The Way Out... The Road Back




Much of what appears on rhumba.com is dedicated to non-musicians curious about the musical life.

But rhumba.com is also read by musicians, both active and retired. In their emails, the site's readers usually identify themselves as being a member of one of these three groups.

The non-players have various questions and reminiscences, the current players may trade a name or two, or compare battle scars. The retired-musicians relate fond memories of the road, one-nighters, touring chain hotels for weeks at a time, basking in the echoes of cheering crowds through the delicious filter of selective memory.

Generally, the emails reflect the site's main focus, the musician's life ON the road.

I am no longer on the road but I still play quite a few gigs. When I get to talking careers with the musicians I work with, their questions are quite another story. They focus on the day gig. They're interested in how I got OUT of playing full-time, and what exactly did I do to establish a new, different career.

A few ask about the career change out of more than idle curiousity. Growing older, they feel a gnawing sense of diminishing opportunity, and maybe even feel trapped in the unchanging life. They ponder, some jokingly, some tentatively, and indeed, a few seriously what might constitute a reasonable alternative to full-time playing, and how the transition might be accomplished.

This is about that and a little bit more. This is how I burned-out, got off the road, made changes, found a new life and eventually found my way back to music.

Next: Burnout...

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