Testosterone driven 1970’s Hard rock and roll. I love it. I loved it then and I love it now. The 1970’s had a lot of that to offer. Like every generation since the 1950’s does, of course; and every generations rock and roll is a little different. But they all have some things in common that speak to the backseat lover in all of us. Hard driving simple chord changes, a slim and sexy lead singer with nice hair and a great voice (well, not always), ripping guitar solos, lyrics about girls, sex, rock and roll, mind altering substances and all that the dark side of our teenage years was all about. Experienced in our youth it can seem to many like the ultimate physical and emotional release of raw energy. The Nirvana of the number that your body is doing on you throughout your teenage years. (Well, outside of sex that is; and let’s be honest; when this music was at the top of our personal charts the majority of us had yet to experienced carnal worldly pleasures) It is the music of youth, frustration, dreams, little responsibility and reckless abandon. Not everyone succumbs to its power and is left to deal with the consequences of a misspent youth, but many do. (And don’t kid yourself, it IS powerful) Some outgrow it and leave it in their closet along with their high school memories and college annuals. Some try to hold onto it for their entire adult lives. Some make the biggest mistake and make it their entire career. Thus, forever stuck in Teenage Rock and Roll Limbo. Traveling down a path that usually does not have a happy ending. Then there are the lucky ones, who as they age ,regardless of their career path, take with them the memories, melodies and mystical madness of the dreams Rock and Roll o"ered to us in our youth and use it to keep a tiny flame and vigil alive in their souls. Just enough to keep burning the excitement, adventure and possibilities of life that our Rock and Roll youth gave us, while actually growing up and learning how to be functional, successful, healthy and happy aging adults.
As for me you may ask? Well, I have always known and felt inside since I was a young boy that I had no choice. Music chose me and I was stuck with it. For better or for worse. Couldn’t get rid of it if I tried. What some people may not be aware of is that I have seriously tried on a handful of occasions to make a career change – It was hard and painful and I was unable to win that !ght. Can’t shake it. I was meant to be a musician and God is taking no other option. Well, at least at this time. After all, he is in charge. I have been extremely blessed (or cursed some may say) with an unexplainable passion (Ok..obsession...I give in) and love for many genres and styles of music. The Good Lord also blessed me with ample musical talent; enough so that I have been lucky enough to be able to make a living with it for the past 30 years. That is a long time on the road playing rock and roll. So, am I where I thought I would be with rock and roll at age 52? No, not by a light years long shot. But then I wonder, who is? Life is about choices and your life becomes the choices you make. Almost like flipping a coin.
As much as I cherish, love, respect, and will forever wave it’s flag high, rock and roll taken too seriously can lead one to make many, many irresponsible mistakes and choices. It can put you in unexpected arrested development. It can take you down a realistic road of no return, much worse than some nightmares you have experienced in your darkest night’s sleep – and leave you alone in Limbo. I know, I have been there. While I have been very lucky and blessed to have a great career, it took me almost the entire length of it to !nally get my “real” life straight (and it still needs a lot of work). But on the other hand, taken in good moderation ( I know... real rock and roll is not about moderation, but go with me here for the sake of argument and age) it can give you some of the best memories, dreams, fantasies, passions, physical and emotional pleasures you can have on earth. Even if only available for a limited amount of time, and not always in the back seat of your 1974 Chevy Monte Carlo. I choose that side of the coin. I choose the happy life I have now. I choose sobriety. I choose God. I choose love. I choose to be a loving parent. I choose life.
But I still choose Rock and Roll. I choose the flame.
July 13, 2013 marks my 52nd Birthday and I would like to take some time this month reviewing some of my favorite rock and roll albums of my youth. For your enjoyment and for mine. I look forward to your comments, thoughts and insights.
Keep the fire burning.
Greetings friends and listeners,
The last time I touched base with you about a month ago, I was sitting in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Well, New Orleans, along with all of the other stops I made before I arrived home just yesterday were very kind to me. Sitting here in the warmth of my home this morning I feel very blessed.
