Nashville or Bust……Busted

25 Jun

A while back, I had an opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do as a musician–write songs for other singers.

A long-time friend of my old band reached out to me with a business proposal that lit my world on fire. This was the same friend who introduced my band to a lot of major record labels. He worked for Columbia/Sony Records at the time and helped generate enough interest in us that got 12 different record labels vying for our attention. In the end, my band broke up and we never got signed, but my friend had done his job and got us in front of the people we needed to play for to possibly make our dreams come true. When none of it worked out, I felt like we had let him down.

Then out of nowhere, this friend of mine in the music industry started communicating with me again about starting a partnership as a songwriter/publisher duo and wanted to know if I was interested. Basically our agreement would be, I would write hit “country” songs and he would go out and sell them to people he had connections with for other big-name artists to sing on their record. After every failure I had in my band or as a solo musician, this felt like the light at the end of the tunnel for me–the chance I had been waiting for.

I, of course, agreed and we started talking about songs that the country market might want to hear. I’ve written some country songs here and there, but my style tends to jumps from genre to genre. Now I was being asked to write songs that were bonafide hits–songs that were extremely marketable, catchy and, to top it all off, ONLY COUNTRY. They had to be damn good, radio-friendly country songs if this partnership was going to work. So yeah, I was scared. This was going to be a test of how truly good I was as a songwriter. Would I be able to produce the highest quality of songs in a genre that I don’t even listen to regularly?

Day after day, he would call me and give me assignments. “I want you to write a country songs that reeks of all those ‘country’ lyrics playing on the radio today”. “Now I want you to write a country song about a gut-wrenching break-up you’ve experienced”. “Now I want you to write a country song about a huge personal loss in your life”. “Now I want you to write a song from a girl’s perspective–a song I can sell to a female singer.”

Every time his name showed up on my phone, my gut would twist a little bit. I knew he was going to ask something from me that I was scared I wouldn’t be able to produce.

It’s one thing to write a song about any of those experiences, but it’s another thing to ask for it to be a country song and also be a hit you might hear on the radio. I was scared I couldn’t do it.

For 8 months, this was the work I was doing. Every time he called, I got butterflies in my stomach and then (somehow) I wrote some of the best songs I’d ever written in a style of music I wasn’t very comfortable with. For 8 months, I honed my skills as a songwriter to match any and every request he had.

By the time I was finished, I had written 22 songs for him. Some of those songs ended up on my album, “The Great Escape”–“Cowgirl”, “Happy”, “The Good Life”, “Last Night”, “Some Cowboy I Turned Out To Be”.

Once he had the songs he thought he could sell to his connections, he flew me to Miami to record them. He had made appointments with some top-level people in Nashville (one of them represents Taylor Swift) and after we had the recordings done, it was his job to sell those songs–and me–to them.

I remember the night before he left for Nashville, I told him I thought it was a long shot that they would want to work with me, but he didn’t see it that way. As far as he was concerned, I had written the right songs at the right time and this business venture was going to be a home run. So I went back to Texas and he went to Nashville.

As it turns out, I was right. According to him, he pitched the songs, they listened and told him, “Yeah, he’s great! Get him to move to Nashville and…..we’ll see.” In my line of work, that’s a “thanks, but no thanks”.

Unfortunately for me, after the top-level people passed on me, so did my friend. Most great artists that you love today have been passed over many times by record labels executives, but they also had people working for them behind the scenes that wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. My friend took “no” as an answer immediately. Once they passed on the 8 months of work I did, my friend gave up on me. We had a brief conversation about what our next step would be to further my writing career and then, he never called again. I gave him 8 months of hard work, dedication and anything else he asked of me and, in return, he quit on me after a couple meetings didn’t work out.

But this is not a blog about that. Yes, that sense of failure on his part still haunts me to this day, but as time passes, I also have a different perspective. The point I’m trying to make is, I didn’t think I was capable of the job I was asked to do….but I did it. He may not have come through on his end of the bargain, but I did. I proved something to myself over those 8 months….I am very good at writing songs and just because I didn’t have someone good representing me doesn’t mean that I didn’t accomplish something.

I reached another level of songwriting during those 8 months that I was scared to even attempt before. And when those fears started creeping in, I pushed through it and found my voice in some very special songs that mean a lot to this day and also showed what I’m capable of–even when the pressure is put on me.

