Blogs » Musings On Muses » Exotic Places Can Easily Become The Muses


Exotic places can easily become the muses for new music. I’ve been to very few such places but still, locations have inspired me. To name a few; the pine-Forrest of Louisiana, the mountains of Oklahoma, the deserts of west Texas and New Mexico, and I once had a grand view of the Gulf Of California. In my early teen years I moved to Natchitoches, LA. There was a small trailer park atop Pine Ridge where we stayed. The tall pines surrounded us and when winter came the snow would weigh the branches down. The silence of the mornings was the most peaceful I have ever experienced. It was broken by my crunching footfalls in the snow and if I clapped, the sound wave would become the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. A sound much like a gunshot would ring out as a branch high up in the pines would snap under the weight of the snow. My baby brother and I would ride our big-wheels down the hill behind our trailer. When the thaw came that run would be devoid of grass. In such instances I learned the weight a sound could carry with it if produced in the proper silence. These days the hiss of a loud amplifier has a deep meaning for me. Long before I hit the guitar strings, that hiss will set my mood. Then I lose myself in the sound. My first trip to McAllister, OK was job related. I was in my early twenties and drove from Victoria to Houston in one truck. From there, I drove another truck all the way. The scenery along the way was spectacular and my first drive thru Dallas was actually enjoyable. A soon as I crossed the state line that night I began to see the eyes of many small creatures along the side of the road in the brush. Winter had just set in and that morning was overcast. That was pretty much all I can say about the view for the next few days. I drove up into the mountains and along narrow winding roads to several locations. Well sites and drilling rigs were all up there. On one drilling rig I put my tools together and waited for the wire line crew to complete the calibration of theirs. It started to snow. It was mixed with sleet and soon there were icicles hanging off of everything. I had not packed for winter so there I was with only a t-shirt under my coveralls. It was cold but I kept moving and never got more than cold fingers. We picked up the tools that night and began to “log” the well bore. Somewhere near 35,000 feet deep the wire line that held a very expensive string of sensors broke. The well then began to kick. It pushed all the wire line out of the hole and up through all 60 feet of my tools in the derrick. Now we had a mess of ½” inch cable to clean up. As luck would have it, I was called back to Texas. It was Halloween night. I got relieved and drove down the mountain to another location where the local manager for my company picked me up. He then drove me to Tulsa where I caught a flight back home. As the plane waited to taxi ground service personnel walked thru the cabin in full Halloween costumes. Death was last. The cabin was filled with nervous laughter. Dallas was just a beautiful from the air. The long drives out west across Texas were things I always looked forward to. I’d go as early as possible. What I loved about it so much was the fact that I could get to the lease gate early and either sleep in the truck or hang my heads out the window and with my binoculars, see the stars like nowhere else. Nebulae and dark clouds, the Hose-head, and even the moons of Jupiter and Saturn were all easy to see far from city light pollution. The work days were hot and sandy, but it was all worth it to catch the stars at night. You look up and feel small but at the same time you realize you are a part of something really huge. I used to try to visualize the distances between the stars when I was very young. I could contemplate such things for hours on end. When I first got out to west Texas and discovered the view, it gave me an even greater grasp of what I was imagining. I have not been back in years but I know the stars are still there. My first trip into New Mexico found me in Hobbs. I checked into a motel room a day early and that night in the desert, it snowed. I woke up to 2’ feet of snow on the truck and trailer. The customer called to say stay put as roads were closed. I think that lasted until noon and then I drove across town to their shop. The snow was a dry snow. The wind had blown up 4’ to 5’ foot drifts everywhere. A few hours were spent sipping coffee before we headed out to location about 50 miles away. When we arrived we rigged up and started the well service job. I took a few pictures and even built a snowman. Here I was in the middle of a desert surrounded by snow! The juxtaposition was profound. Getting back to my childhood, I once took a flight out to Los Angeles to visit my paternal Grandmother. The 747 cruised at 30,000 feet or so and on the return trip I looked out the right side of the plane and saw the entire length of the Baja Peninsula. The pacific was on one side and the Gulf of California was on the other. That was the best view of the Earth I have had so far in my life. I can’t say that I have been to too many exotic places but, I have friends and family who have been. Terry Daun, a fellow musician and collaborator from Chandler, AZ recently went to Hawaii. He took hours of video that he then used to produce music videos with. One was a tune He asked me to play lead guitar on. “TAX” is what it’s called. The scenes are from his walk down into a live volcano. I may not have been there but I’m glad my guitar work was used as a part of the soundtrack for what looks like it was quite an adventure. Mom’s been to the Bahamas and two of my brothers have seen the world during military service. In all my limited travels the people I’ve met and the places I’ve seen have all left their mark on my personality. For now I can honestly say, “there’s more good out there than bad”, “there’s something new to see around every bend”, and, “when a view leaves you speechless, be prepared for a flood of creative juices!”