The Melody Could Be Catchier

The life of an artist is incredibly challenging.  You have to think about the fact that artists are some of the last people in our society to be compensated for their effort, if at all.  Because of this, I have had to learn to be a jack of all trades to make sure that I can eat.  The irony in this is that, having worked in all of the trades that I have, from janitorial to plumbing to fixing vats of caustic acid that can melt your arm off, there’s always a radio on.  Everyone knows the power of that radio. It’s always there in the corner of the big, empty concrete structure that we are laying pipes in, raising walls in.  One day this structure will be an office for wealthy business class people.  But it doesn’t end there.  Because even the business class person leaves the office and turns the radio on in their car.  The radio is the vein of our society, bringing the blood of music so that we all keep inspired and don’t throw the towel in.

When the music stops, we all stop. It is the sign at the end of the night in a club or bar to leave.  In a restaurant, if the music shuts off, we feel something is wrong and our words suddenly become clumsy in the silence.  All of this, and we still have much to say about an artist.  Why we don’t like them and what’s wrong with their art.  We fail to be aware of the fact that this person is offering art, with staggering odds against their ever being paid for it.

When I go to open a bank account, the man tells me about his guitar he just bought because I’ve told him I am a musician.  The people I meet in my days all reverberate a similar notion.  How they wanted to be an artist or once were or turned it into a hobby.Sometimes that’s just fine.  Their life has become more beautiful on the outside of it.  Yet, sometimes I wonder if the constant rejection was just too much for their soul.  The constant having to sweat if your account will be overdrawn when you buy food for the studio recording.  The constant voice of opinion of your art and why it should be different.  It doesn’t matter if when I wrote it there were tears streaming down my face, the melody could have been catchier.

The brief moments we get as artists, where people tell you their words changed their life, when there are thousands of people who know your words, when you get paid enough to make rent one month, you know how important what you’re doing is.  I’ve always lived for those moments.  People may have many opinions of artists, but the truth is, we all live for those moments, too.  The one day you hear a song or see a painting that brings about a shift in you, makes you dance, laugh, cry.  We all remember that art.

I love my life and have no complaints.  I have made my life this way for good reason.  I have been higher than most any human will ever get, and lower than I ever thought I might be able to persevere through.  Somewhere in the middle, I find balance and a smile spreads across my face.  I just ask that you consider the artists of our society.  They create for us.  They put something out there for the possible moment of changing many lives, or even just one.  You don’t have to love it or even enjoy it, but it’s good to be aware next time you have an opinion.  Now go turn on the radio.