Monday, March 15, 2010


Eric "Slowhand" Clapton has always been a personal hero of mine as some of the things that he has accomplished in his life are beyond honorable. Besides the fact that he is ranked as the fourth greatest guitar player ever behind only Hendrix, Allman, and the King of the blues, Clapton is a model of strength and giving that few in his position would ever be. Clapton has been a leader in some of the best blues rock bands of all time including John Mayall and the bluesbreakers, the yardbirds, cream, blind faith, delaney and bonnie and friends, derek and the dominos and of course one of the most successful solo careers for any blues guitarist. What I admire him most for though is his sobriety, desire to grow, and willingness to give and give to people who need it. My dream job would be working at Clapton's Crossroads center in Antigua, which treats people with addiction, many of which cannot afford it in those south atlantic islands. Clapton's Crossroads guitar festival raises money for scholarships for those people to get the proper treatment that they need at much less a cost to them. I would love to work there not only to help that population but it's beautiful there

The other reason is of course his sobriety. Many people can get sober but not many can keep it and Clapton has done that since 1987. "Bad choices were my specialty," he said. In 1987 he hit the bottom. Failing through a month of rehab, he fell to his knees and finally "surrendered" to God, dedicating his sobriety to his newborn son, Conor. What blows my mind about this is that four years later, when Conor died in a fall from the window of a 53rd floor of a Park Avenue apartment, Clapton admitted, "There was a moment when I did lose faith." He did however, stay sober, which I cannot even imagine something like that. Still, he found the strength to present a session to his Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on "handing your will over to the care of God." Afterward, a woman confessed that he had taken away her "last excuse" for drinking, a confirmation to Clapton that "staying sober and helping others to achieve sobriety" is "the single most important proposition" in his life. This is why I have an ubelievable respect for Mr. Clapton. No matter what happens in his life he will not go back to that real dark place and by doing so has been an active role model in such a positive way for many others like me who see that and say if Clapton can loose his kid in such a way and not drink that I am not going to drink because I am angry or upset about a bill.

Clapton has been a real insiration in my life for all of the reasons that have nothing to do with what he does best which is play guitar and last Monday night I had the opportunity to see Clapton with Desiree. We had missed Clapton the last time he came around which was sad but made this ever more special. Clapton killed it. I have seen BB King twice and thought he was unbeleivable, although his is a much different style, Clapton does things to a guitar that I didnt think was possible. I have never seen anybody play close to that well, my jaw was hanging the entire show, getting chills note by note on his solos in between solos. It was a night I will never forget because of how much he as a person means to me and then to have my face melted with the way he plays was something else. Every guitar player I have ever seen looks like an amateur compared to what he does with that instrument. If you havent seen him, try to, and if you havent read his autobiography, again, try to, his story is truely inspirational. I have seen and listened to alot of bands but I will never forget Clapton live in Raleigh on that night.......

8 March 2010 - Eric Clapton & His Band
RBC CenterRaleigh, NC

Set List
01. Going Down Slow
02. Key To The Highway
03. Tell The Truth
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
06. Driftin' Blues
07. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
08. Running On Faith
09. Layla
10. I've Got A Rock N Roll Heart
10. Badge
11. Wonderful Tonight
12. Before You Accuse Me
13. Little Queen of Spades
14. Cocaine
15. Crossroads (encore)
Roger Daltrey

Set List:
01. I Can See For Miles
02. The Real Me
03. Behind Blue Eyes
04. Days of Light
05. Freedom Ride
06. Gimme A Stone
07. Who Are You
08. Going Mobile
09. Young Man Blues
10. Baba O'Riley

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Throughout my life I have had periods of time when I was really down and out, you wouldnt have wanted to know me then, and other times that I felt like a million bucks. The factor that I believe is responsible for those major differences was in some form perspective but also self-talk. Self-talk is something that when I was growing up was something that I thought only crazy people did but as it turns out even childrens books were written about it. In this life we recieve so many messages about life, especially in the crazy technology, media salvating public society we live in today where people have forgotten basic decency and private behavior, anyway most of these messages are false and in some way or another lead to negative self-images which is determined by how you talk to yourself. One of the best things that someone ever taught me was to eliminate the word "can't" from my vocabulary. Other words that arent helpful are things like "always, never, ever"...words that are absolutes just like cant. By eliminating that word I have been able to do alot of things in my life that many people told me I wouldnt be able to do ever. Just like love, people have the ability of inifinite potential but this can only be reached if you yourself believe this about yourself. You my get kicked around and pushed back, stumbling, but it is then how you get back up or if you don't. These all fall under self-talk and how we treat ourselves. Most people dont think about stuff like this and some dont realize that things that look perfect in tv and movies arent real. Everybody struggles and everybody fights with things from time to time, but its how you bounce back, how you feel about yourself, your spirituality, your view of the world, and how bad you want it in life. Eliminating words like "can't" have taught me to be optimistic and more loving to all of those around me. The outcomes are not always perfect but the intention is there if you can see it, people are generally good. Sometimes it takes a sign or sometimes it takes a kick in the ass but when people open their eyes and make those changes in life and start seizing moments that they would have let slip by because they "can't" right now, or they will do it later, there is nothing like it.....that is what I love to see and that is what drives me to work with helping people who have accepted that they "can't" in this life. But what is amazing is that self-talk, just like the little engine that could...."I think I can, I think I can"!!!!!