I guess what I’m saying is, I’ve failed so many times that sometimes I forget that my failures have also defined me. No matter how many times I’ve been told “no”, no matter how many shows I play where the audience isn’t listening or doesn’t even show up, I still keep doing what I’m doing. It hurts so bad sometimes, but I keep writing and performing songs, because even if it means nothing to anyone else, it means everything to me.

Thanks for reading! Check out my website at http://www.musicjeffwood.net for more!

Confession from an Introvert

22 May

I recently got a personal message from a fan who had some things to say about my off-stage personality, so I have decided to bare my soul a little and address it. Hopefully this will help some of you understand me as a person as well as a musician.

The message I received was that I am a very talented musician who seems to do very little to get along with my fans on a deeper level. So I’m writing this to set the record straight. Never in a million years would I have been brave enough to say this out loud had I not gotten this message, so in a way, I’m grateful to have gotten it. It helps me to explain myself.

If you come to my shows expecting an out-going, fun guy offstage…well, I’m sorry, I’m kind of a let-down in that department. Sometimes I can be, but most of the time, I’m just not. Of course, I can talk to fans and can carry on conversations for a while, but going deeper than that, it’s hard for me to meet those expectations. You see, I am very much an introvert–even though I really don’t want be. If you have ever come to my show and I made you feel uncomfortable after we ran out things to say, that was truly never my intention. I’m sure a lot of those insecurities are all in my head and not even real, but for me, it feels very real.

Most often, the first time I meet you would be to buy a CD and in that situation, I have a little script in my head to drive the conversation forward–in hopes that you’ll become a fan and like me as a person and entertainer. After that, my insecurities come out and I begin to want to run and hide away. I get nervous that you might see the cracks in my personality.

I have broken that barrier occasionally. There are people who are long-time fans of mine who–through witchcraft or voodoo–have somehow eased me out of my shell and made me less self-conscious about my public phobias. But I still become terrified at the thought of someone–anyone–wanting to know me as a person.

I believe I’m good at my job–playing music–but that comes at a price. For every song I’ve written that tells something about me that I’m proud of, I also have a way of burying myself deeper in my head and believing that no one cares to hear about that side of me–good or bad.

As you may know, I was in a band years ago. We had a website where fans could converse with us and a common theme was “Why is Jeff such a snob?”. People loved the music I was a part of creating, but couldn’t understand that the person they saw on-stage–charismatic and bigger than life– was actually shy and introverted off-stage. I spent much of my time hanging out in band’s van, hiding from people, not because I was “a snob”, but because I thought if they got to really know me, they wouldn’t like the person I really am.

Well today, I’m still that same guy. I am a musician and always will be, but after all these years, I still haven’t outgrown these feelings. Even revealing this now makes me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.

So here’s what I’m trying to say. I truly do appreciate every single person who comes to see me and likes my music. Your loyalty means more to me than you know. Hopefully now you understand me a little better. Crazy as it seems, I’m capable of playing songs in front of a lot of people, but often not capable of revealing myself on a more personal level. But I promise I’ll keep working on it. I am truly trying to be the best person that I can. Thanks to all of you for your understanding. Maybe some of you can even relate!

Thanks for reading this! Check out my website at http://www.musicjeffwood.net

Horrible Gig

15 Mar

With all the incredible science we have out there, there’s still no way of knowing when you’re gonna get sick. Whether it’s a common cold or the flu, we all wish we could prepare for that horrible day we’re about to have. No one likes to be sick, but what makes it even worse is when you have to work–regardless of how you feel. Having said that, here’s a story of me playing a gig while sick and how it became one of my most insane and ridiculous shows I can recall.

I had a 101 degree temperature and could barely breathe through my nose, but I had previously booked myself to play a corporate event and as they say, “the show must go on”. Even though I was barely able to exit my bed, I knew I had to tough it out and play anyway.

The nice part of the story was that the corporate event was at a very luxurious resort, so even though I was sick to the gills, I would be playing in a comfortable environment with no other problems/distractions to complicate matters more….but I was wrong.

I arrived at the resort early, literally dragging my equipment and myself in to find out where I needed to set up. As it turns out, this was an outside gig and I was asked to set up by a pool at this resort–right next to a hovering swarm of blood-sucking mosquitos and nats–just waiting for fresh prey to drain the life out of.

So with a temperature of 101 and a host of parasite swarming me, I set up for the show and began playing when the corporate players arrived. I’m 5 minutes into my show and I can’t tell you which was worse–the illness I was enduring or the army of bugs biting/crawling/devouring on me–daring me to swat them while I played songs for the group of corporate big wigs looking to be entertained.

