I am not one to rush things. But like the rest of the world, I have never been so thrilled to see 2020 go bye-bye. It wasn’t all bad for me personally, was better for some, worse for others. Lots of people started up their own businesses and realized that being their own boss was the way to go. Others, well, they chose to be more negative and paranoid.
Suddenly I feel more normal.
2020 started off on a great note with my first trip to NAMM (Anaheim, CA) since 2014 (January). Got to rub elbows with some famous friends, and some non-famous ones. People are people, and if someone is cool to me, I am cool right back. Felt like a guitar god for four days, perusing the booths of my endorsers (Ibanez, GHS Strings, Orange amps, Lock-It Straps) and absorbing some nice weather. It was “freezing” to the locals but was perfect for me.
Most important was I finally got to meet my long-time pen pal (remember those?) Her name is Nicole and we stared at each other in disbelief for a few seconds like “Is this really happening?” She suggested a certain restaurant and I said “Nah, I want IHOP!” Was great chatting the night away, instantly forgetting the long flight and feeling worn out from my credit card being declined at the motel (I got it fixed, don’t worry!)
After four days of endless walking around the convention center, seeing Steve Vai at the House Of Blues (what a show!) and loving the palm trees near the motel, I came home to frigid temperatures but a renewed sense of purpose. I wanted to get to work on my 8th album!
Ummm, then some pandemic happened…
I lost all of my students for about a month. Some slowly came back, then a few more, and then got new students on top of it. Apparently, being stuck at home makes one bored. And makes one want to learn a piece of wood with strings. Works for me!
I know the summer sucked for a lot of my friends, especially musicians who were aching to get back on stage. Got to see some bands around September when bars were allowed back open to limited/outdoor seating. I joke that people are so starved for live shows, that I may actually draw a crowd. And since seating is limited, every show I could do would be an instant sell-out!
Alas, my days of being a performer are gone. It’s for the best.
But I am finally working towards a new album. Had one rehearsal in October and it went really well. Supposed to rehearse in early December but health issues arose so we moved it to two weeks later. Then something called snow happened. Great. Looks like January we will get back to work.
Unless those murder hornets show up like they said they would. They held out for more money, I think.
So was 2020 a total dud? For me, not totally. What do I hope for in 2021? One thing’s for certain: the idea of going back to normal won’t happen for a long time, maybe never again. Ideals and old habits are going to be thrown to the wolves. New strategies will have to happen, whether by choice or by force. Winter NAMM 2021 is cancelled (boo!) but am hoping for Summer NAMM in Nashville at least.
We all hope 2021 will be an improvement, that’s for sure.
And we can’t forget those we lost this year. It was a doozy like 2016: Neil Peart (I will never get over this one!!), Sean Reinert, Eddie Van Halen, Sean Malone, Leslie West, Frankie Banali, Alex Trebek, Little Richard, and a slew of others. May they all rest in peace.
But to those who are still alive, do me and yourself a favour: Show them appreciation while they are still here. It only takes a few seconds.
Peace, love, and granola…