Being stuck in a car for two hours of Philadelphia rush hour traffic – it really gives you time to reflect. As I dazed off into commuting autopilot I saw a van similar to the ones I’ve spent a great deal of time in due to touring. I then started looking back onto some of the fortune I’ve seen in my life playing music.

• I’ve had the opportunity to play shows ranging from tiny basements with only the bands watching each other to large capacity venues with tens of thousands.
• My first trip to NYC was for when one of my first bands was on MTV’s TRL.
• I slept on a roof in Detroit after I re-broke my right hand during a show.
• I’ve almost died in a van on the Swiss Alps from carbon monoxide poisoning and little use of breaks.
• I was in a van that was hit by a semi on the autobahn.
• I have heard the following quotes from the same person over the years:
“Why is the road on fire?”;
“Somehow we’re in Holland. I don’t know how”
• I slept in a former prison in Slovenia.
• I made fun of an asshole in a blue shirt for the majority of my set time at a venue in Croatia, to the point where my friends (and myself) had feared for my safety; only to run into someone later that night in a bar who said it was one of the best shows he’s seen all year (“blue shirt! very funny! best show all year!”).
• I’ve played love songs to a sleeping patron in a bar in Philadelphia while everyone in the bar laughed, stared, and took pictures of him.
• I’ve snuck across boarders hidden under compartments to save on ferry costs.
• I’ve learned that, in times of need, whiskey can not only be used to treat mental injuries but physical injuries too, like cuts.
• I’ve seen our van slightly catch on fire in Georgia; which was the second van we lost to that state.
• I’ve help clean up a UK squat and help trash an NJ mansion.
• I’ve let a guy wear my socks and underwear.
• I’ve played in a former paper mill in Germany that’s older than the US.
• I’ve woken up with a tattoo that I didn’t have when I went to sleep.
• At five in the morning one day I accidentally triggered a police search and rescue party under a bridge going over the Columbia River.
• I’ve slept at a clown’s house and at a zombie’s house.
• I signed a girl’s bra in front of my older sister.
• I’ve driven a dead van downhill on the PA Appalachian mountains at 40mph with no gas, power steering or power breaks.
• I have accidentally vomited on ducks in Austria.
• I’ve sung karaoke at an asian bar in Antwerp.
• I filmed an impromptu music video in the parking lot of a closed down business district in the Netherlands.
• I’ve gotten to see some of the most amazing bands I will ever see in my life; bands which I likely may never have seen otherwise.

Mountain ranges, Mountain Dew, cliffs, rivers, stars, heaven hill, northern lights, southern comfort, passport stamps, warrants for arrest, chicken cocktails, trailer parks, whiskey on the tots, guns, guitars, kebabs, countless cities, most US states, sixteen countries – all because I play music.

Maybe I could have done more with music. I could also have done less. I feel blessed to have done what I have; and I’m very humbled by the life, the friends, and the family I have made over the years due to music. I look forward to many more years of expanding even more on the kind of life that playing music can give.

Thanks everyone for giving me such great memories to recall on as I sat behind miles of break lights this evening. Thank you.

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