Well, campers, the day has come. Regular readers of this blog might be a little less surprised about this particular piece of news, but I'm pretty surprised to be writing it. I've been writing it in my head for a few weeks now, but now that I'm sitting here, I don't really know how to put it.
I joined this band at the age of 24 to accomplish a few objectives. I was barely a year out of college and was already tired of washing dishes and rolling burritos for a living, so I prayed for a gig. I met John Skehan within a week, and the rest is history. What I wanted then was to get out of the kitchen and play professionally (with my college educated hands), to travel, and to learn about the music business. Check, check, and check. I never intended to be a touring musician for the rest of my life, and have proceeded to plan my life with my wife and our son and our dogs accordingly. We played Red Rocks a couple of months ago. Icing on the cake.
About a year and a half ago (as regular readers know), the flame of my creativity began lighting a different path than the one that I was on with RRE. I'd always been pretty good with computers. I only recently realized that the main reason that I like recording and production so much was mainly because it involves using and being good with computers. It took an iPhone to spark the idea that I should take matters into my own hands and start learning how to program myself. So, for the last 18 months, that's what I've been doing. I'm not quite to the point that I'm ready to make a living with it, but God has taken care of me and me family so far, so I have to place my trust in him now.
I had a medium-range plan that had me exiting RRE at the end of next year - 2010 - and dovetailing my present and future careers together the best I could in the meantime. Then a record deal came along. I'm a lawyer's son, so when it became apparent that this deal was probably going to actually happen, it kinda screwed up my plan. I couldn't sign a piece of paper committing myself to RRE and touring for the next 3 or 4 years when I knew good and well that I didn't have it in me. That's when I knew I had to tell my bandmates what was going on with me. Needless to say, they were probably a little surprised themselves. I gave them until the end of next May, but they've rightly decided that since a new record needs to be written, and we won't be on the road while that's happening, it's probably best to just go ahead and call it.
I'm not sure what the future holds, but I've got a few ideas. I know how much RRE means to many of you, and many of you probably think I've gone off my rocker reading this, but I have to ask you to trust me. RRE has meant a lot to me, too. I'm lucky to be able to say goodbye to a few of my favorite cities in America - Denver, San Francisco, and Portland - before hanging up my cables after the New Year. RRE is an unbelievably good band, and I have no doubt that they'll pick a worthy successor for me. At the very least they won't have to talk some kid into sleeping on hotel floors for weeks on end anymore.
To my bandmates I want to extend my deepest thanks for the opportunity to do exactly what I always dreamed of doing for the last 7 years, and to play the best music I'll probably ever play. To Mikey and J Ro and Phil and Stacy and Alex and especially Gayle I want to say thanks for working way harder than I ever did to make sure that RRE not only had people at the show but that they were lavished in the most inviting atmosphere possible, even at the Nick in Birmingham. To Brian I want to say thanks for talking me into such a ridiculous situation in the first place and for everything that you've done for RRE. And lastly to all the strangers who have become fans who have become friends, I will miss the hell out of y'all, but I won't be too hard to find either. I have an entire industry to try and save now, for the benefit of musicians and music lovers alike, and I'll need all the help and support I can get.
Thanks for the ride, and I'll leave you with a little Gillian Welch...
EDIT : I'm going to be checking in here frequently over the next several weeks as this process unfolds. I had a thought during last night's show that it'd probably be very helpful to me and informative for you if I use this blog as a tool to try and explain to you just what I'm so fired up about that I'd quit a fantastic band to go do it. Please stop back by. Later...1st set meditation