It was torture! Every song I played came with a brief battle of trying to remain standing (because of my illness) and the assault I was enduring from this swarm of insects, preying on my weakened body. If I’m being honest, I sounded like shit, because I had a head cold for the ages and on top of that, I couldn’t play a song for 15 seconds without stopping and swatting at some creature that was biting into my skin.

Eventually, the corporate people began to take notice. Many of them tried sympathizing with me and my obvious predicament. “These mosquitoes are awful, aren’t they? They’re biting me too!” Then they’d walk away–as if saying that to me somehow evened the score.

One corporate “Mother Teresa” went so far as to find me some bug repellent (God bless his soul), but to put the icing on the cake, I ended up spraying it in my mouth.

So let’s do a quick talley–I was trying to play a show while being beyond ill, I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes and now, I had a lethal amount of bug spray in my mouth!

Eventually, it ended and I was mercifully sent home to have nightmares of this horrible gig. But you know what makes this story even more sad? If the same gig were offered to me today and I knew I would be sick, covered with blood-sucking bugs with a chemically-life-threatening bug spray in my mouth…I’d probably do it again. Corporate gigs pay really well:)

Thanks for reading! Please sign up for my e-mail list at http://www.musicjeffwood.net today!

Tony Soprano

11 Jan

So here’s the story of how I joined the band that started my musical career…… As I mentioned in a previous blog, I was asked to audition for a band after I sang some songs in front of my geometry class. Little did I know that this meeting would be my first venture into what it must be like to be in the Mafia.

We set up a date to rehearse together—which was January 11–and I arrived at a very large house and was led up to a room that looked like a shrine for AC/DC, Metallica and Black Sabbath. Posters of these legendary bands hung from the walls and ceiling and beneath these posters was a room filled with real, authentic, rock-n-roll gear—a drum set, guitars, basses, guitar amps, bass amps and a PA system for yours truly to sing into. All of this equipment was crammed into a room barely big enough to walk through.

And in this room, I was introduced to the person who soon became my guitarist, my best friend and brother for the next 11 years of my life. For those who know of my old band, you know his name, but for now, let’s just call him “Tony Soprano” (that name will make sense further into the story).

Tony and I hit it off from the very beginning. This was his band I was walking into, it was his house I was visiting and it was my life that Tony was about to change. That day, we ran through a lot of cover songs—everything from Green Day to Pearl Jam and it was a blast! A few days later, we practiced again—this time, we ventured into actually writing music together. It was a jam session that churned out quite a few songs (not great songs, but songs nonetheless) and each one of these songs was recorded on a little four-track mixer. THIS PART IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER!

These musicians I was singing with liked me. I brought something to the table that they wanted to be a part of and vice versa. But unbeknownst to me, they already had a singer for their band. And also unbeknownst to me, that singer had no idea we were rehearsing together. He also didn’t know that his time in this band was about to come to an end.

So here’s the reason I have nicknamed my guitarist “Tony Soprano”. Tony was an amazing guitar player, but he also had a way of dealing with certain things that would have made him an incredible mafia boss as well.

At our third rehearsal together, I was asked to be in their band (which I gladly accepted) and then was told that they recently fired their last singer. This was news to me, so I asked them what happened to him and here’s the story that Tony told me that day.

After our second practice together, it was decided that I should be their new singer and their old lead singer needed to be “disposed of”, so Tony invited him to his house. This poor fellow came over, thinking him and Tony were going to go over some new songs together. So they went into his band room and Tony sat him down in front of the four-track mixer we had recorded those songs on. I wasn’t there, but to this day, I picture Tony sitting very calmly–reclined in his chair with the smirk of the devil on his face–waiting for just the right moment to break the bad news to him.

According to Tony, this singer had written a handful of new lyrics and melodies to songs they were working on and wanted to play them for him. But that never happened. Instead, Tony told him, “Before you do that, I want to play something for you.”

He then got out the tape of songs we had recorded and—I shit you not—played them for this singer without saying a word. He didn’t try to be polite or come up with a nice way of saying, “it was fun playing with you, but we’re going in a different direction”. He just hit play on the mixer and let the music we created end their relationship.  Basically, the best way to describe his actions is to say….Tony blindsided him and did it on purpose!

