It Takes A Lot of Jobs To Become A Rock Star

It takes a lot of jobs to become a rock star. Well...at least for me.

I'm a veritable jack-of-a-lot-of-low-paying-trades. Please know that I'm chuckling as I write this. I can't help but laugh as I look back on my career trajectory (or lack thereof) and realize how my haphazard approach to becoming a rock star has led me to quite an interesting array of jobs.

I'll list them: (All of these jobs came after obtaining a B.A. degree.)

  • *Cleaned witch noses and sorted plastic fingernails for Halloween kits. (5 days)
  • *Painted houses.
  • *Buffed, burnished & assembled plexiglass underwear fixtures. (1 1/2 years)
  • *Filed and retrieved reels of tapes in a bank's basement. (1 month)
  • *Reporter/photographer for a small town weekly newspaper. (4 years)
  • *Water filter salesman (after five appointments that failed to sell anything...I had nice tasting water for years.)
  • *Put metal sprockets on wires, had them dipped in fluid, then took said metal sprockets off. (5 days)
  • *Data entry for various temporary assignments. (6 months)
  • *Watched and operated embossing machines. (1 month)
  • *Property manager of a flophouse in Dinkytown. Low point of that job...picking up fish heads in the hallways the tenants thought was my duty to retrieve. (6 soul sucking months)
  • *Desktop publisher (12 years!)
  • *Wrote articles for power pop and beer magazines. Got to interview heroes Paul Westerberg, Andy Partridge and Ron Sexsmith!
  • *Audio Editor (7 1/2 years)
  • *Guitarist for recording sessions.
  • *Composed and performed ad work for agencies.
  • *Made Halloween spooky sound records that ended up in Target and Walmart stores.
  • *Put nature sounds to relaxation music for Target stores.
  • *Guitar teacher (started in 2004 and I'm still happily doing that!)
  • *Played music at assisted living homes, churches and a state pen. (Still doing that too!)
  • *Played car shows, bars, amphitheaters and assorted outdoor concerts with my beloved 50s band. (Will do this 'til I fall down and can't get back up.)

I have not achieved rock star status. Yet.

2014 will prove a special year. I can sense it. Oh, I'm still without a full-time day job and I'm awaiting more temporary assembly and warehouse assignments. But I know can leave them behind come early June when our summer concerts resume. Thank you Lord!

We often hear this from older folks lookin' back on their lives (which, of course, I'm doing right now)..."I wouldn't change a thing."

Well, that mostly rings true for me. I'd definitely change the witch nose/fingernail and the sprockets-on wires-jobs. Those really sucked. I actually cried in my car before heading into the factory of Halloween sadness.

I just shrugged my shoulders for the sprocket job. That was January 20, 1993, my 29th birthday. It was my first Minneapolis job after moving from Clark, South Dakota to continue chasing this rock 'n' roll dream. I had a hunch it would all work out.

And it has. Twenty one years later I'm in a wonderful band with my lovely wife, Lisa, and dear friend, Matt. We made an awesome record with bona fide hits. Word is getting out about this fun 50s band and we're getting hired for bigger and bigger shows. The legend of "One Ball Daddy" grows.

I'm hopeful. Grateful. Excited. Confident. Expectant.

I'm 50. And I'm about to become a rock star.

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