Life after being in a band
It's some months now since I left the band, Route 62. I was at the end of my rope with it all, the whinging of our other guitar player, no end of things and I'd just reached that point where I had had enough. I thought about it, and the positives of leaving outweighed everything else. I knew that once I said I was done, there was no turning back and I still left.
So, four and a half months on, where am I up to, and with the benefit of hindsight, did I do the right thing?
Well, I can answer yes, a resounding "yes" to having done the right thing in leaving.
I have already started reaping the rewards of having free time on my hands. I see more of my family, do more things with my wife, and I am able to plan so many other things I want to do. One such event was just taking a week out and going to the Highlands of Scotland, renting a house in spectacular Glen Coe for a week and touring the Highlands - I can't tell you how beautiful the Highlands are, you just have to go and see for yourself. I haven't done all the things I want to with my newfound free time yet, but I am far more relaxed, and I am enjoying the weekend evenings much more. I just feel released from dealing with everyone else's expecting me to run everything, and then them coming and taking an equal cut.
I have kept in touch with the bass player, who has been a lifelong friend, but who in fairness played his part in my decision to leave. Robin, the other guitar player is pretty angry at my going, but this is because I was the enabler who made it possible for him to go out and gig on a weekend after a week at home because he is wealthy enough not to have to work. Now, he has no gigs to play because they haven't been able to find a lead guitar player who can also take the lead vocal role and front the band, building rapport with the audiences. As Shaun, my bass playing buddy told me a couple of weeks ago, all they get at auditions are wannabe's and dreamers. I gained some sense of satisfaction when Shaun Told me that Robin finally admitted that "Mark was the biggest part of this band and made it work". At the risk of sounding smug, I feel that I have finally been vindicated, and that their departing from the vision and formula I was working to is what brought it all down for them. They pushed me beyond my tolerance limit, and they are now the ones that are frustrated because they cannot find a replacement and get things going. I wish them well, but I don't think they will make it work. I have seen their ad for a singer to go down the route of becoming a tribute band.
So what have I been doing? Well, the truth is, as far as playing guitar is concerned, absolutely nothing. I haven't had a guitar case open with the exception of taking one in to work to show it to a colleague, it's my MIJ Tokai Love Rock , which is a clone of a 59 les Paul Standard and plays beautifully. But I have to admit to almost getting my tele out and having a few moments with it.
So where do I go next, musically speaking? For the time being, nowhere. I hope I get to play with other musicians at some point, but where I am now, there doesn't seem to be other musicians around who are easy going and on the same wavelength as myself so for now I'm just not interested. What I do want to do is swap my burst for a gold top, and I really do want a core range PRS, so one of my guitars is going to have to go.
But as I began, I will finish - with hindsight I really did do the right thing. Thanks for reading.
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