With a Little Help from My Friends

Hello All,

I would like to thank everybody that took the time to read my post from last week. I was truly unaware I wasn’t the only one that was having anxious feelings upon our upcoming high school reunion. And I’m glad that we were all able to overcome that and have a good night to remember. Like many other issues that troubles our lives, they are often easier to overcome when you discover other people better dealing with the same problems. After all, the feeling of isolation or lack of understanding only compounds a problem. So “strength in numbers” as they say.

I’m still amazed by the fact that, despite all the time that has passed and how we have gone our separate ways, so many of us were in the same place mentally. Maybe this is because we all started off in the same place. Who knows? But I do know that it for me it was not only a great time, but a real eye opener about life in general. I maybe acting a bit dramatic here or taken by how wonderful the reunion was (some of you can attest to that first hand). Either way I owe a big thank you for all of this to none other than Gina Maggio-Lannen who not only put together the entire event, but gave me the much needed nudge to attend. It’s hard to explain how or why but it may be simply since despite my shortcomings and angst, I was accepted. I omitted this from last week’s post while editing, but often we are plagued with these “by now I should have” scenarios. Like “by now I should be Married”, “by now I should have kids”, “by now I should done much more with my life”, and so on and so forth. The feelings are often brought on by indirectly or directly being told these things by past generations. Sometimes as way to motivate us or look down on us. Yeah, and I’m sure they did all this barefoot, up a hill in 2 feet of snow lol. We all see how much the world has changed since then (especially the economy), so these mind traps should have no baring on us. They like most traps, just way us down and make us feel like our goals are merely impossible. It made some of the hard choices I am up against easier to handle. And a sense of pride and worth that has been dormant over the course of the years. Let me remind you that I am a musician, and as I learned from our music teachers (specifically the guy many of us at RPHS affectionately referred to as “Swami”) the music industry is not based on merit. And this small-town guy (before even leaving our small town) learned the hard way about how this business, well to put it in plain English, Sucks. People develop egos, addictions and, engage in unethical business practices. But the worst of all the things that plague in music industry is no real comradery between others that share the same passion. What sense does that make? Fortunately, that’s not always the case and there are some people that do understand that the aforementioned “Strength in numbers” mentality does work. Which has helped making one of my endeavors worthwhile, BravoFest, which I elaborated more on this previous entry titled The Promise. I have opted to show gratitude for my abilities and use them to help others (this one on particular is in support of a great charity that helps our Veterans called Homes For Our Troops. Instead of shoveling undeserved money into a greedy promoter’s pocket. And inadvertently, these events can generate much larger crowds and publicity than a traditional club date. Not to mention that there’s usually some good food on hand. So I will keep everyone updated on when these events will be happening.

Joe Cocker,with a little help from my friends,Beatles song,the wonder years, music blog

Well, enough rambling that may make me seem self-righteous or what have you. I must say that after the outpouring of praise that my last entry received, my usual worry of what to come up with next was far greater this week. Not that I have never received a reaction like this before, but not to this magnitude and especially not to something as personal as that one. Like I had told one of my former classmates last week in our group chat, we can manifest the best answers and outcomes for ourselves. So with keeping that in mind, I decided to return to my usual format and based this on a song. Not just any song, a song that relates to the title of last week’s post. Not just because it was the theme song of the show The Wonder Years, but it almost embodies the spirit of what we accomplished a few weeks ago, simply by coming together. That song being “With Little Help from My Friends” , Originally performed by The Beatles but more famously performed by Joe Cocker. Although “the Fab Four” were responsible for bringing this song to life, I think Cocker’s rendition really amplifies the nostalgic emotions that the show was trying to put forth, which coinciding with everything I felt after attending our High School Reunion (and from what everyone was saying I wasn’t the only one). After I wrote last week’s post, I felt that in hindsight it should have been named after this song. That maybe because it was stuck in my head after everything I did while writing.

As I mentioned earlier, With Little Help from My Friends” was originally performed by The Beatles. Even though it was written by the band’s two main vocalists John Lennon & Paul McCartney, it was sung by Ringo Starr. Despite the assumptions that it was written about drug use because the lyrics proceeding the song title at one point say “I get high, with a little from my friends”. But it’s simply about friends helping friends. Another fun fact is that originally song starts with him asking what would happen if he sang out of tune, “would you throw tomatoes at me”, afraid this may happen at a live concert (even though the band had stopped touring around this time) Ringo had the lyrics changed to “would stand up and walk out on me”. I did also want to point out that the title track of this album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band was performed live by Jimi Hendrix before the Beatles did.

The funny thing about the recent help I got from my friends, is that we didn’t even know we were helping. We just came together, ignoring our anxious feelings. This proves that sometimes the best help is the kind that you don’t ask for or even know you needed. Many people are too proud to ask for help or don’t see the tell-tale signs that we need help. I can only imagine how bad it would have been if we didn’t seek help. Fortunately, we have many more resources for people to get help than ever before, and at no cost. I also mention this because it is Mental Health Awareness Month. So never be ashamed to reach out to anyone for help. That link is a great resource, but start where you feel comfortable. A friend or family usually a good start. And with the events of the past few weeks, I’m proud to say that mine has extended out even further.

Thanks again for reading. Until next time, Be well


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