#001: Regie Hamm

Updated: Jul 3

"If you are being authentically yourself, you're giving us something we need." - Regie Hamm What would you do if a lifetime of dreams came true only to be taken away in a matter of moments? That's what happened to Regie Hamm (Facebook, Patreon). 


From being a child performer to being signed to the largest record label in the world. With over four hundred songs recorded, twenty-one number one hits, he’s been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, written five books, three of which have been adopted to screenplays and his blog is read by thousands of people globally. 


From performing on stage at age five, getting trapped in a ring with a bull after a show, dropping out of college to chase his dreams, in this episode Regie talks about his rise to the top and the realization that none of us are in control of anything, especially when outside forces are introduced into our lives. 


Regie talks about how a baby girl with one of rarest conditions on earth taught him that none of us are less than, every single person matters and by being our true authentic self, we can change the world.


Regie is a strong advocate for adoption as well as an ambassador for the Angelman Syndrome community.

Regie Hamm

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Transcribed Episode


Speaker 1:0:00

You're listening to the groove with Devin Pense.

Speaker 2:0:05

You have to take risks that will be disappointments and failures and disasters as a result of taking these risks. This task was acquainted to you and if you do not find a way, no great moments are born, great opportunity and that's what you have here in the end. That's all we really are. I just stories. Stories are what our lives are made up, stories, how we remember people and stories make us feel a little less alone in the world.

Devin Pense:0:42

Hello everyone. This is Devin Pense and welcome to the groove podcast where I interview people who've experienced great loss or failure and the pivotal moments that changed the course of history in their lives. My guest on the show today is Regie Hamm. Regie literally grew up in the music business and as an accomplished musician, songwriter, artist, author, and blogger. He's had over 400 songs recorded with 21 number one heads. He's been nominated for multiple Grammys, written five books, three of which have been adopted into screenplays and his blog is read by thousands of people globally. He's a strong advocate for adoption as well as an ambassador for the Angelman Syndrome community and his foundation. The angel wings foundation is dedicated to helping with day to day issues surrounding people with disabilities and their caregivers. You can find him on Facebook at Reggie ham. That's one G and two M's. You can also check out and join his patrion page @wwwdotpatrion.com slash blah blah blogger. I'm honored to have him as the first guest on the groove podcast. And without further ado, Regie Hamm. Welcome to The Groove Podcast.

Regie Hamm:1:59

Dude. Thank you. It's such an honor to be the first guest. Uh, well there was only one first guest and it, you know, it had to be you so well, if it hadn't been me, I would have been, you know, I would have been upset with you dad. We've been friends a long time.

Speaker 1:2:13

Yeah. So in full disclosure, uh, I think we have to let everyone know how long we've known each other. What's it been like? Well, we've known each other since we were 18, so since we were 18. And so that's a full 10 years, 10 years. That's a long time. My friend. That is a long time, 10 years plus a few more decades. So, uh, yeah, in all seriousness, man, you know, a Regie has been like a brother to me all my life and uh, honored to have you on the show and more, more than anything else, uh, you have such an amazing story and I want to share that with, uh, the two people who are listening, right?

Speaker 1:2:54

Which would probably be my mom and your mom, but, but either, you know, let's do it for the moms. Give it for the moms. That's right. There are a lot of different places that we could start on your storyline, but I thought we could start fairly early because you were introduced to music at a very young age. Um, can you talk about that a little bit? Yeah, so, so my dad was, uh, it really kind of Springs from my dad. My dad had this very strange upbringing, uh, where he was essentially given to a traveling evangelist when he was 10. And so he's, he's been doing this, you know, his whole life. It's kind of all he really knows. And so by the time I, when I was born, when he was 20 and by the time he was 24, 25, he had a full time, you know, worldwide traveling ministry and we know with a full band and all that.

Speaker 1:3:43

And I was sort of like the understood I started playing. I don't even know, honestly, Devin, when I started playing music, I, people ask me, you know, when did you start? I was like, I don't know, because I just couldn't, I just could always play something, you know, like you just always there. Yeah. It was always there. You had to pick something up and play it, you know? So I, I think I was around five, you know, when I, when I really started playing and I was the understudy for the drummer in the band. Uh, and then when I was 10 I became the full time drummer. Dude, wait a second. Pause right there. You, when you are 10 years old, you overthrew a grown man. The whole armor, the, the nature of it changed. And it was, it was then the ham family. It wasn't the, it had been like the world challenge singers, which with other singers and everything.

Speaker 1:4:32

And so that all kind of blew up and he uh, you know, he sort of lost everything and everybody kind of left and, and so it, it went right. But he just kind of pulled everything back to the core where it was him and my mom and I play drums and w we, we sat in a music store. I, I do, this is the honest truth that we sit in a music store in Kansas City and taught my brother who was eight years old, taught him how to play two songs on the base and we let one smoke on the water.

Speaker 1:5:04

It should've been, it should've been. But we taught him two songs on the base and in the music store. We left the music store with that base and drove down to Denver and did our first gig as the ham family. And we did those two songs every night before my dad preached. And uh, and that was the beginning of it. And then we, we made a record I think the next year and then we learned a bunch of songs and you know, and w we were, and for the next, uh, so from the time I was 10 until I was 16, I was traveling with the family manned and as the drummer and then kind of at, when my voice changed, I kind of became the lead singer sort of. So, um, you know, and that is, I mean, we were joking earlier about it. That's a long time.

Speaker 1:5:45

I mean, 10 to 16, six years. Yeah, that's a long time and a lot of formidable, you know, timing. You're in a formal time of your life. Oh my, my woman, you know. So you see a lot of stuff, a stage I'll tell ya, you know, there's, you just see a lot of stuff on the stage. When did you guys stop? I mean, when was sort of the quote unquote show over and you, you moved on to, you know, was there any kind of regular life after that? Well lenient? Lenny's, my brother ma, uh, we, we had started bands of our own, you know, on the side and a dude. Yeah, I've got a newspaper clipping of it in my office. Uh, our last show as a family was in, uh, at a bull auction in South Dakota out in the middle of nowhere. This is not even a town, it's just a, there was just a Quonset hut out in the middle of nowhere.

Speaker 1:6:33

And, um, we set out, uh, they, they put a piece of plywood out in the middle of the ring and gave us one plug. And that was our stage and we played this show. Uh, and, and, and we were done. I was the last person that I was always the last guy out because I carried the, the monitor mixer and that was the last thing to go in our, you know, strike the way we stripped, struck the stage. And, um, so I was the last guy out and I slipped and fell. I'm laying in the middle of the bull ring and they bring the first bull out. So I had to like get up. Tell me you didn't have red or yet or yellow on or something? No, but the, but the, but for like three to five or seconds or whatever, you know, I'm in the, I'm in the ring with the bull and I'm scrambling to get out, you know, and it's kinda like looking at me like, you know, it's getting rid of the charge or whatever.

