Oh No Not Stereo Week: Day 1
This is the deepest, most personal song I've ever written. It's about a time when I almost died, and how the repercussions from that day still affect me. I was 11 years old, riding an ATV with my best friend WAY out in the mountains of Utah, far from where anyone ever goes. We had a very serious accident and were both unconscious in the middle of a dry riverbed. I had a basal skull fracture, which left me deaf in my right ear, and was bleeding heavily.
We were both lying unconscious when a 17-year-old hunter named Austin Lloyd randomly discovered us. He picked me up, carried me however far it was to where his truck was parked, and then went back for my friend. He got us both to a hospital and most definitely saved our lives.
Six months after the accident, Austin and his friends were fishing in a reservoir in Utah when their boat mysteriously capsized and all aboard were lost and presumed drowned. Their bodies were not recovered. Twelve years went by, with me having an enormous grateful appreciation for my life beyond any combination of words, and giving deep tribute to my hero. I was constantly thinking about all the time I had to chase my dreams now, because of him, and how he didn't have that time, didn't even get past the age of 18. He pulled my half-dead ass out of the wilderness, but nobody was able to do the same for him.
I was in Costa Rica when I got a message that they had found Austin's body. I immediately made arrangements to head back to Utah to attend his funeral services and pay respect to the guy that saved my life that day when I was a kid. After further researching the news of his finding, I learned that they found ALL the bodies from that boat EXCEPT his.
Looking back, I see how that crash formed me as a musician, or how I formed myself around it all. The band took its name from that crash. Even though I can still hear in one ear, it affected me musically. Not that I would have been a better or worse musician without the crash, just different. And of course, it haunts me because I am so aware of how easily and quickly life can slip away, of how tenuous it all is, of how I'm a musician and I already lost half my hearing, of how my whole professional, personal, passionate life is totally contingent on my one ear that still works, and how quickly I could lose that.
Maybe it took something away from me, musically, because I don't hear in stereo, but it gave me something, too. If you're a musician, and you KNOW deep down in your bones, every day, that you only have so much time to be a musician, you don't feel right unless you are writing, recording, practicing, performing, something. So, it made me work harder with what I have left. Life's a party, but it's a race against the clock too, and we all lose everything in the end.
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