I remember the moment when the noise turned to music.

The year was 1986 and I was nine years old. My brother was in his room with the door closed playing with his electric guitar and amplifier. I never really paid much attention to Ted’s guitar, as I am not musically inclined, but today was different. As I sat content in my room, from behind the closed door I heard it….it was the first thirty seconds of the guitar to Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”. It was the first time I ever “felt” music.

It seemed as though in that moment everything went electric. I could see the noise coming out of the amplifier, I could feel the vibrations racing down my spine. Everything suddenly felt, different. I busted in his door and said, “Play it again….again….again…again…one more time….play it again.”

My brother still plays guitar to this day. He has always had an instrument; he has always made music; he has always had a song.

At the time, my song was sung on the soccer field and the soccer ball was my instrument. Later, my song would be sung through a skateboard, then a football, a business, my writing, and our podcast. My instrument changes often but I try to always have a song.

When I look back at the lowest times in my life, it was because I had no music, no instrument, and no song. There was nothing worth working towards, and if it was an instrument I wanted to play, I relied on what others thought of my music, which ultimately led me to put down the instrument for fear that no one would like my song.

My favorite band is Widespread Panic. I have seen them dozens of time in concert. I cannot count the number of times that John Bell, the lead singer, has forgotten the words at some point during the show. He usually just mumbles or hollers but he always keeps going.

John Bell doesn’t stop and apologize when he forgets the lyrics. He doesn’t ask the audience if that was “ok”. He doesn’t start over and try to make everyone happy. He doesn’t do these things because it is his music and it is his song. He sings because he is passionate and he plays because it would kill him not to.

When we have our own music, our own instrument, and our own song, we don’t apologize for it and we don’t try to foolishly please the world. It belongs to us, and we can play it however we like.

It makes me happy to watch my children find their music and choose their own instrument. It pleases me to watch people boldly sing their song.

What is your instrument?

What is your song?

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,