Speaker 1:7:23

And then I, and then I walk outside of the Quonset and it's just pouring rain and I've got mud and you know, you can imagine what else on me. And, and I just, I, I threw the monitor mixer in the trailer and I jumped in the van and I'm like, and I'll never forget it. I just said, dad, I'm done with this. I don't want to do this anymore. And well, that was our, that was our last gig as a, as a family. And so, you know what, that there's two things, you know, a little did you know that was a foreshadowing of the rest of your life? Probably. Second of all, if you have that clip, if you do have that clip, I will definitely put it in the show notes. Uh, I think people would love to see that picture. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:8:06

So, so after that point you were like, this is it. I mean, what happened after that? I had really gotten into songwriting. Um, I, I'd started writing songs for the bands that leaning up, we're putting together. And so that's really the way. How old were you at this? At this time? I was 15, 16 and I had started writing songs when I was, uh, I don't know, 11 or 12. And so we, you know, I'd been really, really kind of focused on that and wanted to do that. And, and, and it started moving kind of to the piano and my, my mother's a great piano player, so I was never going to like be the piano player. I was always going to be the drummer, but I that that was never going to dethrone your mother, but you can't know. Mom's always mom's got the throne.

Speaker 1:8:45

But, um, but I really, I really kind of was focused more on, on songwriting than anything else. And so I would, I would go, um, uh, I'd come home from school every day and my last couple of years of high school, I'd come home from school, uh, you know, get a snack, finish my homework, whatever. And then I would go up to the church that I had a key to a bar to the our church. And I would go and just write songs all night. I would just sit there at the piano and come up. But we had a little two track TEAC recorder and I would record tracks, you know, and there wasn't really, it was South Dakota is where we were living. There wasn't really anything to do. Yeah. You know, in this little town, so. Right. So I was just a, a really kind of honed as well as you can hone a craft on your own, you know, and I did it best I could. And uh, I graduated at 18 and went to this little college where you and I met. I went for one year and um, I don't, Deb, you didn't really go, did you, you didn't really ever enroll,

Speaker 4:9:53

you know, you know what, I actually that's, that's funny you say that. I think I did enroll. Okay. The reason I remember that it was, I enrolled in I S I a I was living at home cause we, you know, I wasn't living on campus or anything. Um, but I, I ended up getting a free meal plan, you know, I would always come to like that, that cafeteria with, I don't know why. Like I thought that was something great, you know, like the best part of that education right there. That was, I think at that school, that meal plan was like 50 grand or something like that. You know, are you still, you're still paying that off, right? 30 years later, I'm still putting that off. Everything else. You know, you go to biology class and your next thing you know, you're in a prayer line, you're trying to heal for something, you know, um, you know what, I, I made it a year and about a year and F at a fourth of a semester before I was like, okay, that's enough for me, you know, um, this is not college. This is like some kind of, but you know, whatever. I don't want to, you know,

Speaker 1:10:59

Google, it was a junior college. I mean there was probably what, 400 kids and maybe that many,

Speaker 4:11:05

maybe, maybe, I don't know. I don't even know if they're, I don't even remember if they were no intention

Speaker 1:11:09

of actually go into college to that college. I went to Nashville and was, um, I was bagging groceries. I was, uh, working at Sam's. I was doing all kinds of, you know, just odd jobs. And then, uh, one of our mutual friends kind of talked me into going. Galen bell kind of talked me into going and, and I went and signed up for a semester and just kind of, and then I got into it and I was there for a year and we're, I carried a solid 2.0 grade point average and in chapel. And by the time I left, I was on probation. Uh, I was supposed to be a, I was supposed to be, um, uh, I was supposed to be in my dorm the whole time. I was like confined my dorm, which I never agreed to. Uh, I was lost. I was, I was like, guys, I paid to be here. I'm, I've got my own car. I don't know. Wait, what are you, you know, I'm a full grown man. Can find mate. If there was, there's that gate, there's that gate with the guard out front. We, you still, like, we used to like get in someone's trunk and you know, somebody would sat out for the night and there'd be like two people in the trunk and you know,

Speaker 4:12:19

so my best friend, uh, I don't remember Jack, but we found, yeah, we found a secret path out behind one trail where he would like hop a fence and be in another neighborhood and I'll just always pick them up out in that neighborhood, you know. Um, but

Speaker 1:12:33

yeah, so I, uh, I, so I left that year, I just kind of, uh, I was like, nah, I'm not, I'm not coming back at it. And that was it. That was the end of my college career. I came to Nashville, started working in studios, started writing songs with people. And that's really when, uh, life kind of kicked in. That's the one that really sort of the reality of, of whatever it is you want to be, you know, that's when it kinda kicked in for me. And, um, uh, you get, you get down on music row where people are, you know, feeding their kids with songs and they're feeding their kids with, with, uh, the instrument they play. And you, you get, you realize really quick how good people can get at something. And, um, and, and you just jumped right in. And I jumped, I jumped right into it.

Speaker 1:13:20

I started waiting tables and then writing songs, you know, when I could and you know, in between the cracks in the schedule. And, um, and that went on from like, you know, uh, gosh, I was 20. I was, I was 18 when I came to Nashville. I w I went to, I went to move back in with my parents for about 10 months. Uh, then came back to Nashville and came back to Nashville. I guess I was 22 when I came back and I just went, you know, all, all, all in and just pushed all the chips in the middle of the table and, and just no backup plan, no plan B. Just went for it. And had my first, uh, chart song when I was 23 with, uh, a group called the Imperials and, uh, Oh yeah, man, it was, it was, Hey, you know, they, it was not in their heyday, it was kind of on their downturn, but still it's a pretty, you know, it was a pretty prestigious cut to get and they released the song as a single and w I think it went to number seven or something like that.

