Scary’s on the wall

Alice in Chains' 1996 MTV Unplugged concert wa...
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The other night my wife headed home to Colorado after a quick trip to our home Alaska. It was a bittersweet goodbye. I couldn’t sleep and I was checking out posts on my Facebook wall well after midnight. I saw something that floored me. It was a picture that my aunt Diana sent to me of a tree that we planted in the front yard when I was just a couple years old.

It was at the house where I grew up in Huntington. WV. I left there when I was in second grade and have only been back a couple times since.

The tree was huge. Well over 40 feet tall and full of life.

Talking to my aunt brought a flood of emotions and flashbacks to the life path I have chosen…

The next thought was my rock band.

When I was young and impressionable, I formed a rock band called FROG first, then we grew up a bit and called ourselves Rainmaker.

This was the early 1990’s in Portland, Oregon and the height of the grunge scene. One of my biggest influences was Alice in Chains. I can’t count how many times we covered their songs in the seedy dive bars from Oregon to Florida driving our equipment in U-hauls that we would rent at the local rate of $19.95 and somehow make it to Florida without getting busted for a one way rental.

This music changed my life, (I don’t know if it was for better or worse) and I am thankful for the times I shared with good friends, loyal fans that bought our tapes out of a suitcase, and even a groupie or two.

We played in a festivals and radio station events for small FM stations before iPods and music piracy.

We watched the rock stars die: Frankie Starr of the Four Horsemen, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, and countless others ruin their lives over drugs and alcohol.

Thankfully none of us got wrapped up in the junk.

At some point we all grew up and went our seperate ways. I a lot has changed since I first picked up a guitar as a young teen. Now my daughter is learning how to play…

Sometimes I sit look at the guitar in the corner as it gathers dust and think back to yesteryear and wonder what if I would have stayed on that path of pursuing my music?

I wonder:

Watch where you spit

I’d advise you wait until it’s over

Then you got hit

And you shoulda known better

–Lyrics from We Die Young, Alice in Chains

I’m 40 now and by the law of averages my life is half over. Is it the way I wanted to live? Maybe, Maybe not.

“We can’t change the past only the hold it has on us,” What a great quote.

Until the time comes I will still hold on to my dreams and chase the demons away–whatever they be. But for now It ain’t like that…

So until next time, America, live life to the fullest because Scary’s on the Wall.

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3 comments

  1. When my parents got divorced back in the late 70’s, my Dad told me that if I came to live with him I could attend San Diego U and live rent and tuition free. Instead, I ended up pregnant and married at 18.
    As I sit here now, with my 22 month old grandaughter on my lap, I know my life would have been very different if I had chosen the other path. I’m not kicking myself. Different does not necessarily mean better. Every choice and decision has led me to where I am. As I look back, I understand how those choices have made me a good mom, grandma and doula. I would not have changed a thing.
    I imagine Michele and the kids are happy you chose to be a DOG star instead of a FROG star.

  2. This is a great post. I know how much music shapes you. I’m glad I get to share it with you.

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