Stories from the Wagon

It’s been a weird time of late. I have not even tried to write, as I have not really know were to start. Post Tamworth,  post Texas, personnel changes leaving me and The Hitman back at the helm, was one thing, a big thing. Got me and Fitzy, our manager back in the pocket again. All this though was put in perspective by the birth of our second child, Maverick. Only parents know the fatigue you get into when that new life burst’s its way in, and when there is already a magnificent two year old filling that space, well that’s a whole different level of tiredness again.With Jen begin home looking after the two boys, I also bring home the bacon. We are a good team. Before the last Texas Tour and album launch, I had to get a full on job, to earn cash to pay for the record, film clip, promotion tours for the East Coast, Tamworth Tour etc, and any time you do that as a musician, you sacrifice the time you actually get to have the instrument in your hand,( Listen to Miss Texas Tonight) but I have seen so many of my more accomplished peers, not be able to record, tour, promote etc, cause of no cash. So there is the trade off I chose to make. The purists would say I sold out. Maybe I did. I am not sure how I am meant to work that one out at this stage in the game. I saw on Facebook recently a female Australian Country artist announced she would be shutting down her band page, and was getting married and going back to school teaching. Cut and dry. I was so taken by her clarity of the decision. She got so many compliments and well wishes by her fans, and then the next day, gone. Her music is her legacy. It was an act of courage. I thought about it often for days after. I still am obviously.The fact is when I started Chucks Wagon I was committed to spend every cent I could get my hands on investing in the dream. To tour, to record, to get video’s on the Country Music Channel etc.   Then Brett Fitzsimmons came on board, and he bought in at every level, eventually managing the band. He and his wife Helen, have supported me, and organised support for me at such a level I would be embarrassed to flesh it out here. I will be forever in their debt, and not just for the financial support, but for the undying belief. They put their money were their mouth was. Thank you will never feel like enough. On top of that my own wife has supported everything I have put into this dream, always encouraging me to see it through. I started Chucks Wagon thinking it was my grumpy old man policy. I truly wanted to have a royal go before I was done, as a songwriter and a performer. I planned to do three studio album and one great live album, releasing video clips for every record, and then see after that what the lay of the land was. Well I’m three studio albums in, and that time of reassessment feels closer than ever, and the fact is, I am worried. The band has not seemed to create any real interest above the small but amazing friends I have met along the way that love and support this band. It has always meant a lot to me to know that I have moved folks with these songs. I was a fan first, always a fan. When I started to write music it just felt amazing, like it happened “to” me. I know I am not the greatest musician, or writer, but I am a passionate one. I was always inspired by the underdogs. Before I went to Texas last, and I had some cash, I bought some Kiss Tickets. I know this will not make sense to my country music loving friends, so let me explain. When I was in High School, I was in that rebellious phase, and I found Kiss. They seemed so far away from my mundane western suburbs life. When you open the cover of Kiss Alive 1, and see that crowd shot, or Kiss Alive 2, with that amazing stage on fire picture, it was just the opposite of my working class family. It was mind blowing. The music was raw, everyone hated them. This was before their Disco single and the Kiss lunch box’s.The first three records were loose and raw. Achievable to garage bands everywhere.

Image So me and Fitzy went, and they reminded me that raw energy, commitment, and just really wanting something to happen, was what was more important than skill. They still had the balls to just play to, unlike Motley Crue who opened for them, and their music was so over manipulated, you were left wondering if anyone was really playing other than old Mick Mars.

ImageKiss are proof if you work hard, and give everything you got, then maybe you will break through. The concert was fun, not their best, that I have seen, and I have seen every Australian tour, right from their first tour where I and two school friends slept out over night to get tickets.

ImageThe thing now for myself, is that I am not sure I couldn’t have worked harder than I have, how do you know for sure, the thought haunts me, did I give it everything? It’s not over, and I will always play in some capacity, but man, I feel as though I am failing at some level, but I have always kept going, and that’s my intention right now, to put out Family Man and then Miss Texas Tonight as Film clips on the CMC, play all year, hit Tamworth and then see.

I did two solo shows last week, just me, my guitar, the songs, I missed the band, but it was a relief at another level, know one to have to rely upon, worry about, it was up to me. The shows were rusty, but ok. at songwriters I was there with two duo’s as well, leaving me really out there on my own, but it felt good.


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