Inspiration….can be found in nearly every second, every location, every action and every person. Inspiration can be as simple as the smile on someones face who greets you. It may come in the words of a great orator. It most certainly is found in every relationship you have. I have found that I have been moved by a news story. I woke one morning, had a cup of coffee and watched the news. I was mortified to learn that a mother had thrown her baby in a dumpster. I remember not being able to shake the sick feeling in my stomach. I also remember thinking how different people are in this world. I try to be optimistic. Yet the idea that a human being can simply be tossed in the trash by another made me wonder if “the wishing well was running dry and the white dove has flown”. From this inspiration I wrote the tune, “Far More Complicated”.
I look around me and see inspiration everywhere. If I look back I find that my family values were inspired by my parents. My mother and father loved each other dearly for their 51 years of marriage prior to my fathers passing. My mother still loves him and misses him dearly. It was the way they were always there for me, my 2 sisters and my brother that taught me what family meant. It was my father coming home every night rather than going to a bar somewhere. It was my mother helping me with my homework. It came in the fact that no matter what strains our family went through, my parents were always able to separate love from issue. This way issue could never effect the love. In trying to show my mother how much I appreciated her, I call her regularly (we live 1500 miles apart) and tell her in every conversation that I love her. Finally one day I was blessed with the inspiration to write the Tune “Mama”. I also drew on my family values when a love relationship I was involved in was breaking up. In the song, “Burn This” I wrote, “I heard it said love dies, but I think it’s killed. Do you love me still? Should I continue to hope you will? Or Burn this, burn this, burn this life we’ve made to the ground. Burn this, burn this, forgiveness is the love we haven’t found”.
Borrowing from the film, “Romancing The Stone” I guess I have always been a “hopefully romantic”. No matter how many relationships didn’t work out I always held on to the hope that real love would one day come my way. I would look around me and see happy couples everywhere. I would read about couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary together. So, I knew that it could happen. These feelings lead me to write “I Found Home”. It is the story of a man that can’t believe real love is finally happening. He feels like he may bust inside unless he screams it out to the rest of the world.
And then there is “She Painted Her Face”. This song was inspired by a friend. She had a lot going for her. But, she didn’t see that and she was a very lonely person. So she would put on her make up and go out to the clubs – only to have yet another one night stand – and then the next morning feel the misery of her bad decision. This went on for several years until she was so unhappy with the way her life was going that she got off that train and began to do things for herself that were fulfilling. Funny how not long after she made this decision, she found real love.
I could write about what has inspired each of my songs. But it is really about taking notice of the ordinary things in life. Seeing things you have seen a thousand times as if it were the first time you again. It is about appreciating the smell of Jasmine that lightly fills the air while taking that same walk you have 100 times before. It is about being thankful for being alive and for the gifts we are given. I thank God for my life. I thank my parents for nurturing me. I thank my children for reminding me what it is like to be young and for further defining myself as a man. I thank Courtney for proving to me that real love does exist. Where do I find inspiration? Everywhere.