I usually post a picture from when I was younger for my official birthday post, but I'm going to change it up this time.
This year is the 'big five zero,' and I've never been one to actually pay attention to the number but... I have to acknowledge it is a milestone. I've worked hard to keep close to the things that make me happy... music, drums, and comics. I'll talk about a few recent events and some others that have significance to me:
If you know me, then you know I've been a lifelong Batman fan since seeing repeats of the '66 Adam West / Burt Ward television show at around age 7 or 8. Comic books helped me learn to read, develop a love of writing, and understand remixing characters celebrating up to 80 years of publication history.
I had the good fortune of meeting author Marc Tyler Nobleman in 2009, who was beginning (what would become a nine-year) campaign to get the late Bill Finger credit for his contributions for co-creating Batman. I've learned a lot through Marc's research, and he's a great example of fighting for a cause you believe in... even when the odds are stacked WAY against you.
Three years ago today, DC Comics officially added Bill Finger's name to the Batman credit line after 76 years of anonymity. I love that this happened on my birthday because there's no more authentic story of truth and justice than Bill's, and I'm honored to have been acknowledged by Marc in the 2017 documentary Batman & Bill.'
This leads me to the other thing I've done for just as long... play music.
I was fortunate to have been exposed to many different types of music growing up. I inherited a lot of 45 records from my aunts and uncles, that kicked the whole thing off. Santana, Joe Tex, Chicago, Jackson 5, The Stylistics, The Who, Commodores, and Heatwave were only a few of the ones I would listen to over and over. My neighborhood friend had three older brothers who were all in the Colombia Record Club, so there was a LOT of new music coming into their home. We would listen to their collection (mostly rock) for hours. I remember hearing ELO's 'Discovery,' Cheap Trick at Budokan, Steve Miller's 'Fly Like An Eagle,' and The Eagles' 'Hotel California' when they debuted and were considered the cutting edge in the genre.
It was an entirely different vibe when my parents and I would visit my grandmother. She still had two teenagers in the house, and they had a constant stream of visitors (it's a huge family). I'd hear traditional Tejano music (it's a huge Mexican family) from my grandfather's radio, raw disco from my late-teens uncle, and the family go-to was the local soul/funk station KHYS 98 FM blasting through an open window (aka the A/C).
My Dad really loved traditional country music, and that's what we listened to in the car or his garage... I'm sure that prompted our trip to Nashville when I was around 8 or 9. I remember they asked me to go up to this 'strange man' and ask for his autograph... so Sonny James would be the first celebrity I ever met. By the time I started getting into my listening habits, I had a pretty vast catalog to build on, which has served me well throughout my years of creating and performing.
So... I'm 50. There. I said it.
I still enjoy the same things that brought me so much happiness as a kid, and I can now share them as a parent. Encouraging my lil' one to watch/draw cartoons, read old comics, and make noise behind a kit or hitting hand drums... that's 100% me!
I brought in the closing hours of 49 by playing a quick one with new & old friends and joined by Garth Brooks' touring guitarist for a rendering of "Callin' Baton Rouge."