Speaker 1:14:18

And so I had a little, a little bit of credit, you know, and um, yeah, yeah. To, to get a publishing deal, um, with the uh, kind of a young hot publishing company on music row and um, wrote a song called I surrender all that we'd written from [inaudible], from Michael English. And then Michael English had some issues and, but there was this new guy coming up called Clayton named clay cross, and he was signed to the management company that was attached to the publishing company I was to, they

Speaker 5:14:52

brought us, render all to him and, and [inaudible] and all the planets lined up. And that was the first taste I ever got of like, Oh, when, when, when everything is, is kind of lined up, this is what happens and you get high, you know, just high, high, high level talent on, on every level. Uh, you know, the track and the production in the, in, you know, the mix and blah, blah, blah. And, uh, and, and then so the became a number one song and, and it was not just the number one song, but it was kind of an impact song. You know what I mean? It was like a, it was like, yeah, it was a big impacts on heat. He just sang the crud out of it. And, um, he did and that, and that kind of put me on, you know, I sorta was in a roller coaster. And so, and then I had a, you know, after that I had about six months later, I had a song that was on a point of grace record that went to number one. And then, uh, and then it just kinda kept rolling. And so I had a number one song in contemporary Christian music, uh, from not from March, 1994 until about 2002. I had a number one song every six months for seven years. So you were literally in the a

Speaker 4:16:09

Le a list level in the CCM world. You were riding the wave when, when you were, when you were young. If you've ever go to Reggie's house, it's just you have to wear sunglasses because it's, there's just so much gold and platinum on the laws. I am not hitting these guys. I don't want to hurt your eyes. Uh, yeah. I mean, I, I don't know if you know this, I'm actually blind in my left eye cause I've done your house so many times. The office man, that's just from being in the office just from the office. Uh, and I'm not even joking folks. Truth of the matter is you had a, a tremendous amount of success,

Speaker 5:16:45

20 number one songs, uh, over a period of, you know, seven or eight years. Um, it was, it was an a, and then I started producing records, although that really, you know, that wasn't what I wanted to do, wasn't what I wanted to be. I want, I really wanted to be an artist. And I got to this point around 1999, 2000 where I was just honestly, man, I was just kinda getting sick of it. And I, and I just, I wanted to write songs. I don't know how to say this properly, but I'm just going to say it. I didn't want to just talk about Jesus every day in every song. There were other things I wanted to talk about. You know, I wanted to talk about life. I wanted to talk about love, I wanted to talk about, you know, whimsical stuff, you know, things that just, just, I wanted to just stretch out as a songwriter and there wasn't really any way to do that unless I did it as an artist. And so I took, do you think that was always sort of an embedded

Speaker 4:17:50

yeah,

Speaker 5:17:50

yeah. 100%. Yeah. Yeah. I mean that, I mean, I really came to Nashville, honestly, I came with a band and we, we, you know, so we wanted to, we wanted to get signed and, and that was really my, my goal and the band broke up and you know, so I ended up writing for other people, but I, the other thing I did is I gave myself permission every year to write one song exactly the way I wanted to write it. I didn't even want it to get recorded. I just, I just, I want to write a song, nobody will record, but, but I think it's the best song I can write this year. And I had 13 at 13 and 14 of those and I put them all on one record and spent 70 grand of my own money making this record and mixing it and remix in it and just tweaking it and doing all that. You know, I had all these eight people working on it, so it was costing me a fortune. But when I finally got it finished, um, it, it, it got, it got picked up by a universal records and you were actually instrumental in getting management for me. You took it to, to steward deal and, and uh, they, they pick me up as an artist, uh, you know, from a management standpoint. And, uh,

Speaker 4:19:03

I'll never forget it. We were, I came out to see where we at dark horse where the castle or the at the little room. At doors. Yeah, of course. Yeah. Yeah. I'll never forget just coming out for a day or two. And when I heard what was coming out, I was, you know, best friends, no friends, if I knew you or I didn't know you, you know. And by that, by that time I, I, I was in the country side, right? The business on the video side. And I was working with a lot of, you know, famous people as well. But what I heard coming out of that space, dude, and it's still today and, and it's funny because you know, Reginald Reggie and I'll still text each other like couple of golden girls every night. You know, but, and, and, and some of your stuff from, from that album, American dreams, which we'll talk about in a second, still pops up on my playlist and I, dude, it takes me to a place where, and it's not just a place of nostalgia of like, Oh man, remember back then it takes me to a place and like now, like it's still, and I tell you a lot, you know, I've told you this before and I'll, you know, I'll, I'll say it again.

Speaker 4:20:15

That record is so still is so relevant. Even still today. It just, it just baffles my mind those side.

Speaker 5:20:23

And I will say this, you know, you've said that this podcast is about me. Let me tell you this, the thing, the thing that, the reason you and I are still best friends today and one of the reasons that we became best friends immediately on that tennis court all those years ago, um, is because we, we shared this a desire to be the best at something. And so your is

Speaker 1:20:48

really similar to mine in a lot of ways. I mean, you came to Nashville, you started working with a level talent. You, you know, we, it's, it's very interesting. We, we both kinda came up in this from this sort of, uh, you know, kind of like impoverished place. You know, we weren't, we weren't impoverished, but you know what I mean, like sort of like, like artistically impoverished place. We were emotionally, emotionally, and, and we, and we both, we both kind of traveled this path of, no, I'm not settling for that. I'm not settling for this. I'm not settling for that. We're going to go to the next level. And you always had that. And I always had that and we both shared that, you know, and, and so we find ourselves, you know, I'm in the music part of it, you're in the video part of it, but we're both working at very high levels and, and with, with, you know, the top shelf people in our profession. And, uh, so you know, that that's something that that's kept us, I don't know, I think it's kept us friends because we both won't, you know, we both literally look at you, you know, we won't settle for subpar. It just like good enough isn't good enough. And it's, if it's not a certain, at a certain level, we just simply won't do it. And that's something I've always respected about you. And I think we see that in each other, you know?

Speaker 4:22:11

Well, I appreciate that. And I, I don't, sometimes I often reflect back and I don't know quite where to place that, but somewhere down the line, I always, I always knew there was absolutely no, and I, and I think that, and I, and I still feel that way today, like a, you know, even though, you know, we've done a lot of things and which we'll get to in a second, especially on your side of things, but there's always something more. But also I'll say this, which I want to talk about in a little bit as well as sometimes I wonder, is there more, you know, is there a point where you're kinda like, okay, I, you know, I've run the race. Right. You know? Um, but anyways, so I want to get back to this American dreams things and dream thing, which that was the name of the record, right. James, uh, can, can you talk about some of those just, just briefly kind of roll through some of that?

Speaker 1:23:07

Yeah. So, so what happened was I started tacking some of the songs on to, uh, sessions that I was doing. So the first, I think the first song we recorded for that record was a song called Shelby street bridge. Uh, no, no, I'm sorry. When shows your video, it was actually the first song on the record was a song called all right. And I sat down and played this little riff for the guitar player and he goes, Oh, yeah, yeah, I got it. I got it. I still love it. Let's just kind of like put a little guide track down, no click, nothing. I just, I went to the drums, uh, David Cleveland play the guitar and we, we put it down. Uh, Chris Kant, who's no longer with us, played this amazing bass track, like right off the top, you know, it was one of those things where you're like, Oh my gosh, I wish

Speaker 5:23:46

this was a real take because, you know, I mean, it came together, I promise you in like 20 minutes. And by the time it was done, I'm listening back going, man, I think this is a track. I think this actually works. You know,

Speaker 4:23:59

man, I've got to give everyone a taste. What you just described, check out this intro to it's all right.

