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Entry date: 9-21-2023 – Thursdays are for Losing Your Mind – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I have lost my mind many times. I used to do it on purpose when I was younger. I liked any opportunity to get as crazy as I could thanks to certain chemicals and naturally occurring substances that allow you to voyage inward, hallucinate, and occasionally see God. When those exploratory days ended, I searched for a way to get crazy and eventually started Hillbilly Devilspeak.

Being in a band has been my way of losing my mind for fun for the last 30 years.

Outside of fun ways to lose one’s mind, there is also the un-fun ways, too. These are never proud moments, but they do occur. Sometimes you don’t even realize that something is going to set you off. My internal engines get spinning so rapidly sometimes that I almost step outside of myself for a minute and just go on evil autopilot. Thanks to getting older and a guiding hand from Rhondi, I see these moments less and less.

It's good to keep one’s head in middle age, I think. People need you and stuff. That’s a lot of pressure, sometimes, but not the kind of pressure that contributes to mind loss. It’s the kind of pressure that necessitates mind keeping. When people need you, things change in the old brain box. Well, at least they mostly did for me.

Where am I going with this? I don’t even know. I sit down and type and hope I lose myself in a good way these days. Lose myself to find myself, I guess. Lose myself to maybe help someone else find something.

Last night I was doing an interview with a pretty cool dude from a local band. He was talking about the “privilege” of being an entertainer. It was nice to hear his perspective and it shed a little clarity on something I’ve felt but never really thought about over all these years.

When I play a show, I want people to come and have a good time and spend some money at the bar and such. I want it to be successful for all involved. I want the audience to enjoy themselves and I want the club/bar/whatever to have a prosperous night. I want to have fun, too, and want my bandmates to have fun. When these things all come together, I feel pretty darn satisfied.

But…I don’t know if I’ve ever really thought about what a privilege it is to be part of making it all happen. I’m very grateful for the talk last night right now. I think I will look at performances differently moving forward. As my interview subject said, “I get to entertain people and that means that I get to be part of making their day better than it was before they got to the show. That’s my job.”

Being a teacher is that kind of thing most of the time. Just trade educate for entertain. If they learn, then I feel good. I have felt that privilege before. I feel silly I never realized that I was an “entertainer,” too. I really didn’t see it that way. Lots of time I have felt like I was just some crazy person on stage losing his mind.

Words to ponder, I suppose.

See you tomorrow.

This is Rob. He's helped me lose my mind on stage many times.

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