“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
~ Jack London
I was watching a documentary on the great Raiders quarterback, Ken “Snake” Stabler. In one segment, the narrator mentioned that Stabler was well-read, and an avid reader of Jack London. And during that section, the narrator mentioned one of my favorite Jack London quotes, which I listed above.
That’s such a powerful statement because the implication is that we aren’t here in this life to just “be,” but to act. To put ourselves on the line every day and live, and live life in such a way that we can fulfill what my Native American brothers in the past have said: “It’s a good day to die.” To me, that quote can be summed up in three words: “Go for it!”
I’ve taken that approach with playing guitar. As of the past few years, I’ve been getting into reggae. I can honestly say that while I haven’t morphed my music entirely to reggae, the influence is definitely there. I’ve struggled in making the transition. I love all sorts of music, and my writing contains influences from the many musical styles I both write and play.
But lately, at least for me as an artist, I’ve realized that reggae isn’t so much a sound or even music with a set pattern. There certainly is a foundation of that there; however, what I’ve come to realize is that reggae for me is simply the expression of good vibes. Sure, it can be political and even express disdain for the system, but the underlying root is to give people that sense of “irie.” I may be reading it completely wrong. But this is my personal interpretation.
Circling back to that Jack London quote, right or wrong interpretation, I’m just going for it. I’m not letting myself focus on whether or not my music fits in with the genre. What I’m after is a feeling, a “vibe.” And to be completely honest, I’m not really worried about being discovered and making it big. The best I can do is create music, and if people like what they hear, then that pleases me. After all, our purpose is to live and not exist.
In any case, here’s my latest song called “Let It Ride.”