Speaker 6:24:29

[inaudible]

Speaker 5:24:29

yeah, man. That's what I'm talking about. That was it. And that kind of started the ball rolling. And then I tacked on a few more attacked on Shelby street bridge. I tacked on a song called Yolanda's fine. Uh, the two existing sessions, by the way, how you won is fine. Trust me. She Yolanda's fine. Uh, I got sick of telling people that. So I wrote, this is Reggie's wife by the way. Yeah. My wife's got her own store. Trust me, she's her own podcast. Um, she's got a, yeah, she's a, she's a dual podcast person. Um, so wrote a song. So, so there were like three or four songs I had in the hopper. And then finally I went, you know what, this is a record. And so that's when I, I locked out dark horse for a week, booked the band, uh, went to Yolanda and said, Hey, you see all this money in the checking account.

Speaker 5:25:16

I'm getting ready to just burn it all. And she was like, [inaudible] and I'll never forget what she said to me. She said, and this was Burt. She said, we don't have children. If you're ever gonna do this, this is the time. So, uh, God lover, you know, like she knew, you know, so, so went in and I recorded I think twice, I think we cut like 11 tracks, 10 tracks or something. And, and by the time we were on the third track, I knew, man, we're making something special. I'm in the piano room and [inaudible] dark, dark horses, a great studio in Nashville. And, and so the piano room is like, you've got these glass, these big glass walls, and you're looking out at horses just grazing next to you. Yeah. And I remember just sitting there going, you know, playing this music that w w had been hearing in my head for a couple of years, you know, going this, this is it. It's just like I finally, this is what I've been trying to find my whole life. This is it. You know?

Speaker 4:26:14

So I've got to play another clip based on what you were just describing. This is a track called flying and one of my all time favorite songs. But you can just imagine Raj in this piano booth surrounded by nature making the art that he loves.

Speaker 6:26:46

[inaudible] [inaudible]

Speaker 7:26:47

I remember as a young man

Speaker 6:26:55

[inaudible]

Speaker 7:26:56

I remember [inaudible]

Speaker 6:27:04

[inaudible]

Speaker 7:27:04

for the new July

Speaker 6:27:08

[inaudible]

Speaker 7:27:10

that by [inaudible] in the sky fly

Speaker 6:27:22

[inaudible]

Speaker 4:27:22

we all were just blowing through life. We're doing our thing, we're trying to quote unquote do what we do. And sometimes we're doing it. And I know I'm guilty of this and I and I, it's something that I'm working on, but it's like when you're really doing it and you can stop and realize in the moment, wait a second, this, this is it, this is this moment, this is this moment that I've been waiting on. And when you can recognize that, I don't think there's any greater feeling in the world because you can always reflect back on it like we're doing now. You can always dream about it, but there's something special about being in that moment.

Speaker 5:28:06

Well, time, I believe this, in my early life I learned how to play an instrument, you know what I mean? Just the basics of playing an instrument. And then I learned how to do that on a stage and, and move a crowd and what works and what doesn't work in front of a crowd. Okay, so these are, these are like kind of craft things you'll learn. And then I started working in the studio and learned, okay, you can do this and you can't do that, whatever in the studio. And then I worked, you know, as a songwriter, fulltime songwriter and producer for a full 10 12 years. And so I have all of these, I guess, chops you would call it, you know, or, or just this craft, this knowledge. And then you break through to this other side where you take all of that knowledge and all of that experience and all of that ability and all of the stuff you've learned.

Speaker 5:28:54

And then you start wielding it, you know, and then you start going, I want to go here, I want to go there. And you can, you know, it's, it's not just something that's in your head that you can't get to. It's like, you know, how to get there. And that's what happened really with American dreams. It was like, it was like all of the, everything I'd known and, and learned and, and, and, you know, since I was five years old, I was able to apply, you know, and that record, man, it got picked up by the biggest record label in the world. You know, I was, I was booked by, you know, the largest booking agency in the world. I mean it went to the top, you know, it went to the top of the, of the stack. And I had a single that went out and, and was blowing up and it was in the top 15, um, before I signed my record deal, you know, I mean, um,

Speaker 4:29:46

that was surreal. That was a real moment because I'll never forget the time, cause I think you, you'd called me or we had, we had gone to lunch or something and said that, uh, you know, if you were going to be on a highly syndicated show and you're S, you know, they were going to play your single, and it was Delilah. I think we say that. And, and when that song came on, you know, I felt like, you know, it's like, Oh my gosh, like it was just like, I was so thrilled and I couldn't even believe it. Uh, and that was like a burner man. I mean that, that thing, just like, it was just,

Speaker 5:30:22

yeah, it was the most, it's to this day a and Delilah is a friend of mine and, and you know, we've, we've remained friends all these years, but to this day, the most requested song in the history of her show and, and tell everybody that is a song's called babies. And it was the last song I put on the record. It was, it was a kind of a novelty song. I didn't even really do it in my sets, but people would request it, friends of mine would come to shows and request it. And so I would do this song. And so behind the scenes, my wife and I could not have children, which was a pretty ironic, you know, I've got this song called babies. I'm dreaming about babies and I'm talking about babies and, uh, you know, people are, I'm, I'm a, I'm starting to be on these dads shows and I don't have any kids, you know, and uh, and yeah, and so, but we had applied to go to China to adopt, um, you know, 18 months earlier than that.

Speaker 5:31:21

When the record came out, well nine 11 happened and things got pushed back and things got weird. And you know, international travel got weird for a while, et cetera, et cetera. And so we weren't even sure that it was going to happen. We went to Las Vegas just to mess around, just to hang out. That was back in the days when we could do that. You know, we had extra money to throw around. You remember those days you went, you went with us once or twice. And um, so my wife and I go to Vegas and I'm in the McCarran airport. We're about to board our plane and her phone rings and we have a baby waiting on us in China.

Speaker 4:32:03

Okay. So I just want to put this into a little bit of perspective before you go any further, I just want to emphasize what was about to happen in your life. Talk about the tour and the things that were actually going on at the same time that you just got [inaudible]

Speaker 5:32:20

Oh yeah, I was booked on the Cher farewell tour. Uh, and I always joke in, in shows, this is like three farewell tours ago, but it's actually true. I was doing a show in Vegas a couple of years ago and she literally was on her third farewell tour across the street from where I was blind. You know what I mean? God love her. I think there's actually like six shares, you know what I mean? I think they're animatronic at this point. And I think they are all over that. Yeah, I agree. But, uh, there's no doubt that that is not. So I was on that tour, uh, they wanted me to do like seven dates in Texas with Willie Nelson, which was amazing. Uh, and then I was gonna also do about, I think I was doing six dates with the Dixie chicks. This is like pre record burning Dixie chicks.

