If You Always Said to Yourself, “If Things Were Different I’d…”
I have always loved art. Great paintings blow my mind. And I always told myself if I had any talent, I’d paint. I draw badly, to put it mildly. So I put that dream of painting away.
The interesting thing is how I became a musician. Like drawing, I had no real feel for playing music as a kid, though I always owned guitars growing up. Actually, I was a passionate music fan, everything from Jimi Hendrix to John Coltrane. But I was a lame guitar player.
Punk came along in the seventies. I was working in a record store with a bunch of fans. When I first heard the Sex Pistols I thought it was garbage. But it grew on me. These were people my age who didn’t let a lack of talent or chops get in their way.
I met some new friends who shared this passion and also had dabbled in music. We had a drunken conversation at a party that led to starting a band. And we worked really hard at it. I took up bass because we needed a bass player.
Ten years later we had seven records, played big clubs, and had a record deal with a label owned by Capitol. We did not get famous but every musical fantasy I had came to be. Because we had passion. The need for ‘talent’ was forgotten.
Passion is more important than talent
These days a lot of people are reevaluating their lives. For good reason. If we are healthy, we have dodged numerous bullets over the past year. If you are reevaluating, and I am pretty certain you are, on some level, ask yourself this: what have I always wanted to be or do, but didn’t think I was good enough?
Good enough comes from passion and practice. Yes, I do believe there are people with real talent but it cannot come to fruition without passion and practice. We all know someone who could dash off a great sketch but never pursued that ability. Which is a terrible thing.
However, the reality of things is that great work is done by people who never considered themselves at that level. It simply was something they had to do and they, unlike many, did it.