How Failing To Become A Firefighter Was The Best Thing For My Music Career

house on fireGrowing up poor was difficult in of itself, let alone in a run down poor neighborhood full of crime, prostitution, and drug dealers. So it was extra painful when I realized that not only did we have the worst schools and other public services but even when we called 911, the response was never immediate like with some of my friends in the better, richer, cities.

Although we lacked many things, the one that frustrated me the most was the slow response of the police and firefighters to our neighborhood in the time of emergency and distress.

Because the firefighters did not respond in good time, many families were left homeless as they could only watch their homes burn down, with all their belongings go up in smoke.

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My Live Performance In Sydney, Australia

concert sydneyMy best friend and manager knows how much I love to travel and tour internationally, as I get many of my inspirations from world music. So when he told me that he booked my next gig in Australia I was super excited.

I personally did not know I had much of a fan base in Australia to justify a concert but apparently there is a decent following of my music there and I am not one to argue with a paid vacation. We booked the flight, first class as always, and headed to Sydney for a performance of a life time.

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Musicians Need To Take More Care Of Their Health

I don’t know why so many musicians just seem to die young. Of course some die from silly accidents, like a drug overdose, however so many of them just seem to die young from health related issues.

My suspicion is that it takes a certain type of person to be a really top-class successful musician, and that sort of person has enormous energy and drive for what they do, but they channel all that energy into what they do at the cost of everything else, including their health.

I’m sure that being a successful musician, and in particular a rock star, has enormous pressures associated with it. There’s all the drugtaking, drinking and more, and many of them just get sucked into this lifestyle before they realize it’s too late.

And of course it’s not just the drugtaking and the drinking. Any musician who is on the road will almost always be eating a shocking diet. I know my diet, when I’m on the road, is much worse than when I’m at home. I eat motel food all the time, I eat too much steak and too many chips and not enough healthy food.

I take vitamins and a fish oil supplement

Although I’m probably one of the few people who recognizes the problems associated with this lifestyle. I do my best to stay healthy, I take vitamin and mineral supplements, I take a fish oil supplement, I have my blood pressure checked regularly and my doctor always takes blood tests to check my heart health every year. I know vitamins and fish oil are good for you.

But I suspect I’m one of the few, I think the pressures of the highrolling life get on top of many rock stars and they can’t resist the temptation that goes with the money and the fame.

Probably of the most famous of all is Elvis Presley. Elvis was about as famous as it gets however he died at the age of 42 after years of a dreadful diet and prescription drug taking. I’ve heard it said, though I don’t know if it’s true, that he used to eat deep-fried hamburgers. Now that can’t be good for you.

However it wasn’t just Elvis. There’s all of the other stars who have died young from other health issues such as heart attacks and drug overdose. Rudy Lewis, of the Drifters, for example died of a drug overdose.

Anyone looking from the outside would think that being a rock star or a famous musician was a glamorous life. All the money and a fame has to be wonderful. Who could ask for more out of life?

The reality is that for many famous musicians life is very difficult. The money and fame don’t make up for the fact that the stresses of being a rock star are sometimes extreme.

I recognized the risk years ago. So I do my absolute best to stay healthy. I exercise as much as I can, I eat well and make sure I get enough sleep. I drink sparingly and I resolved many years ago I was a touch drugs because I know the risks.

So hopefully I won’t be one of those musicians who dies young.

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An Old School Passion for Rock, Found at a Blood Drive?

I’ve always loved rock music.

Back when I was younger, if my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas, it wasn’t a game or a toy. I wanted drum sticks! Or a little keyboard! Who needs GI Joe right?

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with music. And thankfully my parents were all for it. My dad was a huge Guns N’ Roses fan! So I listened to plenty of them growing up.

Rocking Out to Gun N’ Roses as a Kid

Since my dad was such a rock fan, my parents always encouraged my passion for music. We’d watch concerts on TV, listen to tapes, all that stuff.

Actually, they were encouraging enough to enroll me to a music school, where I learned not just how to play piano, but try other instruments as well. Me and my friends would often go to parks and stage a free musical show just out of pure fun.
Then, as my thirst for music deepened, we began travelling to many places to have gigs, and to see different shows and performances. The farthest trip that I had was in California, where we actually watched Metallica play life. The feeling was awesome.

And they were still cool!

Rock Music… at a Blood Drive!?

So, I’ve been considering a trip to Vegas. And I actually found a pretty cool event coming up.

My friend called me up telling me that a live rock music event is set to happen the following week. What made the event really special was that rock bands will play for a local blood drive. Including some songs with Guns N’ Roses. Yes! Childhood memories relived!

The weird thing is this event is actually a blood drive. I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of needles. I was hesitant to donate blood because it would be my first time. But when we lined up for the event, the organizer himself assured me that the ones who will assist me are well trained phlebotomy professionals. So hey I did it. I sucked it up and donated.

It was nice that they knew what they were doing. Getting your arm stuck with a needle is ridiculous. But the phlebotomist kind of eased me through it.

A quick cleaning of my arm, some casual talk. And then a slight prickly feeling. Done!

After that I was all about the music. What an amazing event. The Guns N’ Roses tribute songs were such a nostalgic treat. Loved it!

I felt it was a perfect event. The rock bands were so amazing. It was like a great mix of different rock music gathered together in one night. And the best part of it is that it served for a very good purpose. The professionals, I heard, graduated from phlebotomy schools in Nevada, but never hesitated to come down and party with us. Yes! Rock on phlebotomists!

I guess helping others is their passion too.

Anyway fun event and good times. It was a weird mix. But I guess charity and live music makes sense. Fun event!

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Why Taking Care of My Varicose Veins was Number One Priority

hip hop live performanceI had to get rid of my varicose veins before my next show. I have a feeling that I am not the only performer with this condition but I am sure I am one of the few that writes about it publicly. So if you are a musician that performs regularly on stage, then I am sure you know what I am talking about.

If you are not familiar with what they then let me briefly explain that it is a medical condition that is usually characterized by the enlargement and twisting of the body veins. This can take place on different parts of the body. In my case, and in many other musicians who regularly performer on stage, it was the legs that were affected by this condition.

Many of my large veins on my leg swelled up with bumpy protrusions that were painful and sensitive to the touch. At times it was becoming difficult to even stand up and walk longer than a few hours. My career as an accomplished musician requires me to perform live shows in different parts of the world let alone going to the recording studio on a daily basis. I was not going to let varicose veins put me down.

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