’s so big and there are so many millions of folks out here, all trying to get a piece of the same pie and I’ve listened to a good many complaints. Of course, some of them have a point. It is definitely crowded, there are too many cars, it’s very expensive and so spread out that it’s hard to get around town. There’s the crazy traffic, the smog, crime and on and on and on. Well, I can see all of that but I also see a place where folks are working really hard at their craft and trying to make something of themselves. Full of hope and passion and there are a lot of inspiring people here who are more than willing to share their art with you. I actually am beginning to love it here and I’ve realized that no matter where you live, you’re going to find lots of things you wish were different but the good things are probably there too, just a little more tucked away. It’s worth it to look around and seek them out. Or, just sit back, relax and be true to what you believe. The people will find you.
Like this kid for example, whom I did one gig with and made an instant friendship… Trevor Menear …a baddass young guitar player from Chicago. We’re doing a residency at a small club in downtown LA, every Friday night this month. Me, him and a bass player. There are some originals and a few covers but also a lot of ideas that we’re gonna try out on the crowd and on each other. Hopefully, we’ll get some of it right and as long as everyone is having a good time, then they’ll let us keep playing there. I’m looking forward to it and will be ready for those sections that need a little more intensity. When we get to them, I’ll keep my dad’s words close to me and when the time is right, I will build it!
If you’re reading this and you live in LA, check us out at The Escondite, 410 Boyd Street, every Friday in April. We play from 9 till 11PM.