Hustle The Most Episode 21: Constant Motion
In the last episode I talked about kind of making choices in order to chase your passion, follow your dreams and make it happen. I talked about how I packed up my drums and headed down to Florida to live and play in a band called Until The End.
I don’t know what it is but something about Palm Trees has always fascinated me. Maybe it was because when I was a kid all the TV shows or movies that were shot in LA or Miami were always so cool and it was always summer. Who doesn’t love summer when you are living in Michigan.
Before heading down to Florida I was trying to line up a place to stay. I had a friend from Flint that had moved down there a few years earlier. She and her boyfriend lived in Lantana which was just outside of West Palm and they had an extra room in their apartment that she offered up to me while I was there. I really didn’t have much of a plan other than just getting down there. Looking back on that I probably should have sorted a few more things out before heading down but sometimes you just gotta go. So I get down there and move my stuff in. I didn’t have much just whatever fit in my car at the time along with my cat. We shipped my drums to John’s house so they were down there waiting for me. I remember being there for a few days. I met up with some of the dudes in the band then went hunting for a job. The first place I went looking was Whole Foods in Boca Raton. It was about 20 minutes from where I was staying so not a horrible commute. Side note traffic in South Florida is horrible so that 20 minutes could sometimes be 30-45 minutes depending on the time of day. So I walked into the produce department and asked one of the guys if they were hiring. I had a resume in my hand. This resume had a little produce experience from working at a small shop for about 8 months before I left Tacoma.
He looked at my resume and walked me to the back and upstairs right to the manager and said “hey I think this kid will be great, let’s get him going”. That was the best interview I have ever had. I started in the produce department like 2 days later after my background check came back. I deci ded that after about 9 days of making that commute to work I needed to move farther south. I had a friend Alex that lived in a 3 bedroom apartment in Boca with 2 other guys. I told him I was looking for a place and asked him if he knew anyone that was looking for a roommate and he didn’t but he offered up his floor. So I paid like $250 a month to sleep on a mattress on the floor of this guy’s bedroom. It was about 7 minutes from work and no highway so it was a pretty quick drive and that was all I was after. Alex was a good dude. He ran a record label called Undecided Records and they put all kinds of cool bands. I think I met him on tour with one of my bands and we quickly became friends. That was one really cool thing about touring a lot is that I would always meet so many amazing people and everyone had a story. You come to town and hang out and meet them and the next time you come to town they come and hang out and it just happens over and over again. I have met so many amazing people on the road.
Staying with Alex was fun. We always had bands coming through and staying with us some of them I was friends and some not but it was always fun.
I mentioned earlier that there were 2 other dudes that lived with Alex. Thinking back I am not sure how these 3 misfits ended up living together but it was quite a cast. The second guy was another guy named Rob but they called him “Captain Extreme” because he was way into mountain biking and techno and working out. Then there was the last dude. His name was Anthony but they called him “The Incredible Weirdo”.
He was also a cool dude but he was tall and lanky and worked a lot on his computer. He had a huge desk and all of these music instruments crammed into his room. He has keyboards, a bass, a few different amps and no bed. I think maybe he had one but it was in pieces and stacked against the wall. He would stay up super late and then just crash on the floor. I remember walking by his room in the morning and his door would be open and I would just see feet and the bottoms of some weird dress pants. Alex was a straightedge hardcore kit that was way into puting out records, Starwars and Halo. It was weird that these 3 lived together but there they were.
Anyway I slept on the floor for about 6 months until I saved up enough to get my own place. Captain Extreme and I actually became really good friends then moved out together. We moved just a few miles down the road to a cool little apartment complex. He worked like 3 jobs and I work at Whole Foods and played in the band so neither of us were home all that much. I remember doing Florida stuff. Like I went to the beach alot and wore flip flops and board shorts. I was way into it. I loved florida. We started band practice a few weeks after I got there and it was pretty cool. Cool except for the fact that we were practicing in a storage unit in South Florida. I was hot as balls in this 10X20 storage unit that we shared with another band. 5 dudes plus band gear and drumming a million miles an hour for hours on end. Ugh it was brutal.
About a month after practicing we went up to the north east to play some shows. It was cool this band didn’t really tour so when we did play people would come out. We went up and played like Philly, NYC, NJ and then cruise home. It was cool because I’d get to see a lot of friends and just hang out with people I didn’t get to see much anymore. When you are touring a lot it seems like you see the same people a lot so you didn’t really lose touch that much. It had been a while since I had been out playing so it was great to get back out there!
So just like every other weekend warrior band it was back to work on Monday. Back to slangin celery on the weekdays. I liked working at Whole Foods though it was fun. The store was a new store so it was bright and vibrant and the Boca Raton clientele was all kind of fancy. After working there for about 6 months I heard that our store graphic designer was going on maternity leave and they were looking for someone to replace her. I guess they picked this girl named Sam that said she was a graphic artist. It was funny they got like 2 weeks in and I guess she didn’t know anything about computers. She could sort of draw but that was the extent of her graphic design abilities. One morning I was talking to her about how it was going and she said not good and she wasn’t super stoked to leave the store in her hands and that they were going to start looking for someone else. I asked more about it and she said “it’s hard to find someone that knows how to work on a Mac apparently”.
I laughed and told her that I worked exclusively on a Mac and I knew photoshop. She got super excited and within a week I was offered the job as store Graphic Designer.
It was awesome! I went from slingin celery to making a salary. I got my own office and got to work on a sweet double monitor blueberry iMac that was running OS9! I had a quick crash course in Quark and I was on it. It was a sweet gig.
I worked that job for about 2 years before I started to get the itch to tour again. UTE was doing shows here and there and we did a Europe tour and a few more Northeast runs but I just wanted to be on the road. I missed it. I missed playing my drums every night and driving from city to city. I remember I flew up to try out for a few bigger bands but it just didn’t pan out. I just wanted to tour. A few weeks later I found myself talking to a few new bands that needed drummers. Next thing I know I was packing up my stuff and moving out to hit the road.
So let’s talk about what did I really learn from all this
This just seems crazy. I had a great job. I lived fairly close to the beach. I had a cool old Porsche that I used to bomb around in. I didn’t own any socks. I had it good. I had made something for myself. I created a life and stability out of nothing. So why would I give it all up to go out and tour again. To be a nomad and have unstability?
I have learned since why I do these things. For me it’s all about doing something. I am always trying to do something. Whether it’s playing drums, selling drums, collecting new things like bobble heads, basketball cards or writing a book. I am always doing something. This podcast is exactly that. This podcast is me doing something. I think that when I feel unsettled or uneasy about something I always have these things to play with to put my mind at ease or keep me busy. I have always felt like my mind is sprinting until I go to bed at night. It’s like a race and it’s exhausting. Today I can tear down a drum kit and put up a different one or change out some snare heads or look at drums online and think about how I can sell this to get that. It’s all constant motion. It’s all about constant motion. Constant Motion.