I was talking with my Mom this morning at she tells me that there recently was a concert consisting of guys I knew during my days as a band geek in high school who made it as professional musicians. When I say "made it", I don't mean "got a regular gig down at the Tick Tock Lounge". I mean "Grammy nominated" and played on national television. When you put together the list of accomplishments, it is rather impressive: toured with Art Blakey, toured with Chick Corea, a member of the Rosie O'Donnell Show house band, toured with Chuck Mangione, played on the sound track for Sex In The City, toured with Dickey Betts, got nominated for a Jazz Composition award finalist in Downbeat Magazine, led group nominated for Jazz Grammy Award, and made over half a dozen CDs in combos they led over the years. There is probably more, but that's all I can remember off the top of my head.
I have to admit, it was good to be a band geek when I was in high school. We had an absolutely LOUSY marching band, but we knew we had talent in other areas. We knew that we had this group of people around who were special... and while we didn't know that they were going to go off and do stuff like that... you knew they had a real love for playing music. It was a beautiful thing to be around, and as best as I could, be part of.
Of course, the experience was also just a little intimidating, at first. I had to ask myself the question "can I become as good as these people?" at some point. The answer was eventually a resounding "no", but it took a little while for that to become clear. I think it was sometime during my sophomore year in high school when I began to understand that while I loved playing music and was really getting better... I just didn't love to practice 3+ hours a day like these guys. I had to settle with being an "AND" guy -- I was one of the better people (though not the best) in the band) AND I got straight A's AND I was on the Mock Trial Team that went to the State Finals AND... well, you get the idea. Perhaps not the best at anything, but good in several areas at once.
Mrs. Geek asked me if there was a little envy on my part for what these guys have done. No, I took a different fork in the road a long time ago. I wish I could just hang out with them once in a while just to hear the stories... and the music that must happen when they're around.
on 2006-04-01 at 2:35 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond