I know it's a little unorthodox to write the "End" of the story in the middle, but I want to write about it while its still fresh in my memory. The decision to make music not my number one priority has not been an easy one. I have been struggling with it for about a year now. I still love playing music, it is in my blood. But life has a way of making you shuffle your priorities from time to time. I recently finished school and landed a job in a great career field, I have a wonderful girlfriend with whom we now share a house and responsibilities. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I woke up one morning and realized that i'm now in my mid thirties. I was eighteen just yesterday. Most of my life has been spent in a relentless, obsessive pursuit of fame and fortune in music. I came perilously close at one point, only to fall very hard back down that mountain. That fueled the obsession even more. Fueled it to the point that I burned up all the gas that was left in the tank and now i'm running on empty. I have sacrificed so much in my life for music. I put higher education on the backburner, a career, and not to mention past relationships. I have lived a charmed life. I've experienced a lot of things that most musicians can only dream about, and for that I feel extremely lucky and satisfied. I have built quite an impressive resume over the past twenty years.
Being a part of the Gulf Coast scene for so long, I've seen a lot of trends come and go. I've never been one to be a part of trends, I always tended to play whatever I felt like at the time, be it punk rock, indie rock, metal, funk and even a cover band here and there. I was a teenager when the Gulf Coast punk rock scene took off and I was right in dead center of the Little House era. When I got a little older and began playing bars, there were many more places for bands to play than there are now. Hurricanes on the Beach (Deftones played there when they were just a little band no one ever heard of), Biloxi House of Rock, Kirk's House of Rock, Upstairs Downstairs, Studio 90, Orangutang's, Hammerheads, Pat & Nick's, The Dive...you get the idea. The Crazy Horse anyone? I even recorded an album at HollyHouse Studio's. R.I.P. Clyde. Some of the younger musicians from the Coast who may read this might be saying to themselves, "Damn J-Bob, how old are you? Ive never heard of any of these places...and who the hell is Clyde Holly?" Let's just put it this way, it was the golden era and a great time to be a musician on the Coast.
Everyone tried to tell me that making it as a musician was a million to one chance, and I kind of knew it in the back of my head but life isn't worth living if you don't chase your dream. When Fall As Well got signed to Universal Records, I had proved wrong the nay-sayers. I did it. I may not have a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but my music is in the archives and on the Billboard recordbooks. I can actually have stuff pop up when you google my name. I have royalty check stubs. I got to open up for arguably one of the biggest rock bands of the late 20th century in stadiums across the country. I did it and no one can take that away from me. I wish I could download my memories to a computer database for safekeeping.
As I get older, that fire in my stomach to be a rockstar has started to fade, but in it's place is a fire for something else. I want to put my creative energies into other things. I always wanted to be a comic book artist growing up, I want to turn this blog into a podcast with my old bass player from Fall As Well, "Mickey", I want to make music without the side effect of pushing everything else in my life aside. The dream is still there, it's only being modified but first I need to get a little distance from it. As of last night, June 18 2011, I played my final show with my band of the last three years "Falls From Grace." It was a heartbreaking decision to leave the band but it needed to be done. It's not fair to the other guys in the band that I don't have the same fire that they do. They need to have those experiences that i've had, but as far as i'm concerned i've "been there, done that, bought the T-shirt." I can't push aside what I have in my life right now for another one in a million shot. I am just too happy with where I'm at and who I am.
Falls From Grace has been a great chapter in my music life. We've played some really big shows, and shared a ton of laughs together. I love those guys. It was a band where there never was any drama. I never despised anyone or wanted to plot someone else's death out of sheer frustration while they slept like I have in a certain other band. I wish them all the luck in the world, because they deserve it.
As for me...I'm nowhere near done with music though, I still have a lot of creativity in the tank.