As you may know, I have been on tour with my musical com-padre Hugo Duarte as The Frozen Gringos since February; and as I mentioned in the previous paragraph I made it safely home from the road just yesterday. Our tour was very successful and it was a joy to get back out on the open road again. The audiences were quite heavenly; and while traveling at it’s best is quite taxing, I do so enjoy seeing our country through a windshield as opposed to #ying. I have always enjoyed the road – still do – and it may come as no surprise to some that much more than a smidgen of wander lust has always held court around the clock in my semi restless soul. But as time goes by there has remained a small part of me that feels like staying put, settling down, and leaving the ways of the road and the single wayward minstrel behind. As you can see it has not won me over yet, but I do !nd that piece of me growing larger upon each return from the repetitious, and dare I say it, shallow world of rock and roll on the road. But let’s be realistic. I am a musician and the road is part of that life. So in reality I just need to suck it up and remember that moderation is the key; and speaking of moderation I would like to take this opportunity to wish myself a Happy Birthday.....
Three years ago today I made a decision and started my new life – a God driven life without alcohol. It has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made for myself, my family, my friends, and for my life. Upon making this decision I immediately joined a Celebrate Recovery Group in Duluth, Georgia which has been my home every Monday evening when I am in town. The impact of following a sober and God driven path has impacted my life, my spirit, my career and those close to me in ways I never, ever, ever could have imagined. Today I want to thank God, Celebrate Recovery, Amanda Ferreira, Ken Mercer, Hugo Duarte, Vance Kelly, Marti Woodward, Kathy Mullen, Chaz and Angela McDonald, my family, very close friends, band mates and listeners for supporting me – even when they may not agree or understand my life choices.
Today is a day of re#ection and celebration for me, in many ways that only I will understand. I am just glad I am still here to do it and was given a second chance. God is good. Life is good. Love is good. Family, friends and fans are good, and music is still amazing.
I will close now for I have new music to make and miles to go before I sleep.... From the heart,
Greetings friends, followers and listeners,
My apologies for being a little late here with my Christmas and New Years greeting. In fact, heck, now that I look at my blog post’s I realize that I need to apologize for being late for my Thanksgiving greeting too! Jeez!!! You would think that it was the holiday season or something and that I had a good excuse to slu" o"! Uh...hold on...hey...wait a minute... The holiday season is over...crap!.. Oh well, I am all out of excuses. All kidding aside, it has been a little over 2 months since my last blog, so for those of you who were wondering, yes I am alive and all is well.
Christmas and New Years Eve have come and gone and here we are at the dawn of a New Year. I do hope that those of you who are reading this did have a warm, loving, safe, happy Christmas and New Year’s celebration with your loved ones. I realize that with all of the political and economic upheaval in our country right now, coupled with the pain and fear of the recent fatal and tragic school shootings, an unfortunate and frightening event which seems to be occurring more frequent in our country, that it can be quite hard to focus on the good things that DO surround us on a day to day basis, especially during the Holiday Season.
I am no stranger to that feeling at all. In fact, I have always been prone to seeing the glass half empty. Keeping a positive attitude about problems in my life has been a struggle for me ever since I can remember. However, I have made some personal progress in that department over the past couple of years. Yes, I do slip, but I am blessed to have loved ones and friends around me who will call me out on it, remind me of the destructive power of attitude, and who are not afraid to pull me into serious conversation about it.