Like I said, I wasn’t there, but I’ve pictured it in my mind over and over. This poor guy probably had the same big dreams every musician has when they create music. He probably saw himself on stage at the Grammys one day, accepting awards with his band. Instead, he was told to listen to a tape of me singing with his band and sitting across from him was his guitarist—killing him slowly with my voice as their new singer.

Tony could have called this guy and told him he was fired and he didn’t need to come by his house ever again. Or Tony could have met him somewhere other than their rehearsal space to break the bad news. Tony also could have never put in the tapes of our jam sessions and saved this guy the humiliation of being replaced. But that wasn’t Tony’s style. Tony WANTED this guy to come over to his house, listen to the singer that was replacing him and watch his dreams die with him that day.

And keep in mind, this merciless hit wasn’t being done by a middle-aged Italian mobster in an expensive three-piece suit, this was being done by A 15 YEAR OLD BOY I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH!!!!……But it was still something straight out of The Godfather.

As I was told, the singer got real quiet and eventually said, “So I’m out of the band, aren’t I?”

Tony said yes, the singer took the news like a dead man walking, resigned as Tony’s lead singer and left his house like a whipped puppy. I often wonder how that poor fellow is holding up these days. I’m sure he doing just fine, but I also imagine there are some mental scars Tony left him with that haven’t healed. I know it must have hurt a lot, because when Tony told me the story, he seemed to relish every single moment of this guy’s heartbreak. And that is how I joined a band 20 year ago—by whacking another singer for the job.

Here’s 37 years of wisdom…

14 Dec

It’s my birthday. I’m 37 years old. And here’s what I’ve learned, ladies and gentlemen:

1. Be good to your dog. I know I should probably say that you should be good to your children, but that’s a given. Be good to your dog. My dog is named Sugar. She is loyal, loving, and a great companion. She is always happy to see me when I come home, she is always happy when I pet her and she has no idea what social media is. That makes her a winner. So be good to your dog because she will never care about any of you or your friend’s social status updates.

2. Be happy even when you’re not happy. The people you love don’t deserve to be dragged through your depressing, miserable phases in life. We all have rough patches that we must endure. But that is no excuse for putting other people through those times with us. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to people about your problems, but don’t burden them with it on a daily basis. Life is a journey that only you can go through. Don’t expect other people to experience your pain and suffering with you on the same level that you do. It’s unfair to them and it only makes you an asshole 🙂

3. Don’t let your kids kick your ass. I know that raising kids is not an easy task, but this is a fight in life that you cannot lose. Your kids are not your friends, they are your kids. Protect them, love them, do everything you can for them, but don’t be enablers to them. In this day and age, it’s very easy to let a child waste their day playing on the iPad, Xbox, or whatever devices they can get their hands on. There’s nothing wrong with that to an extent (that’s the new way of the world), but it never hurts to show them how to climb a tree, play catch with them in the backyard or kick a soccer ball around. They need you to show them things that the iPad and the Internet can never show them.

4. Appreciate another human being’s craft. There are people out there who create things and no one thanks them for it. I create music. There are others that paint incredible art, create crafts from wood, metal, electronics, or whatever you can think of. If you look around, there are people doing amazing things that we all take for granted that deserve–at least for a moment of our time–our appreciation and respect. We all have travelled this long road called life and became doctors, lawyers, electricians, construction workers, store clerks, etc and helped pushed the human race in a better direction. If someone you know helped your life in a significant way, the least you could do is be respectful of that and give them a nod of approval for their contributions in the world before they shed their mortal coil.

5. Tragedy can be the best part of your life. I went through a divorce a couple years ago. I thought I was done. I thought I was going to mentally die. My whole life was turned upside down and I had no say in it. But after the dust settled, I was ok. My kids were ok. My ex wife was ok. We all picked up the pieces and made the best of it–which says something about our strength and character. We all made the best of the circumstances and now I feel like each one of us is a bit stronger because of it. Listen, if I asked you (metaphorically speaking) to step into a boxing ring and fight for 12 rounds with no training or preparation, that would be brutal. But if I asked you to do it and draw from the tragedies you’ve endured to help pull you through, my money would be bet on the fact that you will endure once again. You may not always win, but will always thrive when the dust settles for you.

