Maybe it’s low-grade Berklee PTSD, or that the Al Stone band moves in musician-y circles, or a childhood filled with British television’s made me perma-sardonic: for whatever reason, I’m very good at being self-critical, especially about my guitar playing.
My attitude’s much improved these days, but every now and again it hits me - my chops could be better, my ears more musical, gear way cooler. I’d be useless giving a guitar clinic, I tell myself, unless people wanted to hear dick jokes. Again, the dreaded Imposter Syndrome - surely someone will find me out.
But then gigs like last night's happen, where the Al Stone Electric Ensemble plays in front of a bunch of people and, with zero rehearsal, lays waste to the joint. I took some guitar solos. They weren’t great. It didn’t matter. The band’s what’s special, it’s what people pay to see, and I’m one fifth of the undeniable chemistry. It’s not the thing, it’s not us, without me.
My intent isn't to self-aggrandize, it’s just what we musicians do is insane. Perpetual self-inflicted physical and emotional abuse, just to write "Cheeseburger In Paradise"? It’s important realizing we are, just in general, so much more. I guarantee my dexterity within the pentatonic scale didn’t fill up my passport with stamps. I tend not to fart in other’s company. My dick jokes are, in fact, superb. On balance, I’m not a capricious asshole. These traits don’t get likes on Instagram, but they've opened up a world I’d only dreamed of.