The Land of Oz: I Used to Play in a Band (No, Really)

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and a writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.  And yes, he did play in a band. Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and a writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.  And yes, he did play in a band. Derek Osborn

At differing times in life, everyone should take time to reflect and be painfully honest: What have I accomplished? What were my mistakes? Where do I want to go from here? And, how can I do better in the future?

Here’s the deal with mistakes: most people think of failure as an enemy to success. It’s not. The only way you learn from mistakes is to make them.

Segue to this: I used to play in a band. And that band was relatively successful, depending on your definition. I once heard someone say that if you can make money playing music, that is success. By that measure, we did pretty good. My cohort, Master Jaynes, and I played some big stages, historical theaters, and what amounted to well over 1,000 shows over a 15-year period. I have few regrets. But I do have one…

Jaynes and I chose to primarily be a cover band. If you don't know the lingo, that basically means we played the hit songs of other artists. It’s what we enjoyed; and the bookings came easier; and the gigs initially paid better; and when some drunk guy at the bar yelled, Hey! play something we know,” we could. Almost anything. 

The truth is, we should have taken the opportunities to write and perform more original music. As Herman Melville once said, “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. 

Why am I telling you all of this? Because next month, a lot of bands who have taken the opportunity (and the associated risks) will be in town to perform at the Druid City Music Festival. And you need to go… not only to support them, but to support new events in this community. 

I often overhear people complain that there aren’t enough things to do in Tuscaloosa. The fact is, there is more to do now than ever before, and there’s more on the way. Supporting nice things that may not initially interest you is the way to get more nice things to come here. You may look at the lineup and not recognize a single act, and that is precisely the reason you should go.  

Pulling off a music festival is not an easy undertaking, and Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports is taking a huge, albeit calculated risk on bringing one back to our city. This can be the kind of event that can be the catalyst to bringing in a vast array of other events. All we have to do is open our minds, take a risk, and show up. 

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.     

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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