We all have problems in our lives. Big problems and small problems. Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with the fact that to some extent problems will always be a constant in our life, and in our world. But how we feel and how we let problems a"ect us is mostly up to us. It is a personal choice. It takes a constant awareness and practice to concentrate, recognize and appreciate all of the good things that happen in your life every day. For every one thing that goes wrong in your life on any given day, there is probably a very long list of things in your life that have gone well. Things that you should stop recognize and give thanks for – every day.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to do my absolute damndest to think POSITIVE and to always see the good possibilities in every situation, no matter how harsh it may seem. This is not easy for me and it may not be easy for you. But it is worth a try and it does work. You do not have to let the actions of others, and possible circumstances beyond your control get you down. They do not have to seriously a"ect your life, emotions and attitude. It is a choice. Your choice. So as you embark on this New Year make a serious conscious e"ort every day to CHOOSE to be happy and to be extraordinarily grateful for all that you do have and all that does go right in your world. The trickledown e"ect this will have on those in and around your life will astound you.
Happy New Year!
I turned 51 on July 13, 2012. It seems like just a blink of an eye since July 13, 2011 when I turned 50. Turning 50 was a big thing for me, and it was a big day as well. I threw a big reunion concert, party and CD Release event at Hemingways in Marietta, Georgia to commemorate the event. I was blessed with an enormous turn out of friends old and new. Family, friends and fans came out of the woodwork from far and near in order to wish me well and enjoy my CD release party at Hemingways. I was not expecting the response I received last year, and I am happy to say that my sentiments this year reflects the same.
Just in case you think you missed another crazy Jeff Pike party, do not worry. I did not throw a big party this year, nor did I release a new CD. I !gured after last year that I would just let 51 casually roll by. It did not casually roll by, but neither was it the huge extravaganza of Birthdays gone past. Was there still drama and craziness? Yep...There has always been at least a little drama and craziness surrounding my natal festivities, so why should this year be any di"erent? Be that as it may, It was an amazing week both personally and professionally. The highlight was a small private dinner party that most of my family and loved ones gave me to help me celebrate turning 51. I learned a lot and felt even more changes occurring in my heart and life during those few short hours. I almost cannot explain it. It was a brief yet very important experience in my life which I will always cherish and keep close to my heart.
I sit here today and look where I was just a little over two short years ago. I was at one of the lowest points of my life when I !nally chose to enter a local Celebrate Recovery program in Dacula, Georgia. Seriously, for the !rst time I chose to turn my entire life over to God, and let him heal me and guide my way. Both physically and emotionally, the experience has been more di$cult, confusing, scary and bumpy than anyone who has not been through similar circumstances can imagine. But I sit here today surrounded by unprecedented and amazing personal, physical, spiritual and professional blessings that have all happened since I !nally gave up my life to God and chose to turn my life around.
I am blessed with hope, happiness and peace of mind. I am blessed with band mates, co workers, family and friends and a support system who believe in me like never before, and so many great things are happening. I have learned so much with so much more to learn. Do I like getting older? No, not really. But as long as I have my health, my recovery and my focus on God I know it is going to be a lot better than I had ever imagined it to be.
To the hundreds of people who wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook I want to send an enormous hug and a humble Thank You. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me reading all of your posts. I truly will try to get back to everyone in time, but probably won’t have a chance to dig in until August. I have a REALLY full calendar until about August 5.
To all of my friends who came out to Hemingways and the 8,000 people who attended our A1A/Jeff Pike Birthday Concert in Woodstock on July 15....uh...wow. That is about all I have. Just a spellbound “wow.” I cannot begin to express my thanks and gratitude to God and everyone who makes my life what it is today. I am beyond blessed and grateful, and although I stumble as we all do and will, I do my best to show my gratitude and appreciation every day of my life.
Thanks to God, my family and all of my friends for giving me a Birthday that I will never forget. I love you all.
See you on the road....
Music has always been, and God Willing will always continue to be, a life-long love for me. Being the driving force that it is, it has been responsible for countless major impacts on me throughout my life, both good, and maybe a few not so good. Currently, due to major life changes I have been implementing over the past couple of years, and with recently attending the Gino Vannelli master class series, I have reignited a passion and developed a focus to spend more of my time studying, practicing, writing, recording, releasing and performing more of my original music. I am also dedicating more of my time to my spiritual and personal growth so that I may continue to grow and become a more boundaried person in all of my relationships. In other words, I am !nally getting back to being ME.
