Richard Sales Music History – An Autobiography

I did some gigs and had bands in junior high, but really my deep relationship with music began in the 10th grade. At the time, I was the school Huck Finn, slipping out the back door every morning, generally not fond of people telling me what to do, who to be and how to think. It was early in the school year.  Someone asked if I would play at the Sophomore Showoff (where kids got to ‘show off’ their skills). I brought my Wurlizter electric piano and performed Barret Strong’s “Money” with fifteen year old gusto. The show was apparently good, but the life changing event happened after the performance – a terrifyingly beautiful girl introduced herself and appeared to be swooning. Before the day was over, we announced that we were going to get married. And five years later we did. And we still are.
Do the math.

Looking back, I can see that was both the beginning and end of my ambition for music. Apparently, I got what I wanted out of it in the 10th grade.  All the bands and wonderful things that happened after that were wonderful luck.  

Over time, music has become a teaching mirror, a ferocious Zen master for me.  Songs don’t lie, and when you hear your ‘self’ being played back through the speaker, it can be a revelation. Depending on your standards, the mirror of music can be flattering or totally decimating.  For most of us songwriters, If you’re not performing live and getting positive feedback, the mirror can get wicked ugly – the inner mountains can get very steep.  Beginning around 1998, with so much death and devastation around me, my songs became like pitons driven into the vertical rock wall of that mountain.  Music has nothing to do with entertainment for me now.