If you know me, you know I’m a musician. It’s a gift from God, no doubt, but sometimes others don’t understand it. Little Big Town’s 2007 release, “I’m With The Band” is a song I identify with. Check out these lyrics:
“Last night in Memphis, Tonight in New Orleans, Tomorrow I’ll be miles from here, Ain’t nothing to me, nothing to me, Sweet gypsy highway, Won’t you let me chase my dream, Cause I got a song to take me there, And it’s something to see, something to see, Lord I was born with a suitcase in my hand, Living in a life that few could understand, Sometimes it gets so confusing that I don’t know where I am, But I always know who I’m with, I’m with the band”
“Lord I was born with a suitcase in my hands; living in a life that few could understand…” Before my wife and I had children I used to travel a lot, playing music with my friends. It was a season in life that I loved dearly and wouldn’t trade for anything. The music, the road, new towns, new experiences, a lifestyle that is quite alluring to us musician-types.
The picture at the top of the page was taken at a gig in Waco, Texas. The guys in the picture are some of my closest friends in the world. We had a band called “Big Fish Combo”, traveled all over the southern United States, and shared a lot of life together. When four guys share a hotel room, it’s amazing how much you learn about one another. Each time we get together the stories get funnier and much more exaggerated. I’d like to take a moment to tell you a quick one…even though a few years have gone by, the embellishment will be minimal, I assure you.
On the way back from playing a gig in Panama City Beach, Florida my friends and I rented a U-Haul trailer to carry our equipment. Somewhere between Florida and Louisiana we discovered that the tail-lights on the trailer were not working. Just outside of Mobile, Alabama we got into a traffic jam. The lady driving the vehicle directly behind us was following a bit too closely and almost rear-ended our trailer because it had no brake lights.
She flew around the side of our Suburban motioning for Joe, who was driving, to roll down his window. Up to that point we had all been sleeping but woke up suddenly to the sound of an irate female voice yelling at Joe.
“Your trailer lights are out and I almost hit you!”
Without missing a beat, he looked at her and yelled back out of the window, “Yeah, it’s a bad coupling on the poop-hatch!”
The lady looked quite puzzled and yelled, “What?”
“It’s a bad coupling on the poop-hatch. We must have a flux capacitor that’s inverted out of phase!”
It was as if we had just stepped into a scene from the movie “Back To The Future.”
We all laughed uncontrollably, wondering if maybe Joe did too many drugs in pre-school. Having never dealt with a bad coupling on the poop-hatch, the woman obviously didn’t know how to respond.
Joe thanked her for her concern and assured her that once we got back to Mission Control we’d have our people lubricate the deltoid generator and torque the flux capacitor. I’m almost positive I saw her dialing 911 as she drove away.
Some of you totally did not get that story and that’s okay. Others of you may be thinking, “Creative types are so weird!” And it’s true, we are. We have a warped sense of humor and creativity that begins at a very young age. I thank God for that. It’s a beautiful outlook on life to have! In the company of other creative people we feel right at home; almost as if we’re in our own little universe.
For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. I was two years old when I got my first guitar. My mom took me into the basement and carefully crafted an awesome home-made instrument out of a two-by-four, nails, and rubber bands. I played that thing like I was Jimmy Hendrix shredding a 1968 Fender Stratocaster.
God gave me the gift of music. It has brought me much pleasure and enriched my life deeply. I can’t imagine what my world would be like without being able to sing and play guitar. There came a point in my journey when I had to make a choice. I could either use the gift of music for selfish reasons or use it for God. I chose the latter and have never regretted that decision.
Over the past fifteen years, God has given me lots of opportunities to share the gift of music with others by using it to spread the message of Jesus Christ. Had I chosen to use the gift for selfish gain, I dare say that my sphere of influence would have been much smaller. When we we allow God to maximize our gift potential the sky is the limit!
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” What’s your gift? What are you good at? How do you use it? At the end of the day, have you been selfish with it? Or, have lives been changed as a result of sharing the gift God has given you?
As for me:
“Lord I was born with a suitcase in my hand, Living in a life that few could understand Sometimes it gets so confusing that I don’t know where I am, But I always know who I’m with, I’m with the band”
Big Fish Combo – Fall of 2000 – Decatur, Alabama
From Left To Right: Drums: Brian Fussell, Guitar and Vocals: Danny Rogers, Bass Guitar: Steve Burgess, Lead Guitar and Vocals: Joe Roy
nice overalls Danny! do you think you could bust those out on Sunday morning? 🙂 Thank you for blessing us with your musical talent! I know everyone at New Song is glad your chose to use your gift to honor God through the church.
p.s. when are we gonna have another jam session?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – 11:00 AM
Man that bring back memories. LOL I had a great time as well Danny… I think the overalls were perfect for Alabama. I remember when we played for that youth group from Alabama (I think we were in FL) and we played the first part of sweet home Alabama for what 10 minutes and they went crazy… It was all we knew of the song so we just kept repeating it. They really warmed up to us after that and worship was awesome.
