American Shares Unnecessary Opinion About America

Stars & Stripes
Stars & Stripes

I was pretty sick of America for a long time.

I thought, “What a dull place filled with rubes.” I lived in a bubble, riding my commuter bike all within a 3 mile radius in Atlanta, Georgia. My love for California was no secret and Horace Greeley’s quote, “Go west young man, and grow up with the country,” reverberated in my head on a loop. After talking about leaving for over a decade I finally packed my bags and headed west.

My traveling companion and I drove 3,500 miles from Atlanta to Ventura, California. Along the way we visited New Orleans, Fort Worth, Austin, Las Cruces, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree and San Diego. During this trip I saw, with my own eyes, what a wonderful place this country is.

You can watch my video of our trip here.

We have so much natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. So much good food! We have an amazing interstate system making it easy to travel. We also have freedom.

There’s always been a lot of confusion, anger, misdirection and sleight of hand in this country. However the “idea” of America remains solid.

I’ve always loved how Bono describes America as an idea. Our country represents this idea of freedom of expression, that anyone can come here and have a better life.

No America isn’t perfect. 241 years old and we’ve still got issues. We struggle with dysfunction, pride, racism, inequality and fear, but the idea of America is strong. I believe it. I believe this idea will remain for a long time to come.

Without getting too Lee Greenwoody, I’m proud to say I’m an American. I’m not always proud or supportive of the actions of those in our government that represent us, but I know we live in a wonderful place. I implore you to get out of your bubble and see this country for yourself. I think you’ll find what I found, a country that’s imperfect but rich in natural beauty.  You’ll see a country as an idea, which stands for the freedom of self-expression and offers an opportunity to change your life.

Happy Independence Day!!!

Daily Posts #4 – Prince

Prince played in Atlanta last night and I missed it. It was another stop on his Piano & A Mic tour. I hope he’ll do one on the west coast soon.

Prince has long been one of my all-time favorite musicians. If I had the chance I’d love to ask him some questions.

Do you have a personal chef?
Do you do your own laundry?
Are you really good at basketball?
Why are you constantly taking down your music on YouTube?
Do you ever call up Sheila E. and chit chat?
Is it true you fine members of your band if they make a mistake on stage?
Why purple?
Do you exercise?
What do you think happens when you die?
Do you practice?
When you’re in the studio, are you engineering?
What’s in the vault?
Do you go to the grocery store and shop for yourself?
What do you think of The Beatles?
Aren’t you a fan of Cocteau Twins?
How would you encourage young musicians?
How did you prepare for this piano and a mic tour?
What’s a normal day like for you?
Do you have a private jet? Do you fly commercial?
What do you think about marriage?
What’s your favorite book?
What movie have you watched more than once?
What’s up with Rosie Gaines?
How about that high note Rosie hits on “Diamonds & Pearls”?


Update 4/16/16: One of the questions I wanted to ask but forgot to write down was if Prince rode bicycles. We all know he’s the man on a motorcycle. The answer is yes. Yes Prince does ride bicycles. Check this article: http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/04/one-day-after-being-hospitalized-prince-spotted-riding-his-bike-throwing-all-night-dance-party/

Daily Posts #3 – This Is Going To Be Ugly

I just realized that there will be some gnarly, ugly, unrefined writing in these daily posts. It will be like those awful FAWM songs that you must power through, so you can finish and get to the next. It will not be my best work.

That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it. I should totally do it.

I remember asking Austin Kleon about this. Kleon argues that artists should posts their ugly, unrefined, unfinished work online, let everyone see it. I mentioned what John Mayer had said. Mayer urged Berklee students to resist the urge to publish themselves, to wait until the song is done. Kleon said he saw Mayer’s point, and I do as well, but Kleon disagreed.

Kleon encouraged everyone to get their work out, show the world your process. Yes it will be ugly. Yes it may be painful, for both you and the recipient. Kleon argues you can, “build an audience by sharing that process.” He also says this process helps you, “deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out in the world.”

We shall see.