Sometimes you prepare and sometimes you are surprised. There was not going to be a Sunday Series this week. After an incredibly busy week flowing into an even busier Saturday, there was no time in the schedule this week to interview, to think, to marinate in my heart and head and then to write.
But then… 3PM.
Courage, hope, inspiration, someone doing what they were born to do, someone finding a way to rise above.
The Sunday Series (15): At Least I Tried
I’ve known Brennan Stark since the day he was born. Last night at just after 8PM, he and his punk rock band took to the stage at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. The venue is a big deal in Charm City, especially for up-and-coming bands, as well as some established acts that come to town. His dad Drew told me it was going to be the largest crowd the band had ever played in front of. And talking to Brennan for just a few seconds before the show, I could tell he was excited and nervous. Who wouldn’t be? There were a ton of people, not only fans of the band, but his friends, family, immediate and extended, all there to see them perform. Music once again the universal language to bring everyone together, besides our support for a young man still making his way in this world.
Before he took to the stage I thought, punk rock? I haven’t seen a punk rock show since… well lets just say for some time. Plus my 11-year-old daughter Emily was there, as well as my 11-year-old niece Riley, I wondered how would they handle their first “club” show? Well, now they’ll have a story to tell.
Because 3PM rocked the house. And not just “punk rocked” it, but their music, nearly every song was perfect and more rock than punk, at least in my opinion. It was something even my young daughter and niece could enjoy, partly because of the way the band performed, partly because they were watching their cousin up their on the big stage, partly because 3PM was just that good.
But the bigger story is this. I know Brennan’s back story. Everybody has one. Heck, the guy who is performing the half-time show at the Super Bowl, Bruno Mars, he has a back story. Most musicians do, most artists do. Most of us do. Few of us are born with the silver spoon in our mouths, some are, but it’s rare, most times you have to find a way to make your way. Brennan Stark is doing just that.
I know in the Sunday Series I usually give pretty intimate details of other people’s lives, with their permission. Not the case here, I didn’t interview and I didn’t ask, I’m simply writing because I was so inspired watching my wife’s baby cousin up there on stage. He not only represents a kid who truly turned his life and his outlook on life around… but represents every musician who simply wants and needs to play and is trying to make it. And there are plenty out there doing the same, always have been there always will be. The trick is to find a way to rise above. Brennan, his band mates Brandon Millman and Scott Montgomery are doing just that. It takes work, hard work and plenty of it.
Nowadays you’ve got You Tube, Facebook, Smartphones, a multitude of music reality shows… you name it, with everyone vying for their big chance. Still, the odds are against you. You know how to beat the odds? Play really good music, and do it time after time after time. For 3PM last night was a huge leap forward.
In fact up there on stage Brennan and his crew reminded me of a recent song from a legendary rocker, someone far removed in age from the boys in 3PM, but not so far removed from knowing what it takes to get that really big “break”. Rod Stewart released a song just last year called Can’t Stop Me Now. It’s mostly a biographical tune about Stewart’s career and this one lyric should speak not just to 3PM, but to anyone who is looking for that big chance:
Well it was rough and it was tough
But I couldn’t get enough of this rhythm and blues I craved
I was singing in the pubs,
was playing in the clubs, then along came Maggie May.
I would expect most people reading this blog have heard of Rod Stewart and his signature song, his first big hit. My point is this. It only became a hit and launched Stewart’s career, because he never gave up. His big “break” took years, blood, sweat and tears. In fact it might never have happened at all, if Stewart didn’t do what it took to get his shot. Keep working, keep playing, keep getting better and most of all keep believing. But the most important ingredient of all? Just begin.
Whether it’s 12AM, 6AM or…3PM, just start. Make the most of this “time” you have been given and if this is your dream, your passion, your talent, then go get it. 3PM has a cut on their new album, Change of Plans, titled, At Least I Tried.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
Mark Brodinsky, Author
It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
#1 Amazon Best-Seller