Love you bro…
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – 11:44 AM
“I’m In The Band”
Out there in the spotlight your a million miles away,
Every ounce of energy, you try and give away,
As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play.
Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed,
With the echo from the amplifiers ringing in your head,
You pray to God that what you.ve done He will bless.
(A little alteration there on that last line)
Those were experiences I will always treasure.
I also learned you never put a Chihuahua in a pet taxi on a church pew unattended!
Love you man
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – 12:44 PM
I’ll agree that it’s a good thing to be “with the band.” I wasn’t born with a suitcase in my hand, but it seems that I married a man who has a suitcase in his hand–and since I like living with him, I’ve now got a suitcase in my hand! Our first 11 years of marriage, we lived in one location, but now across the last 12 years, we’ve lived in 4 different places. That rate of change can be tough, but the one thing that has helped is becoming “part of the band” wherever we’ve lived. In Huntsville (AL), Diamondhead (MS), Savannah (GA), Fairfax (VA), and now New Bern, I’ve been blessed to link up with a great group of worship arts folks–great bands and instant family! Some of my best memories are of the time (especially times on the road) with these different worship bands–and you’re right, the stories get funnier and more exaggerated as time goes by!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 – 03:38 PM
THE LOAD OUT / STAY
Now the seats are all empty
Let the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down
They’re the first to come and last to leave
Working for that minimum wage
They’ll set it up in another town
Tonight the people were so fine
They waited there in line
And when they got up on their feet they made the show
And that was sweet–
But I can hear the sound
Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that’s a sound they’ll never know
Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
Haul them trusses down and get’em up them ramps
’cause when it comes to moving me
You guys are the champs
But when that last guitar’s been packed away
You know that I still want to play
So just make sure you got it all set to go
Before you come for my piano
But the band’s on the bus
And they’re waiting to go
We’ve got to drive all night and do a show in Chicago
Or Detroit, I don’t know
We do so many shows in a row
And these towns all look the same
We just pass the time in our hotel rooms
And wander ’round backstage
Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd
And we remember why we came
Now we got country and western on the bus
R & B, we got disco in eight tracks and cassettes in stereo
We’ve got rural scenes & magazines
We’ve got truckers on the CB
We’ve got Richard Pryor on the video
We got time to think of the ones we love
While the miles roll away
But the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to play
People you’ve got the power over what we do
You can sit there and wait
Or you can pull us through
Come along, sing the song
You know you can’t go wrong
’cause when that morning sun comes beating down
You’re going to wake up in your town
But we’ll be scheduled to appear
A thousand miles away from here
People stay just a little bit longer
We want to play — just a little bit longer
Now the promoter don’t mind
And the union don’t mind
If we take a little time
And we leave it all behind and sing
One more song…
JACKSON BROWNE – 1983
Thursday, September 25, 2008 – 12:14 AM
Man I joined the church too late!
I wanna play, i wanna play!
Great BLog, I’ve had some road life but I wish i was doing it for HIM.
Miss ya man!
Thursday, September 25, 2008 – 01:33 PM
That is so cool. Few folks understand the pleasures of being in a Band!
Now you have set the suitcase down and with Guitar in hand “YOU make a joyful noise to the LORD; A-MEN
Thursday, September 25, 2008 – 11:09 PM
Big bro, you hit home on this one. Makes me of the “Transition” of when I decided to use my musical passion and gifts “All” for His glory. You know my boy K.C and I, spent alot of accountability time together. Are main topic and purpose was spiritual gifts. So we have been spending the last two or three years, encouraging and holding each other accountable to be using the gifts God gave us for His purpose and glory. Every 6 months we take a spiritual gift survey. We fill out one for ourselves, one for each other, and then compare them. It’s been a very good discipling resource for us, in helping us grow in our walk. Like always thanks for the Word. I’m feeling this blog, like i’m feeling them shorts! They rock bro! Sexy!!!!!!
Sunday, September 28, 2008 – 08:19 PM
Wow, I thought I was the only one who ever had a problem with his “Poop Hatch”, someone needs to really check on this problem. I was great to find your blog and read the comments. I never made “the band” but now I get to play percussion each week with a really awesome praise band and use the little talent God entrusted to me in leading worship in HIs house.
Steve, love the Bob Seager quote, Joe, miss the rifs, Danny just miss you in general.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 – 07:44 AM