The inspiration for this weeks song came to me, while I was thinking about addiction. But not the kind of addiction we are used to seeing around us. Not the drug addicts we see on the streets, not the alcoholics that have lost any meaning in their life apart from worrying where they are going to get their next drink. The addiction I am talking about here is more of a social kind. Sure, as long as we know we can stop, we do not have a problem, right?
Wrong! There are many functioning alcoholics around us and among us. Our society is filled occasions where we are almost expected to have a drink. “Have a drink, you’re more fun when you have a drink” Anybody ever say that to you? I know you can decide not to have a drink, but try getting through a month and still attend all the social events you usually would. If you are used to going for a pint after a long day of shopping in town on Saturday, still go to the bar, but have a coffee instead. Friday night drinks with the work crowd? I bet it would get tough sooner than you think.
Once again I am not here to tell you not to drink at all. Drink can be a great (although very temporary) way to unwind. Having a beer or two, or few classes of wine, the health benefits actually balance out the negative effects. But it is that dependency of “I can’t have good time without a drink” that you really need to watch out for.
As a touring musician the pressure to have a drink can sometimes be big as well. And this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. The short trips are fine, as long as the shows get performed at the high standard I expect, I am my worst critic when it comes to this. You can go bit mad after the show, again as long as the show night after will not suffer 😉 But the longer tours, or even anything from one week upwards is where it can get bit crazy.
And never underestimate the pressure of performing in front of people. I love it, but I still know if I have a drink or two, it does get bit easier. But in the past six months I have made a conscious decision to work on my ability to perform the best possible show, without having a drink. I am lucky as I have regular shows here in Dublin, I can work on this when I am not on tour. Still I listen to my fellow musicians talking about a gig abroad, or a tour and it seems the partying is almost more important than the music…
So that is where the concept of “Never Ending Road” comes from. And I will risk it if sounding as the first signs of having a problem, by saying I don’t have a problem with the drink 😉 But I am very aware of the dangers of it getting out of hand in my profession. But then again, the alcoholic musicians is almost a stereo type. How about your profession?
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE