Before I unleash a stream of consciousness on to these pages or (in the case of most everyone reading) on to your screen, I need to express that which is most important to us as bmusic. Without our customers and supporters we cease to exist, entirely. My family and I owe you our very living, it’s as simple as that. Every dollar that doesn’t go to the cost of running the business goes to putting food on our table, clothes on our backs, and nurturing and educating our children so they may grow to be kind, compassionate and valued contributors to a future not yet known. No matter which direction life leads me in years hence I will always hold close the directness of custom to my family’s welfare my role has afforded me. I think one tends to be closer and more invested in the relationship when the import of that custom is so very lucid.
There is another intangible asset I’ve been blessed to be in possession of. It’s to have seen so many musicians begin their journey, others evolve in theirs, and yet others take their journey beyond what would have been in their wildest imaginings.
As I have made note of before, seeing a young kid pick up their first guitar and the sparkle of wonder and imagination in their eyes as they take possession of it will never grow old. After 15 years you would wonder if it still rings as true, seeing that kid with nothing but enthusiasm and wonderment for music holding the instrument with which they can start to explore and give voice to those feelings. But it doesn’t get old, if anything I am more aware of the possibilities it offers and the privilege I am gifted by playing my small role in that story. Of course their individual paths will vary radically, not every seed ends up towering tall, but if it’s never planted….
American philosopher and author Henry David Thoreau wrote in September of 1874, "Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."
Whatever your leanings when it comes to the music you enjoy, your life would likely be very different had not those birds started to sing. No matter your connection to music, whether it be like I who is reliant upon the very creation of it for my living, or a casual listener with a handful of artists who lift and inspire you. What of those tough times without a musical distraction or a musically uplifting lyric or melody upon which to lean? What of those fondest of memories of your life lived without a soundtrack with which to accompany it?
Some of those musicians I have seen pick up their very first instrument are now educating and/or making their own music, perhaps creating soundtracks for the memories of others. Certainly for themselves. Others I have met further along their journey are most certainly creating those metaphorical shoulders to cry on with their music, sometimes for a great many thousands of people. For others still, they inspire and enliven them. Those birds could have chosen to stop singing, and I wouldn’t have blamed them. Just as I write this, the vocalist of one of Australia’s hardest working and best currently known metal bands has made that decision to stop his song. No doubt a very painful decision, but one necessary for him to pursue some normalcy in his life, more time home than months on end away, and an ability to earn an income that’s not below the poverty line.
Those guys who were once customers and are now friends who have persisted in their careers at that level, their sacrifices are immeasurable. I am filled with admiration beyond that which words can express for these guys. Why does an artist pursue something to the detriment of almost everything else in their life? It’s not for fame or fortune, that much is clearly evident. It’s a scratch that can never be itched. A calling that can’t be silenced by many. Be thankful for those that make this sacrifice. For those who have in the past, for those who do so now to inspire the next generation, and for those who will do so in the future, until the end of time. And to their families and friends who support them to do so. Thank them quite simply by buying their music, attending their shows, buying their merchandise. For then they may continue their pursuit of whatever it is they don’t even know they’re chasing and inspire others to do the same, and so the cycle may continue.
What of civilisation should the birds fall silent?
Over the past year there have been many great milestones for so many of the musicians I am connected to thanks to our little shop. Whether they be professional musical milestones, some of which are quite stunning achievements, at the very top of their game, or personal achievements and milestones. Births, marriages, job advancement, relocation to a better, happier place, I congratulate you all and thank you all for considering me close enough to you to share these things with you in the many ways you have.
For all the achievements there have been some crushing tragedies also for those I have that musical connection with. I feel for you all as I hear your stories, I truly do. From the beginnings of life cut despairingly short to those leaving a legacy behind in a twilight after a lifetime of filling souls with their love and care. For your losses I grieve with you. Dozens of life’s other hardships too varied to begin to catalog visited upon my friends and associates, I have admired your courage and determination to overcome and wish you continued strength to continue doing so.
One thing I know will connect these friends and associates, from milestones right down to the darkest of days, is music. Inspiration or solace, joy to profound sadness, they will either find their balance or their peace in the music they hold dear, or create their own to harness or express that which they feel.
My family is another year older this year, another year enriched and made possibly by our valued customers and supporters. And another year suffering their workaholic, small business owning father. I owe them a debt of gratitude I can never repay. My wife’s wisdom, understanding, unwavering support and love are the things I find hardest to express gratitude for here, or anywhere for that matter. “Where words fail, music speaks”, wrote Hans Christian Andersen. One day I hope to find that song that speaks to those feelings for me.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this. I wish you all a safe and happy Festive Season wherever you may be or whatever it is you may be doing.
May the birds sing for us evermore,
And here they are, another year older, possibly another year wiser
- Yo' daddy
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Fantastic read, as always.
I can only agree and extend the sentiment back to you and your family. Wishing you well for the holiday season, and all the best for the year to come!
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- ESP BULK Buy Specialist
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http://www.espguitars.com/users/1990076noob_pwn wrote:when i hear the term "tyrant bloodstorm" i think of my ex on the rag.
Be EXCELLENT to each other and PARTY on Dudes!