On Wednesday my wife and I went to a concert together. It was our first ever concert after being together for over ten years. The band was Vintage Trouble and they fucking ruled. Seriously, these guys are all amazing musicians. If you don’t know them, look ‘em up. I’ll wait here. You know what, fuck it, I’ll just embed a video for you to listen to while you skim these words. Ready, go:
Great fucking song, isn’t it? So, after the show, we went up to grab a vinyl (yes, I listen to vinyl, what else would I listen to?) and get it signed by the band. We get up to the band, who were all super cool, and first up is Ty Taylor, the lead singer. He shakes my hand and I tell him they fucking killed tonight or something. First thing he says is, ‘Do you play?’ Yeah, I’ve got a scraggly beard and long hair, maybe that’s why he asked? Maybe I look as poor as only an artist can be? I dunno.
Either way, with a line at my back and the quick wit of cement, I could only say, ‘Uh…not in a long time’. Which is true. I haven’t played guitar in over two years. He gave me a shocked kind of look and said, ‘Man, don’t you miss it?’ as if he couldn’t imagine going without playing. And I bet he can’t. I imagine he lives for the music he creates. I told him I do miss it and stepped on down the line to get the Nalle Colt, the guitarist’s signature.
What I wanted to tell him was that I quit guitar because I found writing. I love music. It’s a huge part of my life and there’s always music playing around me. Playing guitar was a whole hell of a lot of fun and I would pick it back up if I had the time, but there’s just something I get from writing that I don’t from music. A sense of freeness and accomplishment or whatever you want to call it. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the same feeling Ty gets while making music and that why he can’t live without it. I gave up guitar because I didn’t HAVE the time; I write novels because I MAKE the time.
Maybe he was just making conversation in the three seconds he gets per person during signings. Maybe he assumed I look like a musician. Or maybe creative types can see that little bit of something in each other. No matter what brought up the question, it made me think about why I write and reminded me that great stories are something I can never live without. I thank Ty and Vintage Trouble for that just as much as I do for the great show.