The battle for twenty bucks


Years ago, i posted a craigslist ad for needing a drummer. I had just started my building trusses job. Broke. Penniless. Making 10 bucks an hour in 2014 and taking care of my family of 6. That was a hard year financially and mentally. I had just been abandoned by my mother and that entire side of the family and was feeling lost. I have always wrote songs but that year, i started piecing my songs together into a more cohesive format. I came up with 4 different albums of interest.

This drummer and i would work hard for the next four years with it all ending before getting it recorded. I went up to Iowa City, from Winfield, barely making enough to cover the gas. The Battle for Twenty Bucks. I had nothing but a dream. All of my 20 dollar trips really hurt me bad.

So many problems in this whole decade. Money was a major factor. So, this drummer wouldnt ever agree to go play these songs live. Fear of embarrassment or whatever it was. I could never convince him to play these songs live. He was a great drummer (no complaints there, ive always drawn kickass musicians to my cause) but 4 years of nailing down songs we were never going to play.

So tbftb affected me. It was an honest to God battle we faced every. Single. Day. Do i put gas in to practice or feed my family. Gas was high (much like today, it depends on a countrys leader, so it seems) food was high, i had eight million other things i could have done with that money but my wife wanted me to pursue my dream. So i started going to open mics everywhere (more of my own money, which i didnt have and couldnt afford, time away to travel to these places, it was always a battle for 20 bucks) and just couldnt pull these songs off (remember i have a horrible memory for my own lyrics and others) without help. I bombed on stage more often than people had the guts to try. But i kept at it. It grew me.

So yeah. Its really too dang bad that we couldnt have recorded our work in a good format and really made this album materialize. I will revisit it in the future but not now. Tbftb is still ready (minus the band) to record.

But its timeless. It applies now too. It is what people are going through. For some of us, money aint never been handed to us (i know, starving artists, even though we all push towards thriving artist categories) and without the right tools, we can never get the job done.

My first band was called Hatchetflower (i kept the name) and featured a kick ass bassist and his old lady on saxophone. We practiced for a month and then went to the infamous open mic night at The Mill (iowa City). It went really well. That night i called in to work and we recorded three songs and drank alot of coffee. The next night, they left. Just moved out to California. I have some hard feelings still about that. It sure made me distrust anyone but me concerning music. Abandonment. Orphaned (musically). Shut down. Deflated. Broke. Penniless. Heartbroken. That has been my way for a very, very long time.

So we all got battles. Some battle addiction. Some battle for even a little bit of livable wage. Some battle through alcoholism or cutting or deaths of loved ones. Some battle to find something that makes them feel alive. Whatever you are battling, the battle is a human condition.

Someday. I am not giving up on these dreams, gifts, talents and where i have taken them from the start. Goals. Get you some long term goals and realize that not everyone who shows up is gonna see it through to its end (a good end, getting heard, getting noticed, building cool art that people relate to.

So keep battling, readers.

Much love. My current album is in the works. Not done yet.

Peace. Strength beyond strength.

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