Musicians are Trained to Trust

I showed up to a town of 800 without a guitar. There was just too much stuff to bring and carry, and as Lanah puts it, “What better a souvenir then a guitar?”

Knowing I would need to buy one in order to teach my online students and play out while I am here it was a main priority. Our first stop in Waverley was the Main Street Cafe.  It’s the only cafe but quite a nice cafe. It’s nice to walk into intentional spaces. You can tell the owner has taken the time to create a space that is exactly what she wants. It’s a perfect space for coffee by a warm fire.

Luckily, Lanah is the gregarious type, and doesn’t wait for people to figure out that we are in town for a while.  Life is too short for mystery and besides, her husband needs a guitar and when she has a goal in mind, the world will know. Upon meeting the owner and the friendly staff, she finds out the owner of the bookstore is a musician. Perfect.

The Book Bank. I can spend hours talking in that one room bookshop that used to be a bank partly because Patrick, the owner, is a genuinely open fellow, interested in life, and insatiably curious about music. Patrick also happens to be mentioned in the annals of the History of New Zealand Rock Music. “Mostly for bad behavior” he says according to an interview I found of him in a not so local paper.

We talk about music, expectations of music, young and old musicians, the feel of music, just get right into it as if continuing the discussion we have had years before. Which is probably because it’s a constant discussion we have with others on the musical journey, if not ourselves

He shows me his guitars he keeps in the shop. A Tony Emmanuel limited edition and a 3/4 Japanese Gibson. Made of unknown wood but does the job. I only ask what kind of wood a guitar is made of because I think I’m supposed to ask that when someone shows their guitar, but Patrick is similar to me in that he doesn’t care what it’s made of as long as it feels good to play and sounds good. Patrick also has a three quarter nylon string he is saving for when his grandson gets older. He would never sell it to me, but he is happy to lend it.

“Musicians are trustworthy people,” he says. I argue that maybe we are just trusting, but counter my own argument with the conclusion that you can only trust another person as much as you trust yourself.

Thats the “thing” isn’t it? Trust must be what helps make a musician a musician. You have to learn to trust the world. Trust that if your heart is true and you pursuit of music is as diligent as it is reckless, that somehow the journey will present itself, or at least give you treasures along the way to let you know you are on the right path. Musicians are trained to trust. It’s the only way to find the groove.

As I travel so far from where that trust that has manifested into a humble career, I put that trust again to a test and find it still rings true. There is always music to be made with perfect strangers and if I am honest, diligent and reckless enough, they will help guide the way.

Our only picture from our first gig together – Lanah’s 40th Birthday. Patrick is behind my son’s head. We share a propensity for reducing multiple songs to two chords and rearranging the melodies on the spot.It’s fun because your ears are open and your brain is always playing and tinkering with the tune.