By Jon Berman
The change of the seasons in New England has nothing on the change in my life when switching gears between a life in music and a life as a parent and community member. I try to balance them, but in reality, at any given time one is given precedence over the other. That really doesn’t mean there’s a preference, just that my focus oftentimes needs to switch, in either direction, sometimes on a weekly basis.
Sitting on our bus for twelve hour rides is no joke. Trees border the highways down south, broken up by 237 billboards announcing Pedro’s South of The Border and cities like Jacksonville that pop up from no man’s land into concrete in a flash of windshield. The truck stops are stopped at sporadically, but they just add to the drive time so no one really wants to stop. The job is over, the tour is finished, and really, I just want to get home to my family.
Tours are strange beasts. Hotels all begin to look the same, boundaries are forgotten, and remembering what town you’re in is close to impossible, let alone what day it is.
The last night in Del Ray Beach the theater held 1,300 but was not sold out; however, most of the tour was capacity crowds. By anyone’s account, it was a good run. My mother’s cousin showed up to the show, which seems to be more of the case as the band grows. Friends in different cities are starting to show up more often as the band gets better known. The work gets repetitious, like any job. The end is a celebration.
And home life begins. Reuniting with your family is the best moment; rejoining the community and daily life is refreshing. Getting the mail. Listening to a record. Going to the transfer station. Playing with Legos. Getting the mail while listening to a recording on the way back from the transfer station with Legos being thrown at your head because a six year old doesn’t want to get the mail, and then contemplating throwing all the Legos in with the next transfer station load. Or in the mail.
It’s writing this column that puts it all in perspective for me, and while the last two months have been full of music and my world away from my daily life, I feel so fortunate to come back to New England and make plans for the future. There’s writing to do, helping out in the schools, working with the restaurants I perform at, and preparing for the next series of shows on the road. There’s raising my son, helping my wife, trying not to get in my son’s way, and trying to get in my wife’s way.
Winter is coming to an end. We’re rolling into March and that means maple syrup, melting snow, and mud. In that order. Warmer weather is heading our way, and bike riding will soon be part of our day, along with little league. The music schedule will be busy again when the summer hits, but for now, it’s time to relax and enjoy this variety of life.