Recently I went to Cleveland with an old high school buddy to see John Waite perform at The Music Box Supper Club. It was a great show and terrific venue as well. He started the show by explaining that he would taking questions between songs which was a pretty cool way to engage the audience and his answer to one of these questions was the genesis of this post.
About midway through the evening someone asked him if we was every going to reunite with The Babys. (For those of you who do not know about John Waite, he was the leader of The Babys from 1979 until they broke up in 1981. He then went on to a solo career until 1987 when we became the lead singer for Bad English until the broke up in 1991.) His response to this question was insightful and a way of thinking we all could and should embrace. He said, “No. They are in a good place and have another singer and are doing quite well and that is great for them. I am in a different place and feel like there are other things I am supposed to write songs about.”
As I listened to him sing a few of his more recent songs and thought about what he had said, it struck me that many of us never take the scary step of evolving and becoming something different than we used to be. I am not sure if it is fear of just laziness…guess it really doesn’t matter. What also stuck out to me was that the audience really did not want to hear his new stuff…they wanted “the hits”. Not only are do we have to overcome our own inertia but we also may have to break the gravitational pull of others who don’t really want us to move ahead.
How do you want to change your story? What new songs do you have to write? Are you satisfied with playing your old hits or are you ready to try out some new stuff? I know it’s scary because, quite frankly, it might not be very good and some folks may not like it. Does that really matter? It’s called a creative process because it is iterative and takes failure to create something beautiful. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned”.