Speaker 5:33:08

Um, yeah, that wasn't a, no, no, not in Texas. So, so I was, you know, I had this summer like lined up, you know, and then, and then at my listening party, my RA, what responsible agent, uh, at William Morris comes up to me. He goes, Hey, uh, I just wanna let you know, uh, your tour you do at five weeks in Europe with the goo goo dolls when you get home. And, um, he said, get home, get a nanny, get your vote, get your voice in shape, cause you're going to need it cause you're gonna be doing, uh, you know, night after night for five weeks in front of the, in front of the goo goo dolls. So, so this was all it was. It was absolutely for real, you know, and, uh, so I left that energy, you know, that white hot energy and guide on a plane with my wife and went to China and adopted a little girl. And, uh, and at that moment, you know, a week, one week from that day, they handed us a little girl with one of the rarest genetic disorders on planet earth. And, uh, it changed literally everything in my life. And this, the thing that she has, does it present until it's about, until someone's about 10 months old. Well, we got her at eight months. So there was no way to tell her that she had so [inaudible]

Speaker 4:34:27

well and to, and to reflect on that just a little bit, there was a lot going on at that time. Um, that was back during the SAR sketch. Right. And if I remember correctly, you were really sick, I think, you know, when you, you were headed over there, right? And you had a little bit, you were like, do I, you know, do I have this? We

Speaker 5:34:47

landed in, in, in, uh, Beijing and I get off the plane and start coughing immediately. And uh, you know, from that moment, Oh and I coughed from the minute we walked off the plane in Beijing till we got back on the plane. Three weeks later I had this job. You guys were, there were three weeks. Yeah. I had this horrible cough and I would call the world health organization. Every time I was supposed to get on a plane, I would call the world health organization and say, Hey, I've got this horrible cough. Should I fly? And they would say to me, under no circumstances are you to get on a plane. And I would, I would say thank you and hang up and go get on a plane, you know? So, um, I did this for three weeks. You know, we were in Beijing, we were in Guang Jo, we were in Nanshan.

Speaker 5:35:36

We were literally all over China and I was wearing a mask and it just was very dramatic. And, um, the second week we were there, we went to Nanchong. We, we, we got our daughter, uh, who had a horrible fever. She, she'd gotten like seven or eight immunizations the same day. Um, she was just sick. I was sick. And, uh, that's when we really bonded, you know, that's when we kind of became buddies and it was like we were in the trenches together, you know. So we went, we were at the Haas, the Chinese hospital, the one they don't, they don't want Americans to see. We were there a couple times and they gave her scalp IVs and uh, a woman tried to give me her son to take back to America, very dramatic stuff. And I'm coughing all over the place. I think they're going to quarantine me.

Speaker 5:36:27

And the, the translator keeps telling me, don't, don't let yourself get quarantine. Because if you, if they quarantine you, they'll put you in a room with people who have SARS and you'll get it. And so it was just this just three weeks of just like craziness, you know. How did you compartmentalize? I mean, did you just compartmentalize all that because you, you were in China, you had a whole other thing happening across the pond. Well, let me, let me tell you how I compartmentalize it. My wife is a tar, a tiger mom and my wife just kept saying, Hey, suck it up. Get on the plane. You know, let's go. Let's get on my wife. Yes, absolutely. Dude. Dude, you know, Yolanda, she's, she's tougher than any person I've ever met in my life. And so, uh, she, she was really the person who just kinda kicked our ass all the way to get the baby out at home.

Speaker 5:37:20

And we, you know, we had to go to 17 different agencies and, and, and say, yes, we're happy with our baby. Yes, we accept this baby. And man, we had no idea what we were getting into. You know, you got to keep in mind, these are the days before smart phones, you know, and a long distance call from China was still kind of a thing, you know? And so I, I think I made two calls. I called my dad once, talked to my brother once, I talked to my manager, literally three minutes, and it was all staticky and I couldn't tell what he was saying, but we land in, in LA. We, we spent the night in LA and then we get on a plane coming home to Nashville. We get off the plane and Nashville, there's like 50, 60 people waiting on us. It was a wonderful welcome home.

Speaker 5:38:07

Things are gonna get right. You know, and I'm on the way to our house. My manager called me and he said, Hey man, uh, get home. Get over your jet lag. Come into the office on Monday. We got some things to talk about and it didn't sound good, you know. And so, um, Monday morning I went down to my manager's office and he said, man, we, we, uh, we lost a single, I was like, wait, we'd lost it, you know, he said, yeah, it, it, what that, yeah, what does that mean? It did some bad testing in the Northeast in blah, blah, blah. And this didn't happen and that person didn't pick it up or whatever. And so we lost it. And, uh, so all of a sudden I've got this new mouth defeat and she's got some, some mysterious illness and now like, I don't have a hot single.

Speaker 5:38:52

Oh. And because you lost the single, you lost the share Turo and you've lost the goo goo dolls tour and you're not doing the Willie Nelson dates and you're not doing it, you know? And it was just this, this kind of snowball of, Oh my God, you know. So it was just a really weird turn of events. And I had been the toast of the town. And in March, by September, uh, they, the, the record labels sent me my release, uh, from the, from the label, via email. They didn't even call me. They just emailed me and said, you know, we're, we're done. So, you know, I found myself for the first time, really in a long time. I, I had been on an upward trajectory, um, for a long time. And for the first time in my life, my adult life, um, man, I didn't know what to do.

Speaker 5:39:47

You know, I, I, I had failed, you know, and I knew that I was good enough. You know, I had proved that I, I had the beat, the ability, but other forces, now we're, we're working, you know, and, and that's when, so, so, you know, I talked earlier about breaking through to that, to the T, to being an artist. So now I now have broken through into this world where, um, anything can affect you now. Now you're in this world where, okay, well, so what if you got talent? So what if you could make a great record? Now you realize, not even that, that's not even enough. You know, that's not even really what it's about. And so I spent really the next five years, um, I got a publishing deal, wrote, some are, I tried to write country music for, for a few years and it just didn't work.

Speaker 5:40:40

And I was, I was just off by little bit. I just wasn't right in the right songs at the right time. Um, and finally at the end of the, at the end of that, uh, stent, my publisher and I had this long heart to heart conversation on the phone. And she says to me something no one has ever said to me before, she says to me, man, you know, maybe you, maybe you've done all you're going to do. You know, maybe it's time to hang it up, you know, I mean, dude, that had to be, Oh my God, dude, I'm, I'm 39 years old and I'm, um, um, you know, somebody is telling me, maybe it's, maybe you've done it and been on that you've been on a stage since you were five since I was, I don't know how to do anything else, you know, and so, uh, I'm thinking, so that's it.

