Checkered Shirts

I've been a full time touring musician for just over five years now.  For some, that's an eternity but, for me, it feels like a drop in the bucket.  It’s amazing how many things I’ve already forgotten.  In my shaking the memory tree and seeing what falls out, this blog’s become a welcome companion.

I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed and notice I wore recently the same checkered shirt I wore on February 2, 2013 in Rossland BC.  We played a gig there, presumably.  I don’t know why wearing the same shirt four years apart’s struck me as noteworthy.  I mean, inarguably I need more shirts.  I suppose I can’t help comparing myself to the (slightly) younger man in that photo.

Four years ago, I’m newly single, nominally killing it but building the tracks just ahead of the train.  A few days ago, that same shirt adorned the dad bod of an older, calmer schmuck lending advice to several up-and-coming Nashville musicians.  These up-and-coming Nashville musicians speak with the same hurried enthusiasm and unchallenged optimism I remember so vividly, one that traveling's made more measured.  I listen, forehead wrinkling in concentration, realizing that, somehow, I’ve become a guy who Knows Stuff. 

I sometimes wonder how I look to musicians early in their careers.  I'd like to think I'm this sage, Splinter from the Ninja Turtles kinda figure.  Maybe I'm a cautionary tale.  When you're 21, turning 30's about the most terrifying thing there is, and when 3-0 rears its ugly head there's no way you'll be blithering on like this dingus, right?  

It's at this point I realize I'm writing this in my underpants.  I'm happy about this, and I've worked hard for the honor.  I've paid my dues.  So, aspiring artists, enthusiastic craftspeople, practice, work, write, any number of verbs that require my using additional commas but, for the love of god, do so in your skivvies.  That's when you know a Grammy's imminent.