"Riding and maintaining a vintage scooter is an experience fraught with heartbreak, danger, frustration, inconvenience, and ludicrous expenses… and for the committed, one that is absolutely irreplaceable with modern equipment." -
I count among my blessing the time I have shared with some truly amazing musicians. Not everyone gets to do the things we do or with the great people we do them with. It’s easy to lose sight of how amazon these people are when you are standing side by side sharing the moment. But every once in a while I get the opportunity to stand in the crowd and witness these people do their thing. I get to be one of the ones awash in the fun an the greatness. It’s then, surrounded by other people saying how great these people are that it really sinks in.
My friends are amazing and I am lucky to be able to call them friends.
"I was maimed by rock and roll, I was tamed by rock and roll" - Wilco
My plan for 2013 was to actively try to attend more music events then I had been seeing. While I have been really scanning and watching the calendars I just have not made it to the shows I planned. Some were because they sold out or I ended up otherwise obligated at the same time. But then there are the ones that I just didn’t go to. No reason, just Lamed Out. I also forgot to document a few of the shows I have been to so not only am I slacking, I am lacking the ones I did see.
What can I say I am a work in progress. I will continue to work at it.
Many people have gone through this process of self-discovery at various ages. Sometimes it hits us when we’re 20, 36, or 86. But each person I’m sure stumbles through it differently. Here’s what I discovered and what’s helped me:
Write a personal mission statement and keep it open in your browser and read it slowly every morning. Revise it as often as you see fit and try to minimize the number of items to establish an essence of who you are.
Get rid of things that aren’t essential to your life. Simplify.
Eliminate as many stressful things as possible. Do meaningful things that make you happy and relaxed, like massages and hikes in the woods. Give yourself a break.
Eliminate people and things that make growth difficult.
Spend much less time looking at screens and more time reading books.
Spend a ton of time alone reading books that provide a little insight into life. I’ve found waking up a little early and reading something nice is a great way to start your day. Anyway, time at night would be good too. The point is, just read enlightening books and eliminate distractions when reading.
Write. I created my own private tumblr that I’m treating like a diary adding my own writing but also anything that I find insightful, like passages from the books I’m reading. I want all of this stuff to be in the same place. And I also want to be able to read through it and see progress and reminders.
Write down the qualities you find attractive in a person. Read them a few times a week.
Go out with friends that talk about real issues and ones that you trust for good, objective advice.
This year I am going to try to keep track of all the bands I see. Large or small. I think it will be fun to look back on at the end of the year and see who I saw and where. Maybe it will make me pick up the pace and see some shows I would not usually see. Maybe not.
I will use the tag #LiveMusic. I will include bands I see when my band is playing. Seems fair.
Consider Pandora and Spotify, the streaming music services that are becoming ever more integrated into our daily listening habits. My BMI royalty check arrived recently, reporting songwriting earnings from the first quarter of 2012, and I was glad to see that our music is being listened to via these services. Galaxie 500’s “Tugboat”, for example, was played 7,800 times on Pandora that quarter, for which its three songwriters were paid a collective total of 21 cents, or seven cents each. Spotify pays better: For the 5,960 times “Tugboat” was played there, Galaxie 500’s songwriters went collectively into triple digits: $1.05 (35 cents each).
To put this into perspective: Since we own our own recordings, by my calculation it would take songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one— one— LP sale. (On Spotify, one LP is equivalent to 47,680 plays.)
A couple days ago my co-worker asked me if I had ever been in a movie. I said “No, but I think I will make it happen.” So now I begin trying to figure out how to be an extra in a movie. My goal will to be more then a person in a crowd in the background, but less then a speaking part. Lets see how this goes.
Hi my name is Dandee. I thought you looked interesting so here I am talking to you.
How exactly does a 38 year old man make new friends? I can have a conversation with just about anyone. I have stories to tell and more importantly love listening to yours.
To add to the difficulty I tend to hang out in loud and dark environments with people 10-15 years younger then me. Of course, having never really grown up I identify with people at that stage in their life so much easier then I do with someone my actual age.
Its hard to believe that 11 short days ago I started off on a 200cc vintage style scooter to conquer the US landscape from Coast to Coast. There are so many stories to tell and thank yous to be made. But right now its all still swirling around in my mind providing me with a grin like I haven’t had in a long time.
The trip was not without its problems. Holes in pistons, crashes and being lost actually added to the fun in the end. I got to see Coachella even if it was by mistake and not while all the bands were playing. Its amazing to know that I can actually build a scooter engine in the parking lot of a hotel after riding for 8 hours and then get back on in the morning and finish.
Even though I was gone for 12 days it seems like it was over in a flash. The socializing time was limited and often filled with urgency (See comment above about holes in pistons). But I feel like I made some friends that I could talk to again and again. Even if it was about nothing else then this really strange adventure we went on together. The things they saw that I missed, the routes they took, the mishaps they had along the way. I hope to be able to continue to keep up with them through the magic of the interwebs.
When the checker flag fell and the times calculated I ended up in 27th place over all. Having a DNF (20 miles short of the full day) on day 1 put me behind enough that I was not able to make up the handicap that I had. I broke the scores down into a ‘shifty class’ and I still ended up middle of the pack in that too. 5 of 11 vintage bikes.
I was happy with my performance and knew going in what would hold me back. Fuel range and routing are pretty much key to this event. Both of which were a challenge for me.
I still have footage that I shot that I would like to put together and post, as well as a bunch of photos to share. Hopefully I get those up in the next week or two.
Oh, and for the people asking me if I would do it again. My answer is yes. We will see what 2014 brings as far as scoring and routes though. That is a long way away to plan for now.