I Read The News Today, Oh Boy
Bill Doss, co-founder of The Elephant 6 Recording Company and member of the psychedelic indie rock group, Olivia Tremor Control, has died today. I was extraordinarily fortunate to watch him perform just four days ago at The Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA. The band was phenomenal but my attention focused heavily on Bill Doss. I sat in my seat watching and admiring this man that I knew very little about. My thoughts were based in amazement and also envy. Here was a man living out so many of my dreams in one night of his life. I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they had told me that he would die in four days.
It’s far too easy to get lost in the hustle of everyday life. Daily, I find myself worrying about where my next gig will be, how to finance my next release, how to accomplish my goals, not to mention the hours I spend out of each day practicing my trade. I believe those daily responsibilities are extremely important to my financial future as well as my personal well being. I also believe that it is not an either/or situation. There is always extra time during the day to ask questions and learn more about the people in my life. Sometimes the ones that are the closest are also the most mysterious.
I have family members who have told me how much they disapprove of my lifestyle and life choices. These same family members have seldom asked about my life. Usually the conversations I have with them are based on what they are doing, what they are thinking, and how to solve their petty problems. Yet, they assume that they know who I am and what I stand for just because I am a musician. Their assumptions are based solely on what they hear on T.V., what their small world view tells them, and the myths that continue to follow every hard working musician. All it would take is a moment of interest for them to find out how I spend every waking minute of my day.
If I were to die today, these same people would, no doubt, tell their friends how proud they were of me for living my life the way I wanted. But they wouldn’t know what it was that I spent my life doing. Making records? Playing music? Those are surface answers. The real stories come from what those words actually hold. I would die without them knowing a thing about me. I would die along with my story.
No one knows exactly what goes on in someone else’s life unless you ask them. I have spent this entire day thinking about how many people are in my life and how many of them I actually know. I began to feel horribly about myself until I realized that I can change. I can start asking more questions and engaging more with the people I love. I, too, possess the power of knowing.
If I were to die today, who would care?
My point is that life is chaos. Life is unpredictable. Don’t wait, get to know the people who are important to you.