Speaker 5:41:28

You know, this is, this is it. And, um, so I find myself now downstairs on my computer for the first time in my adult life, um, I'm scrolling through FedEx, uh, applications and I'm looking at, you know, grocery store applications and I'm like, what can I do to make a living? Because I, I don't know what else to do now. And I'm almost 40, you know, like, like who, who's interested in a 40 year old washed up songwriter, you know? And I think honestly, man, I, I, I don't mean any other way to put it. I just started, I started thinking like that. I was like, man, I was just, I just got, I just got a bullet and there wasn't anything I could do about it, you know? And it had nothing to do with my talent and it had nothing to do with where I was and nothing to do with my timing.

Speaker 5:42:23

It was just our, or maybe it was everything to do with my timing. You know, I just, they, I went to a country with 1.6 billion people and they handed me a little girl with the rarest genetic disorder on earth. You know what I mean? I just got hit. I just got hit with a bullet, you know, and there wasn't anything I could do about it, you know. I mean, she's got, she's missing a piece of her 15th maternal chromosome. She can't, uh, she can't speak. She can't do anything really for herself. She can't bathe herself, feed herself, uh, clothe herself. She's, my daughter is now 16, almost 17, essentially operating on about a two year old level. Um, but the first four years of her life, she didn't sleep a lot. A lot of, uh, a lot of this disorder, uh, for the, for the first part of it is just a lot of lack of sleep.

Speaker 5:43:15

So every, everything, like your whole foundation has gone. And now, now with that, all of a sudden the music business starts taking this weird downturn because nobody's buying CDs anymore and now they're, they're pirating music. And so I'm out playing clubs and, um, um, I mean, dude, it's, it's getting down to the raw. I'll play on the street corner, you know, kinda thing. And, um, and now I'm getting back to way, way back to my roots. Like, Hey, I could set up in your living room and give you a good show, you know, you know, and uh, and so you start getting, it starts getting really real, man. Everything starts getting real, you know? And, uh, so you got, you got to a point where you're looking

Speaker 4:44:00

for jobs at FedEx and, and home

Speaker 5:44:04

[inaudible] percent

Speaker 4:44:05

and, and, and, and talk about that and, and, and what happened, you know, as that went along.

Speaker 5:44:12

Yeah. So I'm, I'm, I'm on the online trying to figure out what can I do, man? What, what is it I'm qualified to do? I don't, I, I, I, as I said earlier, I, I jettisoned the college thing. I don't have a degree. I'm not qualified to really do anything. And I'm filling out online applications. Can we move to Memphis? Could we move to st Louis? You know, all that stuff. And the American idol, uh, thing was on and my, my daughter was into it. She loved the bad singers. My wife was into it. And, uh, we all love the bad singers. Absolutely. And so, and they, they, they had for two years, just two years, they had, in 2007 to 2008, they had a songwriting competition that was in tandem with the show. In 2007, a good friend of mine, one named Scott, grew pain.

Speaker 5:45:01

It's the only reason I knew about it because he had one and my wife and I celebrated. I was like, Oh my gosh, I dunno what he won, but I'm happy for him, you know. And uh, the next year she, she says to me, I'm walking through the living room. She says to me, ah, dude, in, of course, you know, Yolanda, you know this. Yolanda calls me dude. She said, uh, dude, they're, they're having that con, that songwriting competition again. I want you to enter it. So I was like, really? You want, you want me to do that? She goes, yeah, absolutely. So I went down. Did you want to do that? I mean, no, I put up that I hadn't seriously, I had no thoughts of it. I was trying to get a job. I needed a job, man. You know what I mean? I, I needed to do something, but she wanted me to hear the song contest.

Speaker 5:45:42

So I did. So I went down to my office and I wrote this song that I thought, man, I, I don't know if any of these American idol kids are gonna want to sing this, but this is how I feel. I had this newly adopted son who's freaking amazing, you know, and he brought this new light into our life and I'm trying to write about, you know, all this stuff that's happened to me. And I thought, man, what if, what if this great adventure I've been looking for in my life has just been happening right here in my house? You know, and so I wrote this song called time of my life and turned it in with, you know, my $10 entry fee of 42,000 other entries. And I didn't think I was going to win the thing. You know, I, I'd never entered a song contest before and I've just never, I didn't, I didn't know anything about it, you know.

Speaker 5:46:32

So I entered this song contest and uh, and they contacted me, uh, within 24 hours and they said, look, you're in, you're already in the top 20. This is a great song. We, we, we already won it in the top 20s. I was like, okay. So then in the top 20 that, you know, they've got these blogs that talk about the songs and it was on the top 20 online contest for a month and you know, they got these blogs and so I went and read these blogs and nobody, zero people picked my song as the winner. They had, they had two or three other songs that were going to be the winner. They didn't even mention us. Nobody even mentioned my song. [inaudible]. So it was like, and so I was like, well, okay, well I've lost this one too, you know. So, um, I just went about my business, man. I just, I just kept looking for jobs and, uh, I wrote a couple of jingles that, you know, I had come my way and I was way more excited about those, you know, those jingles. I was making like five or 600 bucks for, and uh, then they called me one day and said, Hey man, you won this thing. And uh, I, I was dumbfounded, you know, and so, so I won the contest, went out to LA, went to the American idol finale.

Speaker 4:47:47

Now keep in mind, I just want to remind everybody at this point in time, because American idols waned a little bit. I mean, maybe a lot, this is, this was in the ha kinda in the hay days,

Speaker 5:47:59

the biggest season to date that they've ever had season seven. So the finale was, I'll just to give you an a, just to give you a, a taste of what it was. Second only to the Superbowl that year in viewership favorite that David arch Aletta but David Cook wins that year. But this show went long and so DVRs were cutting off and, and there were two Davids. So Ryan Ryan secret says a new American idol is David boom DVRs cutoff. So millions of people were going to iTunes to find out which David won and so that they would go to and they would see the David Cook one and then they would listen to the song and they would download it. So it's the only song in history to crash the iTunes server. Um, there were 200 and 236,000 downloads of it in four days, uh, which is a record. And then they took it to radio, which it was not in the contract.

Speaker 5:49:02

That's not something they said they would do, but they, they had so many downloads, they were like, well, let's take this to radio. They take it to radio. And in two weeks it was in the top 10, in four on four different formats and it went to number one and three different formats. And then on the, on the AC, uh, on the, on the dull contemporary charts, billboard at Oak Ridge charts, it stayed there for 16 weeks, which is a record which what, uh, broke the record room. I will always love you. It, it beat that by one week.

Speaker 4:49:34

So after you wrote the song, you know, this thing blew up and talk about, cause I remember this, you guys were planning, you know, and your original plan to go back to Beijing right before you knew Bella had, you know, this rare disease that you were going to celebrate. Talk about that a little.

