I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day about how so many people tend to mourn musicians, artists, actors, actresses (and I am sure with any vocation the same connection can be made, Military, business, etc.) whom they have never met or had any interaction with. This topic has always intrigued me and today I want to share my thoughts with you on this often debated emotional mystery.
I believe that through music and the arts it is possible for humans to discover deep and inarticulate awareness about their personality, character, values, dreams, wishes, regrets, appreciation, love, addictions, fears, strengths, admiration, etc. The list goes on and on. Through music and art you grow and as you grow through life, music is right there beside you. Well, for most people. So over the course of time many songs and artists can become part of our personal history. They have the possibility of somewhat becoming a permanent part of our soul and DNA. A constant if you will.
Music takes us places only we have privy to. Music gently takes up permanent residence in parts of our soul, which no one else can gain access to, it makes our hearts feel deep feelings that only we know and can articulate to ourselves. Music can be a safe haven, a close family member, a friend, a lover, a fantasy, a drinking buddy or a lifetime full of memories. Music can be whatever you want it to be. It is the universe’s largest wormhole – a faithful and reliable time machine. The artist and/or songwriter in question has all of this power in your life so you feel a ‘natural’ connection to them- and when you lose one it can hurt, some more than others and sometimes very badly. Recently and over the past two years we continue to lose what seems like an unprecedented number of inspirational and legendary musicians and artists. I realize people die every day who are not in the media and it is just time moving on, yet somehow it feels different. I think we take for granted the strangers who have found their way into our soul and spirit. We feel they will always be here for us to lean on, a constant comfort in our life that will never change and when we lose one, regardless of their age, sometimes we may feel like we have lost a dear friend or even a soul mate.
I have found that as I get older, the veil of deeply felt emotion through music gets consistently thinner for me. I find it increasingly difficult to protect my heart from the emotional rapture, but more often than not the deep pain of where the time machine of music takes me when it all too often hijacks my heart.
Good Morning Friends and Welcome to 2014
About this time every year I post a newsletter expressing ideals and opinions of life as I know it as judged from all that I have experienced in the previous year. Since the theme this past year for me has been “Back To Basics” I would simply like to tell you what I have been up to in 2013 and where I stand today. I hope you do not !nd this too self indulgent and that those who genuinely do care and want to know enjoy todays blog. So here we go...
In looking back at 2013, I !nd myself with the feeling that I am starting a journey of which I should have begun decades ago; one of self awareness, maturity, discovery, chances, honesty and growth. As I have shared with you previously, I am 3 years and 8 months sober from alcohol. This is an accomplishment and is a life changing event in itself. For me; however, it is all I have learned since I chose to face my demons sober that has e#ected my life the most.
Many times I scratch my head and wonder how I made it this far. I don’t spend time much on those thoughts these days, rather I do my best now to look to the future. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart all of my friends at Celebrate Recovery at Hebron Church in Dacula, Georgia for starting my learning experience on this long road of recovery. More than anything I want to thank my girlfriend, Marti Woodward, and my very good friend Ken Mercer for their help, support and extensive knowledge of recovery which has helped tremendously with my growth. Marti, thank you for loving me – "aws and all. Ken, thank you for the kind of friendship that happens once in a lifetime. I look forward to moving further into my recovery in 2014, both as a student and as a teacher.
My own original music was a big priority for me in 2013 and I feel that I accomplished a lot. With the never ending help of my manager, very good friend and business partner in Je# Pike Music, Kathy Mullen, I was able to make a lot of fundamental business, marketing and musical headway preparing me for 2014 and beyond. Kathy’s energetic drive, persistence, patience and quest for our goal has kept me going at times when I thought I was down for the count. So to Kathy Mullen, a huge world of thanks. We ended the year on a joyous note following the release of my !rst solo acoustic CD of my career, “Back To Basics” and the launch of my brand new website, www.Je#Pike.com. It has felt good to get back to my own music, and to the piano I might add. Looking forward, I hope to release a new CD in late fall of 2014. I also hope to travel more bringing my music to as many people as possible. With that said, if you would like to book a show or know of any venus that would enjoy my music please do not hesitate to contact me.
Teaming up with my good friends Hugo Duarte and recording engineer Henry Jordan, we !nally released our debut CD as The Frozen Gringos, “Chill Before Use.” Traveling with Hugo gave me some of the most memorable moments on the road and onstage that I have ever had. I thank him for that and so much more that he has given me throughout our 8 year friendship.
Life with A1A is still rolling along and looking quite bright for 2014. I owe all of the guys in the band a huge amount of thanks for what they bring to the band, both on and o#stage. Most of all, I want to thank Chaz McDonald for continuing to go above and beyond the call of duty. Without Chaz the A1A bus would stop, and I mean that both !guratively and literally. Chaz takes care of all the business within the band and is the unsung hero. Along with running the band he has also written a lot of great songs this year and we are looking forward to possibly releasing a new CD in 2014. Things are looking good and I am excited about that possibility.
Of course, all of the success in the world would mean nothing without family and friends. I am grateful to have more close and loving friends than I could ever have imagined. I am beyond
blessed to still have my Parents and Carol Hildebrand ( my daughters Grandmother and caregiver ) with me and I thank the Lord for them every day. With my family on the Pike side, my daughter’s family on the Hildebrand side and my extended family with Martha on the Woodward side, I have more love around me than some people get in an entire lifetime – and I do not take it for granted. Speaking of the two loves of my life, my daughter Ashton and my girlfriend Martha continue to amaze me and make me proud. Ashton is in her freshman year at The University of Georgia and Martha is returning to Psychotherapy as her primary profession.
So when it comes down to it, 2013 was a year full of celebrations for me. For the !rst time in what might be my entire life I feel a sense of true peace and happiness in every aspect, and yet, there is still a lot unknown and there are still many opportunities for growth. Sometimes it is quite scary. I am doing my best to face these unknowns with my eyes wide open, my body healthy, and trusting completely in God and in those who love and care for me. I wish the same for you in 2014.
Happy New Year and may God bless all that you do.
"Ramblings From Jeff" - is a dedicated personal blog page within JeffPike.com written and posted by Jeff Pike.