The Musician is the story of one person who chooses to abandon more conventional career paths to live life as a musician. “Music Life and Times” looks into the lives of accomplished players doing the same thing. As the dedication page of The Musician reads: To the hundreds of thousands who strum, blow, beat, pluck, or sing impressively enough to make a lving making music.
Most musicians have to do something more than perform to make a living. Many turn to teaching. Few have achieved more on both fronts than Jazz Trumpeter Dr. Gordon Vernick.
When the day turns into night, and you’re well beyond my sight, I’ll think of you, I’ll think of you. I hope you will remember, even when you’re feeling blue, that it’s you I like, it’s you yourself I like, it’s you.
I was getting my degree in mathematics at the University of Florida and playing six nights a week at local bars for $15 a night. I wanted to play but was always too insecure to do it full-time so I took a job across the country teaching at a private school in Beverly Hills.
I wrote my first song when I was 15, about a boy of course, and there began my lifelong pursuit of becoming a songwriter. Since that first song, I have honed my craft at ASCAP conferences in LA, studied songwriting at Berklee School of Music and attended countless songwriting workshops from Denver to Nashville.
At ages 22 and 23, our band from college, Bockman’s Euphio, was doing so well we all quit our jobs and decided to go on tour. A couple years in, our manager called a meeting and told us to bring our parents – we thought, “This is going to be either really good or really bad.”
After you’ve been playing enough years, you discover the difference between playing a song and experiencing a song. That was a big breakthrough for me. When I’m on stage or in the studio and everything’s right, in good voice and the guitar is like an extension of my body, that’s magical, almost spiritual.