Taking into consideration all of the boundaries, priorities and time management changes I am continuously making, I want all of my dedicated Facebook friends to know you are an important part of my daily routine. However, I will not be spending as much time on Facebook as I have in the past. So my poking, likes, messages and posts will be less frequent, but never fear – I’ll still be keeping you updated on what’s going on in the world of Je" Pike Music. (This will also include links to updates regarding A1A, The Frozen Gringos and The Paul Leslie Hour) Starting this week, I will begin regular posting of You Tube videos, reviews on my extensive record collection, random thoughts of inspiration and commentary, as well as additional info you may be interested in so that you may get to know me better and see my changes and progress as I move forward.
In keeping with the changes, Jeff Pike.com has a new look with updated info. Also, the first Facebook Jeff Pike Artist Fan page, while still in its formative stages, is ready for you to “LIKE” and share with your friends. You can check it out at facebook.com/therealje"pike. I hope you will join me on my new life adventure I am !nally undertaking. Please know and understand that while I am not present on Facebook all day that I am not too far away and will be checking in at least twice a day. Thank you for all of the years of support. I look very forward to our future....:-)
I am still reeling, dizzy and in awe at the turnout, events, performances and overall success of my 50th Birthday/CD Release Party on July 13 at Hemingways in Marietta, Ga. It was so hard to take it all in while it was happening. All the love in the room was so surreal and overwhelming for me. I was NOT expecting, nor did I plan my show for such an enormous turnout. To make it extra special my Mom, Dad, my brother Pat and I were together again. It has been YEARS since we were in the same room, much less in a photograph together.
I saw faces together in the same room that I have not seen in many, many years. Some never at all. I saw friends I have not seen in decades. People drove in from out of state, Families changed plans, strict work schedules were changed. I tell you, I am just !lled with thankfulness. While I was singing that night everywhere I looked there was a face I knew, a memory of a time in my life. So many, many special memories. The only drawback and thing I would change is that I wish I could have spent time with EVERY SINGLE person who came. It is always completely impossible to perform and spend quality time with everyone who comes to see you. Especially when there is a vast amount of people. But I ALWAYS try. I will do my best to touch base with everyone who came, who sent me cards, e-mails, messages, voice mails and presents as quickly as I can. Each and everyone meant the world to me.
In all honesty, it was extremely hard for me NOT to stay emotional many, many times throughout the course of the evening. The performances my friends gave meant so much to me. While not perfect, there was a lot of emotion going on and I hope that transferred to the audience. I had planned for a small, easy listening get together musical re#ection of my life. Not for the overwhelming number of friends who came out to help me celebrate and READY to rock. It was SO HARD to hear onstage because the club was so loud. Looking back, I should have brought more PA and put together a more rock and roll show for everyone, but oh well....it was what it was and I hope everyone enjoyed and understood the spontaneity of the moment and the reasons behind the song selections. I have rarely felt so loved, humbled, thankful and grateful. So much more than I have the words to express.
To close, It means more than the world to me to have all of you as part of the building block of my life. Again, I am so very, very, blessed and grateful to have the family, friends, fans (I have never liked that word) and band that I do. Yes...I AM very blessed, and I AM very thankful and grateful.
THANK YOU to EVERYONE for a wonderful Birthday I will never, ever forget.
One last request. For those of you who really DO enjoy my music outside of A1A, It would mean so much to me for everyone to download my new CD “50” that was released on my Birthday. It is a work spanning 29 years of music that takes you on a small journey through my life. I put a lot of heart, soul and work into the tracks on this album, it is very special to me and I would love to share it with you. You can download it at I-Tunes, CD Baby.com and Amazon.com.
"Ramblings From Jeff" - is a dedicated personal blog page within JeffPike.com written and posted by Jeff Pike.