Never duplicated.

So, I sat down to write the blog this week and I had a few things to write about.  I started one about the baseball All-Star game and how the home run derby was way better when they were all on steroids.  I thought about another that had to do with our family fishing trip we took yesterday that yielded four small bluegill, but a lot of fun time spent together.  I thought of a third that had to do with our family trips to the dentist, which are not nearly as much fun as fishing.  While I was doing all of this thinking I decided to watch some youtube videos of some music stuff and I learned a few things.  

The first thing I learned is that even though I feel like I'm a competent musician, I actually suck.  I watched a group of twelve year old kids absolutely dominate some really technical metal arrangements.  I then watched some other little kids play the drums, guitar, bass, and piano at a level I certainly haven't attained.  Then, the little twelve year old band played a cover of a Slipknot song with Corey Taylor, and it sounded just like Slipknot.  That led me to watching some live Corey Taylor stuff, which turned into an entire live Corey Taylor acoustic show, which was very good.  During his show, though, he played some Alice In Chains and I decided to watch some AIC youtube videos and at the top of the list was Alice In Chains MTV Unplugged from 1996.  That was the year I graduated high school.

So, I start watching this video and remembering their brilliance.  They are, without a doubt, my favorite 90's band.  They weren't then.  I was a gigantic Pearl Jam fan, but PJ has lost its luster a bit with me over the years.  I still love their first five albums, but after that I'm not a huge fan.  I don't love them just for the sake of loving them.  Anyway, I digress.  I'm watching this Alice In Chains video and it reminds me of something.  We don't necessarily all have to be masters of our instruments.  It doesn't matter if you can't shred like Steve Vai.  That isn't to say that AIC aren't good musicians, because they are, but I doubt Jerry Cantrell would put himself on the same technical level as say, Eddie Van Halen.  I guess I don't know him personally, but somehow I doubt it.  

So, as I sat here I went from wishing I could play as well as these little kids to learning a lesson from Alice In Chains.  Whether you write music, poetry, books, groom dogs, cut hair, fix teeth, mow yards, wait tables, engineer sky scrapers, or pick up garbage, if you do it with all your heart and soul, then you've achieved something special.  I sat and watched that whole video and it is really too bad Layne Staley couldn't drag himself from the clutches of heroin.  That voice, whether you care for it or not, is distinctive, melodic, and amazing.  I've seen plenty of bands cover AIC and even AIC has a new singer, but Staley just can't be duplicated.  So, I guess that's all the point is here today.  Layne Staley can't be duplicated.  I can't be duplicated.  You can't be duplicated. and I think that is awesome.  If you've never seen the video of which I speak I'm going to link it right here.  This was a tight, tight, tight, band and I suppose they still are, just a man short.

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Posted on July 16, 2014 .