Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Good ol’ Geaorgie boy Carlin! George Carlin was a comedian, known for his observational comedy and the use of language, and author. He also played Mr. Conductor on the children’s series “Shiny Times Station.” His work spans over 5 decades, over 20 CD’s, 15 comedy specials, and 6 books.

I grew up knowing who George Carlin was. I saw him on Shiny Times Station before I knew of his work in comedy. I watched some of his stand up when I was young, but I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t until I was much older that I got it and he really made an impact on me.

Artists typically see the world differently than most people. A good comedian will have you think about something in a way you never thought of before and leave you thinking about it. They are only conveying how they see the world, with a little humor mixed in, and often exploit ideas we take for granted. Carlin was a master of this. His “bullshit meter” was always on auto-detect and he had no problem letting you know how he felt.

I’ve always been a very inquisative and skeptical person. I like knowing the fundamentals of things, especially ideas and thinking. Carlin showed me the world in such a different way that I now can’t stop openly questioning things. I feel that I would rather be inquisitive of things than gullible. George Carlin was also the first open atheist I had ever known. I’ve been questioning the church and religion since I hit the age of reason, about 12, and had always been alone in the matter. I always felt I would be punished for talking openly about my skepticisms. Not believing in a god is a social taboo, and coming from the environment I grew up in it was more of a social suicide. When I saw how he backed his thinking with logic and did so with confidence, I felt the mental chains I placed on myself snap. I was alone on this journey for the longest time and here he was in front of the world saying what I was afraid to. I had never felt so empowered before. George Carlin really kickstarted my mind to openly question things as an adult. I began to see the world the way he did.

I actually read 3 of Carlin’s books before I saw a full comedy special of his. I feel like no one can read his work and not think about the world a little differently. Thank you, George, for opening my mind to thinking more deeply about how we operate in this world.

                                          Image

Victor Lemonte Wooten is a bass player, composer, and author. He’s won five Grammy awards for his work with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and solo work. He is the youngest of five brothers, all musicians themselves, and his experience and journey with music started at the age of two. He is a true “virtuoso” in the art of music.

I have to give a small back story to why how Victor made an impression on me. I went to West Chester University in 2004. I met some great people and made life-long friendships. One of my closest friends, Abon, is a guitar player. He had been playing since he was about 7 and he had two guitars and a bass in his dorm. One night we were invited by another great friend, Matt, to a small live show. It was on the second floor of a lounge. It was pretty cool. There were multiple bands performing, one after another. I had never watched a band play live before then. One band, whose name I forget, stole the shw for me. The solo the lead guitar player played left me in awe. That night I decided I wanted to learn how to play the guitar.

I would grab Abon’s electric guitar, plug it in, and go to town on it; not playing a single note. That’s how I started my journey in music. Abon tried his best to teach me, but I had a hard time keeping my fingers on one string. My fingers and hands were kinda big and Abon took notice to that. He recommended I play the bass. Up to that point, I had no idea bass guitars existed! I knew of stand up basses, but I didn’t know anything about bass guitars. So I tried it. It was a much better feel to me. But it wasn’t til Matt showed me a video of this guy that I really took off. He showed me a video of Victor Wooten playing Amazing Grace. It was absolutely beautiful. I didn’t think an instrument like the bass could be played in such a way. It was then that I had someone to emulate.

I’m a self taught musician. It took years for me to hone my skills and develop the type of playing I do today. I’ve been playing bass for eight years now, and Victor Wooten has been there all the way. His approach to music and life is something everyone should take a look at. To Victor, as well myself, music is a language. A very beautiful one at that. For about the first four years I tried to immitate what he and other great bass players played while learning how to play. It’s a good road to take for a self taught musician but there comes a point where you have to find your own voice. He showed me that and I have my own voice today. He was the first to show me that my expression of the arts is unique to me, so no matter how I play, how I express, no one can call it their own. That’s an important lesson that all artists should learn. He taught me to just groove.

Thank U Vic!

Image