Inspiration. Where does it come from and what does it really mean?!? Well obviously its going to be very different for everyone, but I thought I’d share where inspiration sometimes starts with me. In this musical moment, I’m on a high after meeting and seeing Paul Gilbert perform at Guitar Center in San Francisco a few months back. If you didn’t know, Paul Gilbert is a highly accomplished guitar player that has been on the music scene since the early eighties. His blistering guitar work with Racer X gave him his “shred” status as a guitarist, and soon after led him to start and join one of the most successful 80’s bands Mr Big. Gilbert still performs with Mr Big as well as being a solo artist, and recently has started a online music school. All of these accomplishments are great, but the most inspiring thing about Paul Gilbert is his amazing attitude and demeanor. The guy is just the nicest and coolest musician you could meet. That’s just the icing on the cake for the inspiration.
The real inspiration for me took place during his 2 hour performance and clinic. It was a perfect mix of Paul performing songs live and answering questions from the audience about music and his career. One of the first things we all saw, was that Paul was not joined by professional musicians in his band, but by the guys who work at the local SF Guitar Center….how bad ass is that! The drummer and 2 different bass players that rotated got to have a once in a lifetime jam with Paul Gilbert….What a cool and professional musician that has no pretensions about playing with new musicians he just met for a performance of his own…..Inspirational.
Now as Mr Gilbert went into his performance, some interesting things happened. Most people were there thinking he would perform all his “shred” stuff, which they assumed wrong! He did the opposite. Almost every song had lyrics, and whether it was classic rock or Steely Dan, the lesson here was about feel. It was about being a complete musician. To point out the mentality of the audience, they started laughing as Paul went into his Steely Dan song. All the little minds were thinking “This guy is supposed to shred not play slow stuff and sing” and I was quite the opposite. He was showing what its like to be a complete musician, doing what inspires him, and trying to get all the guitar players that sit at home and go “look at me” to think about what playing guitar and music really means. Instrumental guitar player that performs Beatles and Steely Dan songs during his guitar clinic…..Inspirational.
For me, this inspiration started a flood of new music and creations. As I write this, my debut album “Olympus Rising” is getting the art work/legal stuff finished up and will be out soon at the beginning 2013. I can’t wait to release it as its taken many years to get that up and out, but already I’m amazed to say I have 2 more albums almost completed. I’m working on a new genre of music. I’m working on the coolest stuff. And its getting done nicely. And since I found someone to mix the new albums, I’ll be able to focus on music and less on production stuff which suits me much better. So the last few months have been super great from my artist’s point of view. Sometimes its as simple as seeing a movie, a song, or hearing a phrase. This time it was a once in a lifetime experience that gave me some MAJOR inspiration. Thank you Paul Gilbert. You truly are……Inspirational.
“Here come those Santa Ana winds again”