6. Love your parents. Not all of us have had great parents, but we all have been given this great chance to step up to the marathon race called “life” and at the very least, we should thank those who helped us get to that starting line. My parents gave me an entire world to conquer and I love them for that. They sacrificed so much to make my life better than theirs. If you don’t have parents like that, I bet you can find “parent figures” in your life (teachers, neighbors, friends) who did. Love them and do the same for them when the opportunity comes up. People are awesome! I know the media these days wants to divide us at time and pit us against ourselves, but the truth is, we all share this life, planet and existence together and we are only as awesome as the person standing next to us.

6. There’s a good chance no one is ever gonna make a movie about your life, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t/will not be/hasn’t been amazing! If you really take a step back and look at everyone you know and multiple that by a couple billion/trillion, the fact that we all have these amazing lives and stories is more important than anything. Maybe some days of your life aren’t what you hoped it would be. But during those days, someone else’s life is either going amazing or going tragic or turning from one to the other. Even when you spend your day watching too much Netflix, life is still happening all around you. Appreciate those amazing moments along with the amazing moments in your life. WE HAVE IT ALL! ALL OF US ARE ON THE BEST RIDE THE UNIVERSE HAS TO OFFER! So throw your hands up, keep love in your heart and remember to see the big picture!

Lost and Late

14 Nov

Today, boys and girls, I want to talk about being late to work. I know that most people have been late to their job and they get written up or get a slap on the wrist, but I can promise you, those people will never feel the anxiety I felt the day I was AT LEAST AN HOUR LATE TO PLAY A FREAKING WEDDING!!

I met this couple who worked very hard to book me for their special day. They came out to multiple shows and when I told them I was unfortunately booked that day, they went to even more shows to persuade me to reschedule and play their wedding.

I finally worked it out with my prior show and we were all set. So the day of the wedding comes and I’m ready to go. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I like to be SUPER early to each show to avoid stresses like…..I don’t know, not being on time to play!

I get in my car and type in the address to their wedding in my “GARMIN”. For those who don’t know what a Garmin is, it’s a thingamajig that tells you how to get to the location you’re heading without having to use maps or your brain to find the way. You just type in the address and the nice lady in the “GARMIN” tells you when and where to turn until you arrive at your location. Sounds easy enough, right? Unless that nice lady doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

So I’m in my car, driving to the wedding waaayyyy earlier than I’m supposed to be there when I get the distinct feeling that something is wrong. Miss Garmin (I’m assuming she’s single) tells me “turn here”, “turn there” and with every turn, I begin to feel like she is……wait for it…..lost! But I am a man of technology! I love my iPhone, my computer, my iPad. I love technology and I believe in technology! I believe in my Garmin. She would not steer me wrong.

But steer me wrong she did. The location she led me to was an empty field–nowhere near any sign of a wedding or civilization and I know any back-tracking I need to do will cut my arrival time very close. Now remember, this isn’t just being “late for work”. This is late to a WEDDING I’M WORKING! I imagine the family and friends sitting in the church waiting—the bride and groom panicking, because they are supposed to walk down the aisle to a song I’m supposed to be singing. I imagine I’m holding up the day they’ve been planning for their whole lives and I have no IDEA where I am.

Luckily, I did have the bride’s number, so I called her—no answer! And why would she answer? This is HER day. She’s probably in her wedding dress, waiting to get married–not hanging out on her phone, playing Angry Birds or checking her Facebook page. But she is my only contact for the wedding, so I have to keep trying. I start texting her.

“Hey, it’s jeff wood. Could you please call me?

I wait. No answer. So I call again. No answer. So I keep texting.

“Hi, I really need you to call me. It’s an emergency”

I wait. No answer.
Now in full panic mode, I start texting her in all caps, trying to show my desperation.

“I’M LOST AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I AM!!!! PLEASE CALL ME!!!!”

I’m freaking out, envisioning her soon-to-be husband and the entire wedding party waiting for me to show up—not so they can start the wedding, but instead, lynch me on the spot for being late to the ONE JOB YOU SHOULD NEVER BE LATE TO.

At this point, I’m still driving around aimlessly, hoping for a sign from God or an airplane to crash-land on top of my car when the phone rings.

“Oh hey, Jeff. Sorry I missed your calls and texts.” It’s the bride. She doesn’t sound remotely mad—almost like she’d forgotten that I’m supposed to be there. I explain to her that I’m hopelessly lost and I’m so sorry when she starts laughing.

