That first show was the changing point in my life! Imagine that you knew for sure what you wanted to do in life, where you would be in 20 years, how much money you would be making, and then in a flashes…..it ALL changes!
If you ever played sports growing up, you will know what I mean by being devoted. I woke up and fell asleep thinking about sports. My life revolved around preparing myself to play football. I was in the process of picking the college I wanted to play for, doing my summer workouts to stay in shape, and preparing to leave my mom and home to attend college and play football. As prepared as I thought I was to leave home for college, I never looked back after that show. I knew after the first song, that what I was born to do was play music. The funny thing about it was……..I wasn’t that good!
Maybe I was so impressed that I actually got on stage to perform or maybe it was because of the reason I was singing, but I thought it sounded great! I recently listened to the bands first recordings ………..WOW……….let’s just say it wasn’t record label material! Luckily I started in church so everyone had to be polite. All you ever hear is “you sounded so good” or “that was such a blessing”. Regardless of how we actually sounded, something was working. After that show we were asked to play the following weekend for another youth rally. The following month we had three booked. Within several months, we had a calendar packed full of shows. Just a side note…..I stray away from discussing my love for football at this point because it become an after thought at this point in the story.
So as summer ended, I found myself enrolling in community college so I could keep up with the schedule we had already began to develop. I was heading to band practice once a week to work on new songs, then heading home to practice by myself (I think I started hearing how good I DIDN’T sound).
It was about six months later that a signed group indirectly moved us into the next level of our career. We were asked to play for a large event at the baseball field in Hickory, NC. We were going to be opening for the group and we were very excited! So we prepared a 30 minute set of songs and felt pretty confident that we would be a great addition to the event. Arriving for soundcheck (the day of), we were informed that the group had to back out at the last minute for family reasons and that we would be “headlining”!! Needless to say, I wasn’t about to speak for about an hour……..stayed in the bathroom for another hour…….and…….ok, I went back to the bathroom. You see, this wasn’t a show for a couple hundred of our friends and family. They had pre sold several THOUSAND tickets and all of those people were coming to see the group who had to cancel. Without going into detail aboutany more bathroom drama, we played the show…..and a month after the show we were booked for most of the following year and preparing to record our first album!
I know it sounds like I am leaving things out. Like….how many years it took between all of these things, all the hours we had to practice, and all of the normal band problems we had. Truth is, I am trying to stretch the story out for cosmetic value. In one year we went from “lets try to play some music for our church family on Wednesday” to “We have a show every Saturday and Sunday for the rest of the year”. We purchased our first sound system, trailer, and instruments because we were playing to so many people that the normal Church system wasn’t enough. We had become a touring band!
We blocked off several months so we could focus on recording a record when I realized something very important…..we needed original songs! Oh….I forgot to mention that I had no idea how to play guitar and the only form of a song I had every written was poems that I use to write to girls when I was in the 5th grade, only to hide them in my sock drawer because I was to shy to give it to them! So my friend Wes and I sat down and he played chords over and over while I put words to them (Sorry Wes). After two songs and Wes’ bleeding fingers, I bought my first guitar, taught myself how to play, and started writing songs for the band. This can’t be good for the band right??