I’m gonna be cheesey and repost an old blog from last year which reading gave me a real perspective on where I’m at. My brother and his family just landed in Boston after some weather worries so I will be able to see my much bigger nieces and nephew. My new job is going great and the second annual biggest show of the year is in three short days. It looks to be bigger than the last one with a lot more people involved from promotion to musicians and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. Now if I can just spend more time on the blog in the coming months so my brother doesn’t hate me, all will be well in the world. Happy Thanksgiving from the Brothers J to all of you!
It’s that time of year again, when the turkeys and lame sweaters come out for a few weeks and everyone seems to generally get along better. It may be a facade but it feels alright and there’s nothing wrong with a little general happiness even if it is kind of fake and doesn’t last too long. I understand everyone has always walked around touting what they’re thankful and now with the onset of social networking, literally you can’t get on the internet without discovering what everyone you know is thankful for. I know it’s annoying but fuck it, I’m going to do it one more time. Here is what I am thankful for this holiday season. Please feel free comment on what you are thankful for or write it on your own blog.
I have a pretty sweet family. Having my brother, sister, and all of their spouses and kids in our family home in Maine is certainly not the easiest on everyone but is still a good time. Even when the furnace is not working properly and doesn’t seem to vent heat to the upstairs where all the babies are sleeping and my brother becomes very surly because he and his family all live in a southern climate and I feel like shit for not having the knowledge to fix it, I am still extraordinarily happy to have everyone together. Luckily, I just turned it on and off this morning in a fit of early morning genius and it started working.
The spirit of my father hangs close more so than ever this year because it’s the first time we have all been together since his funeral. The old man hated holidays because it mostly required him to do a bunch more stuff than he normally would. His general levels of anger always made us laugh and him too, albeit eventually. I also will be able to see many cousins on the actual turkey day so all in all, I am thankful for my family and all of the fun it brings.
Sly and the Family Stone
2. The band
I have discussed my band, my bass and my brother’s wonderful advice. At this year last time, I had my new guitar but no amp and our band was just me and my best friend Jeff on guitar/vocals. We had no band to speak of but this is the time when we picked up our lead player and soon after our drummer. This weekend, at my favorite dive bar, we have something called the Redneck Ball occurring which is our own party celebrating the redneck way of life. If things work out as they should, we will have well over a hundred people there from my grade school friends to my car insurance agent to the woman who drove my bus in fourth grade.
We have planned this for months and not played out for two of those months to hone our skills and really put on a crazy show. I have everyone I know well bringing food, I’ve been growing a mustache for weeks in preparation and this should be our biggest gig ever. Playing music has helped me through the toughest times of my life because you know when everything else seems to suck, music is the one thing that you can do that nobody can take from you. I am incredibly thankful for my band and the local reception we have been getting. I also am thankful for Little Feat, one of the best bands ever.
Join the band/Fatman in a bathtub
My friends are pretty much my family. The aforementioned ball would not be possible without my wide ranging group of friends from close and from far. My friends are there every day and every week when my family is far away with their own new families. I do talk to my brother almost everyday but having people physically there for you when you need them is very helpful. I am extremely fortunate that I have friends with so many skills from shredding the guitar to helping me grow my garden to carpentry and everything in between. Luckily, I didn’t have to find another friend to come fix my goddamn furnace so we can keep the kids warm upstairs and I can stop getting dirty looks from my siblings and their spouses. I am so thankful for all of my friends.
Last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for my beautiful home state of Maine. I have been in a bunch of European countries, a little into Canada, and in much of the United States. I an say with conviction that I have never been anywhere else like Maine and could never see myself living anywhere else. It’s the trees, the animals, the sky at night, the way it smells, the way it feels and most importantly, the people in it which right now includes my whole immediate family. I have a very good friend who just moved back from Florida and she keeps telling me how amazed she is when driving around with how beautiful it is here. We aren’t talking scenic vistas here, just the normal everyday around town stuff that she had seen her whole life but with so much time away from the state, it all looks so brand new yet familiar. I feel like this every time I come back from being away and I love it. I am thankful I grew up here, thankful that I live here, and thankful that one day I hope to die here.
Home is where the heart is
Everyone will be taking to the Facebook and what have you tomorrow to tell the world what they are thankful for and as annoying and repetitive as this gets, I think it’s good we can share it with the world in this way. Tell the people you love, blood or not, that you are thankful for them because one day you or they may not be there. I don’t want to get all heavy on a holiday because you should be celebrating life, but these times in general polarize for me that my dad is gone. It’s hard and it’s sad and I think he’d prefer if we just drank some beers in his honor. Or more aptly, a screwdriver with the cheapest vodka available which was his preferred taste. So, this holiday season, grab your loved ones and a screwdriver with cheap vodka or whatever it is and tell them you love them and are thankful that they are with you.
Last but definitely not least, thank you to everyone who reads our blog. It is a joy to write it and it is only sweeter when other people actually enjoy it. So thank you, here is one of my top five favorite guitar solos ever.