Speaker 5:49:52

Yeah. So we, we, we spent a week in Beijing before we went to Nanchong to get Bella. Isabella is my daughter. Um, and we got, we, we were like walking. My wife and I are walking down the street. We get these, we run into this little street vendor who's selling, uh, Beijing 2008 Olympic games paraphernalia. And we got these kitschy little hats that said Beijing 2008 Olympic games. And I was like, Oh man, I didn't know that Beijing, you know, got the bid for the games. And so we get back on the bus and we're with eight or nine families and I've got like, I've got a video of this. And, and we had all found out that Beijing had gotten the, the Brit bid for the games. And so we decided that we would all come back for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games and bring our daughters, they would all be six and we would, you know, like reintroduce them to the land of their birth and we would, you know, come and visit China again, et cetera, et cetera.

Speaker 5:50:54

Well, our daughter, you know, has Angelman syndrome. Our daughter is missing a, a piece of a chromosome. Our daughter couldn't make that trip. Uh, we lost, we lost all our money. But on the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year, eight, eight, eight, uh, of the new millennium, they closed the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic games too. That song I had written in my basement that it was about my daughter. They closed that, that opening ceremonies to Tom of my life. David Cook, Bob Costas says for all of us here at NBC, good night. And then the strum happens and they do this entire montage, a time of my life. And they used the song seven more times. Every time Michael Phelps won a gold medal, they used the song, which was like 50 times, and he broke a record for the number of metals that year. So he said he wants seven metals.

Speaker 5:52:00

And then when Oprah did her, you know, year end review thing, she did a whole Bay in America, one more metals that year than they had ever won. So Oprah did a thing and then she said the official theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games here to sing the official theme song is David Cook. And David shows up in, sings my song on the Oprah show. Uh, you know, uh, that was the official theme song. And I know you know this because you work with Oprah for a couple of years. When Oprah says something, they, they, they, they put it on stone somewhere, right? They, they chisel it in stone. It's all right. Yeah. It's always chisel on the side. So, uh, and then, uh, I wrote a blog about the story and the backstory and all this and it went viral and, and it had all, you know, millions of reads and I'm getting the emails from African, Singapore. And then I get a, I get a phone call from, uh, a book publisher and they're there and they were like, man, we think this is a book. And so I thought, man, you know, I've always wanted to write a book. So I wrote three chapters. I sent it to the publisher and they were like, man, if this rest of the book is this, this is what we want. So I wrote this book and it came out in 2010. And, uh, and I remember they wanted you to a companion CD

Speaker 4:53:26

as well. Had you been riding or been in the studio while you were riding?

Speaker 1:53:30

Yeah, I'd been recording masters here and there. I probably, I think I probably had six or seven things already recorded, but a, they said, yeah, we wanna we want to have a companion disc. So this would've been my, you know, so I was going to go in and do my second, uh, CD. And you were going through a real big life transition that summer. Um, you know, your, your, your family situation was changing and you were getting ready to relocate to the coast. And, and I don't want to drop too many names, but you were getting ready to go work for, uh, uh, ms Oprah Winfrey and uh, yeah, you, by the way, you described that was so eloquent. I try to be a, I'm trying to be delicate here. Yeah.

Speaker 4:54:13

Now that, you know, it was, it was, it was interesting towards divorce on a podcast we can say, or the capital D. um, and it was a big transitional period of my life and I'll never forget it because, you know, you'd called me up and was like, Hey man, can you, you know, take some, some stills. And I had taken up still photography, I don't know, a few years before that just doesn't outlet. And uh, I'm like, of course, of course. Yeah. I mean let's, you know, let's, let's do it. And I can remember we were on the phone talking about it and we're talking about different ideas cause you know, literally it was just, I was about to leave and my son, my young, my youngest son, um, Casey was actually um, going to drive out to California with me. Right. And literally the day before is when we did your, this photo shoot. And we were just talking about different things. And at one point in time we're just throwing out crazy stuff. And at one point, I don't remember if it was you or me cause we were talking about, we were sitting in the car, I'll never forget,

Speaker 1:55:14

get it in us, in us admit, Oh I want to do something that's a little different kind of out of the box. You know, what, what, what would you, you know, what would you do in this situation? And I, dude, you just said, dude, we got to burn a piano. That's kind of my mindset at the mine at the moment. Half joking. And then it was like, wait a second, you're like, yeah, man, I was in. And the minute you said, I was like, Oh yeah, we're doing that.

Speaker 4:55:39

And, and like you got on Craigslist and, and literally found a piano for, what was that? Like 10 bucks?

Speaker 1:55:45

Well, we've got a 100 bucks for 100 bucks. And it was a friend of mine, dude, I got a guy I knew who, who. That's right. That's right. Uh, we went over there. We went, we took my truck over there and it was in, it had, you know, they had one of those iron, uh, soundboards. It was an upright, but it had an iron soundboard and it, we could not lift it. Remember that thing was that. So we, uh, we, we deconstructed that thing in his garage, just kind of sat there and looked at like, what do we do here? And at some point, uh, you know, I think you're like walking around, you know, getting, getting a vision for the shots and you're like, you know what, we don't even need the back. And, and he, he went and got his saws on and we just cut the back out of it. And so we just had, you know, the keys in the, in the, in the S in the shell basically. And it was pretty light that you and I could pick that up and, yeah,

Speaker 4:56:39

and I, I don't, I don't know what the, the poor guy did with that [inaudible] lead that we left in his garage, but I'll never forget. We got that thing loaded up and me and Casey were driving and you know, you were beside us with this like big, you know, sought up piano and we'd done some other shots. Um, but I think the topic we were kinda like, okay, so what are we going to do with it? What I know what we can do, let's put it on a train track, an active train track. You think we need to, you think we need a, a permit for this permit? [inaudible] permit now man, this, this'll be quick. This will be quick. So we lifted that thing and we sat it on this, on the train tracks and I'll never forget man, as soon as we got it set, all of a sudden the ground kind of rumbled.

Speaker 4:57:29

And I've never seen three guys get a piano off of the train tracks so fast, man. We yanked that thing off at the train track. It was crazy. So, um, and anyway, we got some great shots there. And by the way, I'll put some, I'll put some of those shots in the show notes. Yeah. And then like that night you, you know, when you're buddies, he had a farm and you know, we just want to burn this thing like, Oh man, this is going to be great. You know, we'll burn, burn a piano unless you'd be great. And I'll never forget we get out there and kinda get set up. And, and we had no, I mean, we were just doing this like, you know, straight from the hip and we just got some lighter fluid and I don't remember what else. It almost would've been flames. My brother. Yeah. I actually, I think we had some gas too, didn't we? I think

Speaker 1:58:21

that was at, there was a little gasoline involved and that's really when it, when it kinda got out of hand. Yeah. That was, that was intense man. And working around those flames was intense and you know, they're like lapping at my hands, you know, I'm trying to get as close to the fire as I can, uh, to get cool shots. And we did, we got some cool shots. Mean there's this great shot of me, like, like at one point I'm, I'm really hot, you know, I'm like punching at the fire. Like, I gotta get outta here while the piano's burning man. And I'm, I'm sitting here, you know, working around these flames and stuff. Uh, I kind of felt it, it was really strange, man. We, you and I had this real weird connection of, of we kind of felt the same way about it.

