Last night I had somewhat of an epiphany. I realized you can’t win them all and that even though the voices of those whom you can’t win may seem the loudest, they aren’t the majority. I’ve always known this in my head, but last night it became a reality.
I’ve been camping with our family for several days for our vacation. I have a couple of gigs coming up within the next couple of days and so being, have had to pull out my guitar to practice. This makes me a little embarrassed, because although my destiny is on the stage, I don’t like to draw unwanted attention to myself. It was a necessity in this case, so I practiced.
While strumming, I had a golf cart full of people, pulling a flat bed trailer of people around the campgrounds, stop in front of the fire. The driver wanted me to play a song, so I started playing one of my own. I got stopped in the middle of it, because there was a guy in the back who wanted to hear better. As he pulled around, he wanted me to play a cover of Toby Keith. (I want to point out that he was a DRUNK guy who wanted to hear better that wanted me to play a cover of Toby Keith.) When I said that I don’t play country music, he wanted a cover of someone else. When I pointed out that I play originals mostly, he wanted me to play a “folksy” song of mine. When I replied that I play blues-roots music, he told me to play a good song.
So I played, “Black Ball”, (which is the main song that got played when I charted #2 on the Roots Music Report’s Roots Rock charts and still gets radio play two and half years after its release.) He stopped me in the middle of it and wanted me to play a Bonnie Raitt song. Apparently he doesn’t like my guitar playing. Not that I blame him, I don’t like my guitar playing either. It is a necessity though, since I can’t afford to hire someone on the road and pay for their food and lodging. Playing for myself gets me a profit to help my music along.
Anyway, back to the cover of Bonnie Raitt… I said I only play originals, in which he scolded me and told me I should play covers. Then he told me that someone needed to help me out, saying more rude stuff along the way. I was perturbed to the point of giving him a piece of my mind, when they finally drove off and I didn’t have to.
At first when he left, I had that panicky feeling of “not good enough” that likes to plague me occasionally because of my strict, religious upbringing. But then I started to think about it… He was a belligerent drunk sitting in a lawn chair in the back of trailer pulled by a golf cart at a campground site in the middle of nowhere in NC. (And he was wearing a tow chain around his neck like a necklace. Classy.) Who cares what he thinks?
Then I began to think about everyone else that was there in the trailer and golf cart. Every single other person that was on that golf-cart and trailer LOVED my music. They were refuting him and telling me how great I was. The driver of the golf cart even offered to drive my bus when I “got big”. They were saying that they were going to see me on TV someday. Other people who drove by loved my music and said that I should be on TV.
So, I began thinking some more and asking questions, because that is what I do. :) Why is it that the voice of negativity always is the loudest? Why does that one negative voice out of dozens of positive ones, seem to get us down, drowning out the positive voices?
I’m not 100% sure why that is. Perhaps the negative voice touches on our insecurities. It takes someone strong enough to not allow the negative voices to become the majority in our minds and to simply keep on going despite them. Normally it would have taken me days to shake off what the drunken man had said to me, but I was happy that I was able to shake it off within a few minutes. This is a big step for me, because my self-confidence has always been my weakest area when it comes to this music business.
So, sorry drunken campground trailer king, I can’t play guitar like a virtuoso, which is what I think you were trying to get from me. (Or maybe you are just one of those small people who likes to accentuate the weakest areas so you look better as you drunkenly flaunt your supposed inferiority, while wearing a tow chain around your neck.) Truth is, I can play well enough to accompany myself without a huge amount of embarrassment, but I am a pretty darn good singer, (better than most,) who has been writing some pretty darn good songs lately, (better than I’ve ever written.) I have a wonderful group of family, friends, fans, and an awesome label to support me and teach me. Who. Are. You?
Moral: Don’t let negative people get you down. They aren’t the majority. Don’t hang around them. They are terrible influences. And who wants to be around someone so droll, anyway?
Love you all! :)