This is a blog entry about passion. Its a nice little story to brighten your day and remind you of how good it feels to do what you love or encourage you to get out there and get yours.
Have you ever ran into someone you haven't seen in year that had a major impact in your life, or turned down a street that brought back powerful memories of your struggle in life.
That happened to me today. I was driving around checking out all the fish stores in the areas since my tank was acting funny. I was tired as hell. I had run errands all day and sat in the worst southern california traffic ever and I just wanted to go back to my house and lay down in bed and go back to sleep.
I turned down a road that had major significance in my being in California still, as well as my career in music.
This place was called The Executive Suites however, it was far and away from being "Executive".
When I first moved to California, I was living on the floor of my friend Josh's house. He was a vegan straight edge friend of mine, very awesome guy. I was not vegan, nor straight edge but I totally respected his lifestyle and his home. I had nothing but clothing and was waiting for my car to be shipped to California from Hawaii. Josh had a small refrigerator and it was filled with everything vegan. I remember telling him that even tho he did not ask me, I would never bring meat into tho house but if it were cool, I would like to put cheese in the fridge. Of course he was cool with it, he didnt want me to be inconvenienced and I didnt wanna do the same to him. My diet consisted of top ramen and cheese mustard sandwiches and not because it was the only thing allowed, but it was seriously all i could afford. After 6 months on a floor, the guys (my band) were slowly trickling in from Hawaii (where we are from). We were finally on our own, and since our families were/are poor, we didnt have anything like a nest egg, or renters history or anything to help us out. We had no families in Souther California, and that meant we had no where to stay. All we had was our guitars, our clothing, a bunch of Hawaiian candies and top ramen.
We spent every day looking for someone to give us a chance to rent but we kept getting turned away every time and what sucked more was spending $25 bucks every time for your credit checks. None of the people renting would allow you to use the last one you took, so they continuously took your money and ran. Lame.
Well, we soon figured that we had run out of options. We saw this place in Westminster called "The Executive Suites"
It was owned by a really sketchy vietnamese dude who said we could live there weekly for like $150.00. It was a little over $20 a day which for us was like $4 per person. Super good deal right. Well, we started to notice why it was $20 per day.
At night, we had crack heads and dealer below us on the 1st floor doing deals. It was an enclosed 2 story motel and obviously, there was no pool or amenities, so there really was no reason to go outside unless you need some crack.
Our bedroom was a tiny small hotel room equipped with an executive 22 inch tv with channels 1-13, an executive couch that folds out to a bed, an executive bed that later was discovered to have blood soaked into its mattress (yeah, im serious) and an executive shower tub thing that rarely had hot water. 5 people lives in this room. It was our home for quite some time. We still went out attacking the apartment complexes to rent to us, because every night we had new crazy stories about living there. It honestly got to a point where we got so stir crazy that we would drink to get drunk and myself as well as another guy in the band started sniffing vicodin and getting into stuff because we felt like we were going crazy.
We werent eating right, we didnt know anyone in this new world we had just entered. No one would give our band shows unless we would sell 100 tickets. We didnt know 5 people so how were we going to sell 100 tickets. We had entered a world that we were not prepared for.
We went from being BIG FISH in our hometown to crossing an ocean and finding ourselves a microscopic organism in the grand scheme of things.
We knew we had to hustle because we loved music, we loved each other and our dream. We stopped messing around with sniffing and smoking things and started focusing more on getting jobs, going to shows to meet people and setting up our base so that we could start pursuing this full time.
That one turn down that street brought up so many memories and trust me, some i shouldnt write about and some too long to write in this one particular blog but it reminded me of the things that we all go through in life some very good and some very bad to get to where we are going and how those experiences are actually very fundamental to the process.
If it werent for the experiences like The Executive Suites (and the many more im soon to start writing about) and the passion that it took to keep going rather than throw in the towel and go home, it wouldnt feel as good as it does now.
I can proudly say that I have played music that I make with my best friends for an insane amount of people all over the world from the bottom of Mexico to the top of Alaska, from the farthest coast east all the way to the west, from Japan to Canada and more.
All of this made possible by faith in what we set out to do, passion in the music we were creating, loyalty to one another and integrity to always remember that we make music because we love it and we love the people who love music. Never because of money, never because of the hopes of fame, never for the wrong reasons, always for the right ones.
If my band ended tomorrow, I have absolutely no regrets, I would have not 1 single bad feeling that we didnt accomplish what we set out for and more than what we ever intended. I would sit back and look at things like the executive suites, the bloody mattress, the crack heads and more and once again, this is one incident in the MANY crazy stories i have, but I would sit back and smile and be like... "man, we did it. We did it together as friends. Everything 100% organic. No fake hype, no flash in the pan fans. We made incredible bonds with people along the way, we got to see the world and we can walk away without saying things like "we quit, or were calling it a day, or we broke up". We can walk away knowing we did what we set out to do and music will never end in us just because we no longer creating it on the same platform we once used to"
I guess what I am saying is:
Live your life with complete and extreme passion. Love without fear, move forward without hesitation. Never chase money, money was never intended to be caught. When you do what you love, the money will come to you, because your not requiring it to continue. Its really strange that the things in life you think you need are the things you actually need less of. The things you want are generally never what you end up feeling fulfilled by in the end. Also, and I quote. "To Thyne Own Self Be True" If you are true to your passion it will ALWAYS be true to you. Now to end this with some lyrics my dad used to sing to me that will ring forever true...
"You can't always get what you want, But if you try sometimes you might find, You get what you need" - The Rolling Stones... and boy... or girl... aint that the truth!