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Friday, November 13, 2009

My Life is Right

While I have a tremendous bias towards this article on original Big Star bassist Andy Hummel (I lent the author my copy of Rob Jovanovic's Big Star biography for research), I found such a breath of fresh air in what Hummel had to say about his post-Big Star life.

Too often, I hear about how the life of a full-time musician, along with a full-time actor's, is the glamorous life. As in, this is the dream for those who don't want the apparent dread that comes with a regular, 40-hour day job. Well, there can be dread in almost anything you do job-wise, even if it's a job you love.

But the point at hand is how Hummel prefers the life he's had after quitting Big Star in the 1970s. He's married with children and works at Lockheed-Martin. On paper, that sounds like an ordinary life, but I've found that life only looks ordinary on the surface. Hummel still plays music, and that's what I find even more endearing about his path.

Too often, we hear about a full-time musician trading his or hers full-time status for something apparently less. Something apparently normal or average like a regular job along with marriage and family. Well, that doesn't have to be settling for anything. What you do in your spare time is your business and your passion alone.

For me, I don't have aspirations to become a full-time musician, but I can't stop playing the drums. No matter what kind of job I do, I gotta find some time at least for the practice pad when I get home. No matter where I am, I can't help tapping along, air-drumming along, and so on. As long as I have two arms and legs, I want to play. And if I were ever lucky to make a livable wage playing drums full-time, then great. But I'm still perfectly satisfied with working forty hours and practicing for three hours with my new band on Saturdays.

So yes, there is life after the cameras stop rolling, writers want to write books on your band, and record reviewers laud something you did decades ago. So nice to know that life isn't a sad past like a former high school quarterback who thinks his best days are behind him.

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