One year ago today, October 3, 2009, I played guitar and drums with my band out in Tsawwassen. I had a feeling (though I wasn't certain) that it might be the last proper gig I would ever play, and now, in retrospect, it seems that was indeed the case.
Whenever the possibility of a show has come up in the last year, my health hasn't been good enough, and that situation isn't improving as time goes on. I'm not well enough for the packing, transport, setup, sound check, playing, breaks, teardown, re-packing, and traveling home, even for simple local performances. Tremendously fun as it is, it's also physically and mentally exhausting. After that final show last year, I was wiped out for two days.
So, I made money as a gigging musician for 20 years, and now it's over. And that's okay, because 20 years is nothing to sneeze at as a musical career. It's been my entire adult life, and half my life overall! (I haven't held any other job nearly that long.)
A benefit now is I can now decide what musical gear is worth keeping and what I can give away to my family, friends, and colleagues, or sell:
- I'm still storing some amplifiers and speakers in the basement, whose owners I can ask to take them back before I attempt selling them.
- I have two complete drum kits with hardware and cymbals (a set for playing at home, another packed up for gigs), one of which I can purge, either by selling it or by finding a drum-playing friend or family member who might like it.
- My computer/recording desk holds more keyboard controllers than I know what to do with, especially since I'm not a keyboard player.
- I've already started giving away and selling parts of my way-too-large collection of guitars.
I don't plan to get rid of everything. My two daughters are quite musical, studying piano and voice and now playing in the school brass orchestra. (They've each had far more formal musical training than I ever did.) There's a decent chance they might want to put a band together in a few years, so it might be wise to have the minimum roster of gear available to do that. Plus, for now I still like noodling around and recording the occasional tune, in addition to co-hosting Inside Home Recording.