Once upon a time, I was in a band.
It is so simple to read, and yet there is a wealth of emotion and history behind that sentence. From 1997 to 2004, I was part of something that I had wanted to do sine I was a little boy – I played in a Rock and Roll band. We did all the usual things: we practiced every week, we drank too much beer, we played gigs all around the Albuquerque music scene (where we drank too much beer), and when we weren’t playing we were sitting around talking about the band while we drank too much beer.
It remains the most important period of history in my life. Many people wish they could go back to the good old days of High School. Not me. I wish that I was back in my garage with these people, working out a difficult riff, piecing together a 4-part harmony, sweating through a 3-hour set. Epilepsy was no crueler to me than when it took away my gift to work with other people, making music. I wish I had known at the time that it was a gift – I would have spent less time worrying about making it perfect, and more time just enjoying being a part of it.
I spend very little time here on Misdirected talking about the past. What, I think, would be the point? But after an especially evocative dream last night, I awoke this morning realizing that I have never properly recognized or thanked these people for the role they had in my life. There is no time like the present for righting the errors of the past. Accordingly, I wrote a tribute to the members of Whiskey Point. Though the letter went out to each of the band members as well, most of whom know nothing about this blog, I wanted to share with my new “family” what these people meant to me. Enjoy.
|Not pictured: J. Mooney|
“Last night, we were all gathered together again. We all sat at a table in a bar somewhere (it had to be a bar), catching up and telling stories about how great we were once upon a time. Jerry had put the whole thing on his tab (of course), and Brandon and Mike were trying to figure out where the whole operation was going to move to after the bar threw us out. I sat back and sipped on my Jack and Coke, soaking it in, trying hard to memorize the faces that I hadn’t seen for so long while we were all under one roof.
It was a good dream.
I am glad that 3 of us (Brandon, Jim, and Mike) have gone on and kept the music going. Every time I get out to see you play, or read your Facebook updates, or hear about your exploits through the grapevine, I am reminded that, for a few years, we shared in something awesome. More than anything, I am proud that you have kept the music alive, and are still sharing your talents with the world around you, day after day and night after night.
I am glad that 2 of us (Jerry and Kristen) have gone on and found fulfillment in other things, building lives around love and service to others. I would like to think that, somehow, playing together was an apprenticeship of sorts for you two, where you learned how much you loved being plugged into something bigger than yourselves, and carried that love forward into the destinies that lay ahead of you.
For me, the music is gone, and I haven’t yet found my place in the world, but I can look at the 5 of you and know that, for a moment, I was a part of something special – with some very special people. Thank you all for sharing not only music but a season of your lives with me. Knowing you all has made my life better, and I am always proud when I get to point at one of you and say “I was in a band with them.”
Keep your dreams alive, whatever those dreams may be.
– TJ “