Apparently (and this is an absolute first for me), the wedding party is eating dinner first, then going to proceed with the wedding. In fact, the bride was not even in her wedding dress yet! She helped me get back on track and sure enough, I showed up and everyone is eating a plate of BBQ. No one is threatening to kill me, everyone is excited to hear me play and the world somehow went back to spinning normal again.
The wedding (which didn’t even happen until an hour and a half AFTER I showed up) was a beautiful event, I had a great time and made some really great friends that night. Most importantly, I didn’t die of the heart attack I thought was going to end my life.

Thanks for reading! Please sign up for my e-mail list at http://www.musicjeffwood.net today!

Mexico (part 1)

8 Oct

So here’s how cool my job is—a while back, I was flown to Mexico to play four songs in paradise and then spend the next four days in a house straight out of Miami Vice with a couple that have now become good friends of mine…..I’ll let that sink in.

Let me start from the beginning. I was doing a show at a winery when a guy came up to me and asked, “If I fly you out to Mexico for a couple days, would you play some songs while I propose to my girlfriend?”

I know it sounds unrealistic, but I do hear things like this all the time–and every time, nothing ever comes from it. But I can’t look this guy in the eye and say, “You’re full of shit and don’t waste my time.”

Instead, I say, “Sure, I can do that. Here’s my card. Call me and we’ll see if we can make it happen.”
He took my card, thanked me and walked away.

I didn’t think anything else about the possibility of this happening until three or four months later when I got a call from him, saying it was time. His proposal to me was, “I want to fly you to Mexico on my dime, put you up in my mini-mansion for four days, pay your expenses for the partial week…..and all you have to do is play four song while I propose to my girlfriend”!

Of course, I said yes and a couple weeks later, I was in f-ing Mexico, staring at a gorgeous beach and thanking baby Jesus that I found my way to playing guitar. But first, I had to get through this proposal with him.

I told him we should devise a plan to make this work without her knowing he was about to propose. His thoughts were, “how about you just show up and play?”

I told him that wouldn’t work. She was there with him that day he saw me at the winery and if I just “happened” to be in Mexico while they were there and just “happened” to bring my guitar and play her some songs, she would figure out his intentions. So I came up with a plan…..and here it is.

There was a restaurant not far from their mini-mansion that we were going to meet up at. They were to be there prior to my arrival, just having some drinks when–all the sudden–I walk in with my suitcase and guitar. The groom is at a table with his girlfriend when he looks up and sees me.

He turns to her and says, “Hey, isn’t that the guy we saw playing at that winery a few months ago?”

His girlfriend, whose answer hopefully only reflected that she had no idea what was going on, said, “How the hell should I know?”

The groom then got up and said, “I’m going to go talk to him—ask him to come over and sit with us.”

From that point, I was invited over to their table and quizzed about the weird coincidence that I was here in Mexico, that they had seen me back in Texas and that we would be at the same restaurant at the same time. But I had a back story previously planned.

Girlfriend–“So what are you doing here in Mexico?”

Me–“Oh, I just played a wedding for a couple who flew me out here. Today’s my last day and I’m getting ready to catch my flight back home in about 8 hours. I had to check out of my hotel early, so I thought I’d come here to pass some time before my flight home.”

Groom—“Your flight doesn’t leave for another 8 hours? That’s crazy!! We’ve rented a house not far from here. You should come over and hang out with us till you have to leave. We’re fixing dinner—you should come eat with us!”

Me—“Ummm…..Okay….Yeah, if it’s not too much trouble, that sounds fun!”

So we hop in their transportation and head to the min-mansion for dinner. So far, the plan is working. After dinner (keep in mind, I have my guitar with me from the fake wedding I played), I thank them for having me out.

Me—“Since you guys have been so nice to me—even though I’m kind of a complete stranger—the least I could do for you is play some songs.”

Groom—“Oh, that would be awesome!!!….Hey, why don’t we go do it down by the beach!” (yes, this mini-mansion was right on the beach)

Me—“Yeah! It’s the least I could do!”

And so the fairy-tale started with us on the beach—the lovely couple listening to me play the songs the groom had previously hand-picked for me to play and ended with him asking his fiancé to marry him. And with tears rolling down her eyes, she said “Yes!”

It also led to an amazing week, hanging out in paradise with people I now call friends—for FOUR days!!! We had a blast and made memories I’ll never forget. If you hadn’t notice, this was a trip of a lifetime for a little old musician like me, but it doesn’t end there…….Oh no! There is a part two to my trip to Mexico.
But that for another blog!…..Stay tuned!