"Visually-striking quirky dramas", "independent comedies featuring a strong female lead", "suspenseful BBC TV shows" -Netflix
Twenty years ago today I went to see Nirvana in New York City with David A. Galea, the pre-story to this concert having been documented in a previous post entitled “Milk It”. He showed up to the concert wearing a dress belonging to his then-girlfriend. We pressed ourselves up to the front of the barricade sweating out every ounce of fluid in our teenage bodies. This would be the second to last time I would see them live and the first time we would hear them play a majority of the material off of In Utero which had been released earlier that year. I have a very vivid memory of them opening with “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and Kurt playing his guitar using some sort of light up toy which he tossed into the crowd once he was finished with the noisy intro. This is also the show famous for the band having closed with a song performed with famed journalist Everett True. I left with very little of my voice and a t-shirt that I would later ruin by violently and drunkenly vomiting all over it. I was hooked. I wanted to be on that stage.
19 years and 364 days later, I spent the evening with the band I work with surrounded by rock stars and models and fashionistas, taking part in one of the biggest on-stage productions I have ever been a part of in my life.
19 years and 364 days later, as a booking agent for a prestigious worldwide entertainment agency, David booked his biggest concert to date. Paramore headlining The Mecca, Madison Square Garden in New York City. The World’s Most Famous Arena.
I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of my friend. Never in our collective lives did we ever dream of the things we have made possible. Neither of us imagined that 20 years later we would still be involved in music in the capacity that we are now, but through hard work and perseverance we have both managed to stick around, whether it was in the playing, touring, managing, or booking side of things.
Now at the insistence of others I’m trying my hand at yet another facet of this music/creative/whatever thing. I wrote a bunch of things down and then it became this…
This is a book I wrote about my life on the road. More accurately, how I became who I am because of being on the road. And music. Or something like that. It features a couple of stories where my friend David makes an appearance. Is it any good? Does it matter? You can be the judge of that. The point is this: I did it.
This can be you.
I am not a genius. Dave might be, but I’m of average to above average intelligence. We are 37 year old guys from the same suburb on Long Island, New York. We saw what we wanted and we reached out and grabbed it. Sometimes it meant struggle. Sometimes it meant sleeping on floors and eating eggs and water for breakfast for days on end. A lot of times it meant disappointment, from which we learned how to not make the same mistakes the next time.
I hear about a lot of kids (and as an old man I include 20-somethings in that category, too) in bands, writing, acting, painting. Whatever it is they are doing in some creative field. They want the world handed to them without putting in the work first. Just because you posted a few links to your Facebook page to the thousand or so followers you have it doesn’t mean that you have earned what comes to you with hard work. When I was 17 years old watching Nirvana I dreamed of one day being on that stage or being on that tour. I figured out how to do it. I put in the work and I got to do what I love for a living. It’s not impossible.
Maybe it won’t be on the stage at Madison Square Garden, but if you just put the goddamn hard work in, instead of complaining about how everything is passing you by, you will do something you enjoy in life. I promise. I will cheer you on the way I was cheered on. You will make the same mistakes I did and you will learn how to not make them again. Instead of being complacent you will be proactive. You will leave your mark on the world. I don’t know you, but I believe in you.
Although David and I don’t get to see each other as much as we used to due to our busy work schedules, even though we live in the same borough of the same city about two miles from each other, it gives me great pride that we have both made a living doing things that make us happy.
Anyway, my book 1800 Miles To Nowhere is now available for pre-order from Dead Stop Publishing. Get one now and in 20 years I will have something else to write about.
Don’t be a jerk. Buy it.