Speaker 1:59:05

It was very symbolic of what you were going through. Kinda symbolic of what I was going through. And I just started. I don't, I'm not, uh, overdued I mean, you know me a long time. I'm not a spirit, an overly spiritual guy. I don't like, you know, I don't, I'm not into all that, that I, I'm fine for everybody else to be, I've just never been an overly spiritual guy. But right. There was something almost worshipful about that piano going up in flames. And I just started singing this chorus. Man, I was just in it. It just came to me in the whole time under my breath. The whole time I'm working around the flames and you're shooting pictures. I was just singing this shit and I'm fat, you know, this whole glue core, set it on fire, set it on fire. [inaudible]

Speaker 1:59:57

and so I'm singing it the whole time and I remembered it, uh, and on a flight, I think the next two weeks or so later I had a flight into Florida, had a show and I remembered it in a, uh, on a back of a beverage napkin. I wrote these verses and I knew that that was the title of the CD. We, we had not gotten a tie. We had not come to come up with a title. And I went in and tracked it without anybody hearing it. I just knew it was right and, and cut the track and sent it to the, the, I guess you'd call him the labels, really, the book publisher. They were kind of acting as the label, but I sent it to them and they flipped out. They were like, man, this is, and it ended up being the last chapter of the book as well.

Speaker 1:1:0:44

Um, yeah. And it was just really symbolic of the fact that sometimes, and I, and it wasn't lost on me, that it was this instrument that I had been tied to my whole life and I just put the flames to it and said, you know, what, if this needs to go than it needs to go. And, uh, and you were kind of doing the same thing and you know, and we hugged and you didn't do the next day you left for California. And you know, I kind of embarked on a different life and it was, I think everybody should, uh, have a symbolic piano burning. So yes. You know, yes. I'm not encouraging and burned, literally burned a piano with, but you know,

Speaker 4:1:1:27

do not burn anything down physically. Uh, it's been 10 years. Uh, so, uh, but yeah, I, you know, w and I've talked about this before on other shows, but you know, we all have different, you know, seasons and I think it was interesting as you said, our sort of lined up, um, we were kinda going through similar or, you know, not the exact same thing, but metaphysically probably. And I don't know, it was one of those things that I thought about often through the years. And, um, you kind of have to sometimes close chapters in your life and sometimes, you know, it's a hard close and you have to just kinda close it and start a new one. And as an adult. And a lot of times that seems, you know, impossible, especially F, you know, if you've been doing something, you know, for so long, I mean, you'd been a songwriter for all your life, you know, and you know, so it's, it's something that, that it's, uh, you know, sometimes you just have to go. And, uh, my dad had told me something, you know, when I was young, I was going through some sickness and stuff and he basically, he just kinda was encouraging me and he's like, man, you, man, you just got a plan to live. And I think I think about that a lot. And, uh, and I think it's true, right? I mean, it's, it's, we can just kind of muddle along, but mean, what else are we gonna do? And, uh, yeah,

Speaker 1:1:2:46

yeah. And it's [inaudible]. And so that I don't think you can really fully move forward, you know, until you, until you just kind of like symbolically burned the past. It doesn't mean that, look, I didn't stop playing the piano, I didn't stop writing songs. I, you take, you take things that you learned with you, but it definitely was, uh, a visual representation of me going, you know what, I, I can do other things. You know, there, there, there's, there's a lot more out there in life than just this and, uh, and it makes my world bigger, not smaller. And, you know, so that was a, it was a great moment. And I'm, I'm so glad that we have it captured in pictures.

Speaker 4:1:3:28

Oh, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. I'll put some on, I'll, I'll put some behind the scenes on there. And by the way, it got me in the book. And is that, that the very end?

Speaker 1:1:3:40

Yeah, that's absolutely right, dude. You're, you're, you're, you're named in the book. And, uh, I tell that story in the book. That's how I, I finish it. And, um, because, uh, you know, I was trying to, I was like, how, how do I end this? And I realized, man, this is, this is how, this is how this chapter really closed. This is how the, you know, and, uh, and I, I think the last line is something like, you know, my piano ultimately burned all the way to the ground. And so be it, you know,

Speaker 4:1:4:08

close our eyes and you know, and that's it. And we take the dirt nap, you know, I mean, it's not over till it's over and there's always going to be something else that comes along. And, and I think that everything that you've gone through, you early on being at the top of your game, the top of the top of your game, elevating it even higher. Had you not had the experiences that you've, that you were handed, I don't think you could talk to people or have an impact or tell a story. Like, you can tell today,

Speaker 5:1:4:40

one of the things I've learned is that everybody, Devin, every single person I have, my daughter's taught me this. Every single life is so important. And everybody's got a story and everybody's got something to contribute and there is, there's literally nobody on this planet that is lesser than, there's nobody here that isn't giving us something we need. If you are being authentically, you're giving us something, we need you, you are, you are contributing in a way that only you can contribute like we need you. And that's the, I think that's like the biggest lesson I've learned really from my daughter is that, Oh my gosh, yeah, we, we didn't, we weren't complete until you got here. You know, and now we need you to be 100%. You, we, you to be exactly what you were here to be. And, and, and, and I need to listen to you.

Speaker 5:1:5:52

You know, if you got something to say, I may not agree with you, but I need to hear what you got to say. Everybody is, is important. I really believe that. And I, it makes me like, listen to people more closely at the grocery store. You know, if I'm in line at the bank, um, I don't discount the guy sitting next stand next to me or the woman that's standing next to me or you know, uh, people who I might go, I, you know, whatever, she's, she sounds weird, or whatever. Now I listened closely to those people. I that, that, that weird person might have something to say that that makes sense. You know? That is so true. So true. You know what?

Speaker 3:1:6:29

I think that's the best place to leave it for now. I'm positive you'll be back for another episode. Suresh, thanks again for being the very first guest on the groove podcast. I hope everyone enjoyed your story and we'll join up with you to get even more great content. [inaudible] been my pleasure, man. I mean, this is been an honor for me. Oh man, I appreciate it and thanks again. Be sure to head over to the group, podcast.com to check out the show notes to see images of the piano we burned and to find out more about Reggie. You can find me on Instagram at Devin Pence. We also have a Facebook page, so hop over there to join us as well, and finally be sure to hit that subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts, and it would really help us out if you hit that five star rating and leave a review. Thanks again for listening and we'll talk soon.

You've been listening to The Groove with Devin Pense.

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