The most beloved car I ever owned was a 1971 bay window V.W. bus. Converted into a band/surf ride by my brother Chris, it was the ultimate car for a kid that surfed and played drums. I could fit my kit, part of the light show, and a 2x6 mattress to snooze on. I used to make runs to Melbourne to get Spectrum and M.T.B. surfboards, for the surf shop I worked for. I once put forty five neon airbrushed thrusters in that thing. Shag carpet, a Pioneer head unit, amp in the glove box, 110 watt 6x9's in the back, and 30 mpg. Gas was just over a buck a gallon and I was twenty. What more could a guy need? I would get on the road for a board run, and pretend that I was heading out solo and never coming back. I was being strangled by my home town. I just wanted to go somewhere, anywhere with a music scene, and people that didn't know my life story.
The band I was in was reaching it's zenith and even though we were big fish in the bowl, I wanted more. We had just recorded a few songs at a studio in Stuart and I finally felt like I was getting somewhere as a song writer. One song called "Small Town Boy" outlined my dreams of escape. The guitar player (ever the paranoid prick) confronted me about the lyrical content and my plans for the future. Shrugging him off, I replied that there was going to be surf the next day, and beyond that I was planless.
My best friend was at school in Gainesville and I was a community college drop out. One epic three week swell and the return of my older brother ended my collegiate career. I surfed my way to a few F's and lost my music scholarship. My brother shipped out of town to Tallahassee and F.S.U.. I was friendless, brotherless and I hated my band. One night in a fit of melancholy, I threw some stuff in a bag, loaded my drums, drove to the turnpike with forty bucks and a gut full of discontent. I got all the way to the on ramp, but I couldn't pull the trigger. Rush's newest tape was spinning in the deck, but even they could not motivate me out of the nest. I lost it, as my bus idled in an uneven murmur. It was the private kind of emotional upwelling best performed without witnesses. Frantic and unfettered, both pathetic and metamorphic, all in one regurgitation. I hobbled home in defeat and got to work late the next morning. I was uncharacteristically quiet and my boss picked up on my vibe, leaving the shop for me to handle alone. It was a grey January day, with blown out waves and cold north winds. Three customers came in and the phone rang twice. The previous nights exercise was a failure in my eyes but I planted the seed that day that lead to my final curtain call in July of 87'. The dress rehearsals, the walks to the edge of the diving boards, staring at the clouds, are all fuel for the things that mold our lives.
Here's to big talk, big dreams, and leaving the comfort zone. Jump. I dare you.