“Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to,
Which with any luck will never come true…“
– “Wand’rin Star” by Lerner and Loewe
from the musical “Paint Your Wagon” 1951 (film version 1969)
At the beginning of this year I decided I would make a concerted effort to see more of the world.
I already do a lot of traveling but that’s generally in the back of the Bedlam Six van – the only things we tend to see on our trips are venues, hotels and motorway service stations. It’s a little bubble of placelessness.
I’ve been on call for a long time, never wanting to book a holiday or definitively RSVP to a wedding/birthday invitation for fear of missing out on a decent gig. When you’re an independent musician (or as some people still insist on saying: “unsigned”) it’s easy to fall into a trap of feeling pressured into accepting every little thing that comes along, never risking a refusal, deeming all incoming offers as potential golden opportunities to perform in front of “the right people” – those elusive dream-peddlers who’ll give you one Happily-Ever-After in exchange for a few drops of Youthful Naïveté.
But that way madness lies. Since when has art been about waiting for someone else to give you directions? Or, worse still, auditioning to be a piece in someone else’s puzzle? When art fits neatly that’s often a pretty good indication that it isn’t particularly good art (I’ve found this philosophy to be very comforting in my leaner times).