April 8, 2019 was a special moment in my life. That was the day I officially released into the world my first EP of five original songs entitled, “A Love Story”. But it was much more than seeing my songs go live on Apple Music and other music distribution platforms. That was certainly cool, but it was something much more special than that.
Hearing people’s reactions to my music and giving me positive feedback was wonderful for sure, but that’s not even what I’m talking about that made that day so special. Though, the people that supported me through the entire process were absolutely amazing and I was so honored by their love and support.
You see, for much longer than I’ve been alive my Dad has been a fantastic drummer. He started playing the drums when he was eleven and was in a few different bands throughout the years. When I was a boy he played in a band with “my uncles” (his brothers), Wayne and Bud, and a guy named Gene. I loved watching “my dad’s band” play! I remember being captivated by them, listening to their rendition of various James Taylor songs, Beatles songs, Eagles songs, etc. Dad was inspiring when he sang lead while playing the drums, just like Don Henley and Phil Collins would do.
One year they set up a stage in the backyard of our green house in Tabernacle, New Jersey, probably for a Labor Day party or something. It was also my birthday, and I specifically remember loving that day so much as we listened to their music. They even called me and two neighbor friends (Steve and Audrey) up on stage and sang “Happy Birthday” to us.
As a boy, “my dad is a drummer” was information I was always excited to share with people whenever I could. (Funny, I just shared “my Dad has been a drummer all of my life” with someone on the phone today!)
So why was April 8, 2019 so special to me?
Well, I could mention all of the support I received from my wife, and my kids, and from my family and friends who came and helped me pull off the release show. There was A LOT of work that had to be done, and they all jumped in and helped big time. That was all special for sure.
And I would be lying if I said playing live music with the guys in the band wasn’t super special to me. My nephew, Levi on guitar; my old next door neighbor, Nate on bass; and my old college friend, Preston on harmonica–I mean we killed it! All of the people involved and in the audience certainly made it special for me.
But I gotta tell you, by far, the most special part of that day for me was playing music with my dad.
Dad has always been a champion for me in whatever I’ve done. He was my baseball coach for years when I was younger. He’s been my golf partner whenever we could hit the links since I was just a boy (he gave me my first brand new club for my thirteenth birthday, a bronze Bulls Eye putter). Dad taught me how to use a hammer and a drill, how to serve people with hard work and finishing well, how to change a light bulb and a tire, how to save money for a first car, how to love older people with care, and on and on and on I could go. He’s always been such a good man, teaching us by his example, and with such patience. Maybe most important on the list is how he taught me to be a faithful and loving husband, father, and follower of Jesus. He’s been a wonderful dad for all three of us boys. I am so proud of my dad.
(By the way, my mom is the best mom ever. Seriously…my mom is better than your mom.)
Playing live music with my dad was a dream come true for me. For various reasons I suppose, we never really played music together before this day. Sure, sometimes “the boys” would pull out our guitars, but Dad never really played the guitar seriously like the rest of us (though he was always better than he let on). He did teach me how to play the drums (I barely play) on his own drum set years ago, and I have that old Ludwig drum set in our home today. But this time, it was different. We were making real music together. Actually, he was bringing to life my own songs that had only previously been played in the recording studio. We were jamming together, for the first time! “My dad, the drummer” was finally jamming with me! It was so special. It was like a full-circle kinda moment for me, Dad helping me carry the musical torch that he (and my singing mom) lit in my heart years ago. I am so glad we shared that moment together. It truly was one of the most special moments of my life. A dream come true.
Here’s a thought: this special moment would not have happened if we didn’t intentionally make it happen. Special moments start with dreams, that turn into exciting ideas, that develop into workable plans, that develop into a producing something tangible and real, that ultimately end up being dreams come true. Sure, some special moments happen out of the blue, but most are only made possible because of your intentionality.
You only get one life. I say dream big, work hard, and make it happen. Oh, and one more thing…enjoy it!
(Above is a video of us playing together for the first time in front of an audience at my release party. Now, when you watch this video, you can feel some of the feelings I was feeling when I was up there, playing with my dad, and my nephew, and my buddies.)