Feeling Inspired

I got really burned out on music toward the end of Jud Kossum Band in late 2007.  I should have been really excited about our last show (we were opening for Starfield at Murray Hill Theater in Jacksonville, Florida), but I was already so dead tired it almost didn’t matter.  We finished our set.  I had to get up early the next morning, and the guys were gracious enough to load up our stuff and haul it back home without me.  I didn’t even stay for Starfield’s whole set, which is very unlike me.  I always tried to support the other bands we played with.

I haven’t spent much of my limited free time playing guitar in the ensuing four years.  I have written maybe two or three songs since then – nothing in the last couple of years.  I haven’t been playing in a band.

I have been leading worship on Sundays at Magnolia Creek.  I love it, but it’s a different animal.  I do it because I love leading worship, not because I love playing music.  Because, quite honestly, since the band broke up and we moved back to Houston, I haven’t loved playing music.  Haven’t even really liked it.  Too much work and pressure and expectation and disappointment and frustration and exhaustion were tied up in it.

But a weird thing happened a couple of weeks ago.  The Smashing Pumpkins came out with a new album.  That in itself, of course, is not really weird.  The weird thing is that it got me interested.  I’d never really been what you’d call a fan of SP.  I liked what I heard on the radio, but for some reason, I never felt the urge to buy a CD.  But I previewed the new album on iTunes, and it piqued my curiosity.  Through a course of events, I downloaded first Siamese Dream, then Oceania (the latest).  That got me thinking about all the music I used to listen to – the stuff that really inspired me.  Especially Pearl Jam.

For quite some time, Pearl Jam Twenty languished in my Netflix queue.  Last Friday night, I decided to watch it.

Mind.  Blown.

This is no “Behind the Music” exposé, airing all the band’s dirty laundry.  It’s simply a very well done history of the band and a love letter to the music of Seattle in the early 90s.  From the early days – the death of Andrew Wood and, consequently, Mother Love Bone – to the whole Ticketmaster debacle, to the horror of the Roskilde Festival (nine fans were crushed to death, which nearly led the band to break up), to today as the band continues to make its own way across the musical landscape.

And the music.  Oh, man, the MUSIC!

I saw in this movie what I’d always wanted as a musician.  Not rock stardom.  Not unbridled creativity.  The Seattle music scene of the late 80s and early 90s was a scene where everybody knew each other, and they were friends.  They had fun together.  I always wanted to play in a band with my friends and have fun doing it.  And I wanted to be part of a scene where everybody supported and liked each other.

So, I talked to Kacy about how I was feeling.  I picked up my Strat for the first time in ages.  I rewired my pedal board and cranked up my amp.  I laid down a few riffs in Garageband.  I texted some friends and asked them to come jam.

I probably won’t be recording a new album or playing any shows, but I will be making music again.

Man, I love music.

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