Sometimes, Dreams Chase You

The phrases are often heard. "Go for your dreams." "Follow your dreams." "Make your dreams come true."

They're fun to say. Inspiring to hear. And very hard to do.

I'm feelin' a dream in a different way ~ it's chasing me.

It's been after me for a long time. Oh, I've chased it several times in the past only to shut the door on it. Usually in discouragement. Lately due to other wonderful dreams such as family and friends and the little things that bring me a lot of joy. But no matter how joyful I am with my family and activities, there's been this recurring pull. This thing that keeps enticing me.

A couple of years ago it whispered "You really better do this soon. You're running away from me. And you're running out of time."

I listened. I got busy.

The first time I really went for it was in 1987 with a band called The Law. We moved from Ames, Iowa to Minneapolis. We were really into the Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Soul Asylum. It seemed like a great place to try and get a start in music industry. We were already getting looked at by Slash Records/Warner Brothers due to an EP we released, and we quickly got into the club scene. We were fortunate to open for the the up-and-coming Gear Daddies a handful of times, and soon enough found ourselves playing in the First Ave. main room, the 7th Street Entry, The Uptown, the 400 Bar and the Cabooze. It was fun getting written up in the City Pages, Twin City Reader and the Star Tribune. It was even more fun hearing an A&R scout from a label was in the club checking out the bands.

I really thought that band was going to make it.

What happened?

Well, I was an emotional, chemical, physical and spiritual wreck. I freaked. Quit the band. Quit the lifestyle.

I quit the dream.

I thought it was over. I wanted it to be over.

I moved to Clark, South Dakota to work as a reporter/photographer at the Clark County Courier. It was four years of bliss. Absolutely loved the time and journey there.

A significant amount of time passed before I even picked up a guitar. Very unlike me. Of course, once I start plinkin' on it again, it felt great to hold, songs flew out, smiles stretched my face and I became obsessed with obtaining a 4-track cassette recorder. I HAD to record these new songs.

The dream kept calling.

I HAD to move back to Minneapolis and try the music thing again.

In a third-floor South Minneapolis bedroom I made a solo CD in 1995. It garnered some favorable press in Cake Magazine, letters from A&R scouts from major and indie labels and even a big publishing company. It was exciting. Rewarding. But nothing came of it. I was pretty cavalier about it. Another dream came along. Lisa and I were madly in love. Engaged. Married. Making music together.

Then, THE dream called again.

This time I had a craving to make power pop music and Florapop was born. Anybody who knows my music tastes can tell you how much I love Big Star, the Raspberries, the Beach Boys, the Beatles (I named my first daughter McCartney!), the Hollies, Cheap Trick, Marshall Crenshaw and many more. I'd never made an album of all that sugary music. So I made two. "Sunshine Saturday" was released on the Jam Recordings label in 2003 and an eponymous CD we'd made in 1999 was re-released in Japan on the Wizzard in Vinyl label in 2005. It was a blast making them, but they didn't sell much.

Then Lisa and I started making babies. That was fun. The joy of being a daddy, owning a home and experiencing all of the wonderful things Minnesota provides kept me sailing right along. For pretty much a decade.

The dream came around again.

This time it did more than call. It chased me. Snuck up on me. Grabbed me by the scruff of my aging neck, lifted me off of the ground and growled, "You really better do this. NOW. You were born to do this. Don't waste what God has given you."

I went out and bought a Gretsch Tennessee Rose guitar. Slung it over my shoulder. Slicked my grey hair back and got busy honing my greatest musical passion and strength.


The Holy Rocka Rollaz were born.

The dream slapped me on the back and said, "Go son! I'm watching you."

  • Leave a comment: