When the Music Died

22 07 2018

When asked how many years I’ve been playing music I always tell people over 50 years Bassman 1now. But I realized the other day that’s not exactly true. Since age 12 music has played an important role in defining who I am. But there came a time I packed up the drum kit and stored it away in a closet. Then except for a cheap beat around guitar, I got rid of everything I had and hardly played a note for 7 years. So why would a person who was passionate about something suddenly give it up? Well, several factors were involved.

No doubt the catalyst for my exodus from music first came in 1984 when a terrible accident took the life of my mentor and greatest friend, my Great Aunt Pearl. The tragedy of losing my beloved Pearly Mae so suddenly left me empty and suffering from depression for years. With my biggest fan and supporter gone, music didn’t mean to me what it had it prior.

At about the same time reality opened my eyes and thinking wide enough to realize I was never going to reach the pinnacle of success I had craved so dearly in the music industry. Sure, I’d had a few high moments and was privileged to work with or know some folks that were “living the dream” as I felt. But came to realize that that short point in my personal history was never going to be anything else but that–a brief moment, something to look back on, nothing more. To continue to chase an unreachable dream seemed fruitless and the desire to do any music was quenched.

This last reason came to me later in my musical pause but proved to be best reason for quitting. Music was my love, it was my passion, but even more, it was my obsession. An understanding emerged that I was putting music before everything. Perusing other interest or skills was never a thought. I loved my Lady and my children, but I began to see my neglect to them because of this passion for what truly was my first love. The final nail came when my eyes were opened that along with everything else, I had put my relationship to my Lord on the backburner. Music was my love and in a way my god.

The writer C.S. Lewis said, “God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” I did love my Lord, but when it came to my desire to make a name for myself in music I never counted Him in. I assumed that whatever my desire was He would bless it, even if I didn’t talk to Him about it first. I had no choice but to separate myself from this obsession if I was ever to be who God wanted me to be for my family, others, me, and Him.

But you know God wasn’t wanting me to stop playing music, He was wanting me to put things in proper perspective. I have a quote by Ezra Taft Benson that goes like this. “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

It’s been years since the music died in this “Traveler of the Rock Road.” But God resurrected it with a new passion in the Gray One. I’ve never reached the heights that were once my dream, but it’s been humbling to think of all the places and people for whom Cathy and I have performed since that dark time. He didn’t give me a gift to waste; He bestowed it upon me for His Glory.

I’m going to end with a story written my man C.S. Lewis that you may or may not see goes with mine. Personally, I feel it does.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Hey, see ya next time.







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