At one time I dreamed of being famous. Singing for a livin’ maybe, singing my own songs. Making the big money. My wife knew who Garth Brooks was when we sat a couple of tables away from him and his first wife Sandy at a NSAI award ceremony dinner in 1989. He won an award that night…a very humble guy as I remember. He’s done pretty well since then. I had a song on hold for Charlie Daniels once, but he eventually passed on it. Same story with Patty Lovelace. Good..but not quite good enough.
It became too hard to work full time and ride to Nashville once a week. Easier to just “pass” on it. Back in the days of cassette tapes, and trying to get publishers and artists to listen, an outsider getting in was a million to one shot. All of them had friends, and relatives and drinking buddies. They got the first shots, hell you can’t blame the guys in high places for that…I’d have done the same thing.
There was no Soundcloud back then, no internet communities, no American Idol, or Voice. It all boiled down to politics and friendships. Being a nobody from nowhere Georgia was hardly a good resume. I loved it back then, but barely even pick up a guitar anymore. I moved on past that, and I’m just as happy, maybe happier than I woulda been. It takes some skill, a little talent, but most of all luck. Being in the right place at the right time. I don’t know about the first two even, but I know I was never in the right place at the right time.
It became clearly evident to me the day I got stuck on an elevator at the Nashville Hilton. There was a big songwriter hoo ha going on at the time, but I got stuck on the elevator by myself for an hour and a half. I wondered why some big name producer or artist couldn’t have been on there too. I’m sure I had a cassette tape in my pocket at the time!
I really think it’s my job to try and give out a few “little” joys when I can. It’s my job to be Dad and Papa, and be here for my wife. All the the things I have now, though they are not material possessions, mean much more than I can say. I may act like a grumpy old man a lot, but I think that’s just cause I don’t get enough sleep in.
I probably would have never gotten the happiness I feel if I had been “famous” I would have undoubtedly been too busy trying to make people who didn’t love me happy instead. I don’t think that would have been such a good trade off. I honestly believe we end up being where we are meant to be, doing the things we should be doing. Let’s all just try to do good, and we will be a success no matter what.