Writing music has saved my life. Literally. Time after time. I began my creative life as a writer, short stories and poetry. But after I read the biography of Jim Morrison, I started trying to set my poems to music. Soon I was humming and hawing to my friends, saying, "You hear what I'm going for, right?" They had no clue! So I realized I would have to learn an instrument to get the melodic poems across. It wasn't easy. I wasn't a natural guitarist. I don't believe there had ever been a musician in my family or an artist of any kind for generations. My earliest attempts brought only derision. I retreated to my room, I ate drank and slept guitar. In one epic effort during the two week winter vacation I finally mastered my instrument, at least enough to impress the other sixteen year olds.
My first compositions were very simple; I’d learn a chord and build a song around it. It took a long time for my music to catch up with my poetry. Now I feel I have the tools to pretty much do whatever I need to do for a song. And I'm not afraid to keep it simple, if that’s what the song needs.
I was not encouraged, to say the least, in my endeavors as a young man. In spite of that I did acquire some training at the University of Maine at Augusta, a very good 'Jazz' program, where they infinitely opened up my musical horizons. Later at Loyola University in New Orleans I connected with modern classical music and developed even further palettes to paint my music.
I have spent much of my adult life as a serious painter, if not always a successful one. My early experiences in music taught me that perseverance is its own reward in the art game. If it's real sooner or later people will wake up to it. You just have to stay in the game.