I went to Boston for Easter vacation. It was nice. I went with my family. Great people. The best on earth.
I remember Boston very well. That is where I studied. At Berklee. That is where I discovered America. I was fragile at the time. I didn’t know if I could make it as a drummer.
My son wants to be a drummer. He longed to see Berklee. We walked through the hallways. I couldn’t make out of the new look. So much had changed. But they left my old practice rooms the same. They look ragged now. The paint is peeling of. The doors are chipped. Still, my family could picture the scene of many stories I told them that took place exactly there.
The drummer’s row has disappeared. One day I will talk about it.
Many things have been transformed.
I saw the students there. Less instruments. More machines. More screens. The same students though. They study hard. They don’t see the light of day. They have to have tunnel vision. And they all are anxious. They don’t know what happened to them. They pinned their hope on an impossible bet.
While I was there something strange hit me: I am a student again. The last 30 years haven’t happened. I do not know if I’ll make it. Oh Man! so much is riding on this. I better not mess it up.
I am all of the sudden back in 1991 with all the question and angst I used to have. It doesn’t matter that my loving wife and children are with me. It doesn’t matter that I know I have a life as a musician in Chicago. All I know is this: will I be ok? Am I doing enough?
Berklee for me will be a haunting place. Somewhere I will never feel comfortable. And, just for that, it is a gem: At least I have one place in the world where I get to ask myself the right questions.