Monday, November 07, 2005

It's all good... :-)

Howdy y'all! Wassup? Hope you've all got something to smile about :-)

Well they say the only thing that remains constant is change, and I have to agree. And somebody once said to me that everything happens for a reason.
It's this little cherry that has kept me going through some pretty low times in my life - but in order to place so much faith in something as ambiguous and vague as that, I believe one needs to see proof - at least once!

For me, it was when I was a jobbing drummer ?? years ago, and I was booked to work in a 5 star hotel in Dubai for 6 months. What an opportunity! It was playing jazz 4hrs a night, 5 nights a week for good money (£400 per week - that's about $700 at today's exchange rate), and with free use of all the facilities - multigym, pool, golf course, etc., etc.
I planned to come home some £10,000 ($17,500) richer, with a great tan, new physique, and having become a much improved jazz drummer to boot! I even got as far as tying up loose ends in my life, friends, job, etc. I went to the doctor for vaccinations against cholera, yellow-fever, polio, tetanus, typhoid (mostly needles in the arse!) and started the anti-malaria pills. I had a horrible reaction to one of the jabs - must've been a mini episode of yellow-fever or something - I collapsed & fainted in the street, got taken home in a cab and put to bed, where I spent the next 6 hours with a terrible fever, sweating buckets and feeling like I would surely die.
About 2 weeks before I was due to fly, I got a phone call...
The agent had fucked it up (excuse my French, but there's not other way to put it), and the trip was off. And just to rub salt in the wound, he hadn't signed the contract, so we couldn't get a penny in compensation either.

I was gutted. Totally crushed.

A few days later at the drum shop I where I worked, I was talking about it with my good friend and local drumming guru, Paul Beavis, and he told me, "Stu, everything that happens, happens for the best reasons. You just have to keep the faith. Something will come up." And with that he smiled and left.
I liked, trusted and respected him so I thought I should give it a try, but I didn't know where to start. And I didn't really know what he meant. I mean, how could all this disappointment be a good thing?!

Well, it must've been within a few days of when my Dubai trip should've started when I got a call from the very same Paul Beavis, asking me if I would cover some work for him as he was going on his first family holiday in 11 years. I regularly deputised for Paul, so of course I said yes like I always did, but it wasn't until the next day I discovered it would be playing 4 shows with Toyah Willcox - Toyah was quite a big star in her own right in the 80's having had several hit records and a large cult following, not to mention having appeared in Quadrophenia and umpteen other films and TV shows, and is still a much liked celebrity today, so I was made up to know I would be playing for her! My first gig for a famous person!
Anyway to cut a long story short [Yes please! Ed] I played the shows, and after the last one, Robert Fripp (Toyah's husband and guitarist from King Crimson) came over to me smiling and said, "Oh dear, looks like Beavis is out of a job then."
From then on, I was Toyah's drummer and we toured several times, including a trip to Belize to play for the British Combined Services, and it enabled me to leave the drum shop and go professional as a full time musician.

Everything I've done since has been in some way linked to that. This isn't my CV, so I won't list the stuff I've done - that wasn't the point of this story - but suffice it to say I've realised and surpassed many of my ambitions.

The moral? Keep the faith! A lost opportunity is sometimes just a different door opening.

And this works for love, too. I got hurt more than I thought was possible some years ago, and it changed me into somone I didn't like at first. But having worked through that (with much help from people around me) I'm now glad. It made me who I am today, and when I meet my future wife, it'll be the new Stuee she falls in love with, not the old one I tried for so long to hold on to.

So thank you Paul Beavis, I owe you a lot. Not just for giving me a break, but also for giving me something more than that: something I could take with me and use, and share with others.

I hope something in this will inspire something in some of you.
I love you all, so it's ok to love yourself too :-)

Keep smiling, your Stuee xxx


Blogger Jessica said...

The biggest lesson I've learned in life and love is that yes, you ARE worthy of good, healthy love. This is something I struggle with sometimes. Yes, I'm worthy!! I'm worthy!!

Not that that has much to do with what you talked about. But, I know about the pain from that ONE relationship that takes you a year or so to get over. I'm glad you came out of it alright.

8:14 pm  
Blogger Bri said...

Yes, it does all fit somehow, doesn't it? Looking back at the decades from my perch (just shy of 50), I see the threads that are interwoven, and I see too that I can do whatever I set out to do, so long as I truly have a heart for it and determination to make it happen.

The field I'm studying now, counseling psychology, has always appealed to me, but now I have the life experience to back up my interest. I'm hoping to become a grief counselor, having had so many big losses in my life: a son, both parents, my grandfather who raised me, a friend to suicide and another to an aneurysm, that all has prepared me to help other people through their losses.

Though I was "interested" in the field of grief before, now it's more like a calling.

I'm really enjoying your writing. Please keep sharing more.

Hope to meet you someday! Both Jess and I expect to make a London trip next year.

8:32 pm  
Blogger Stuee said...

Thanks girls, it's nice to know I'm understood :-)
I hope you do come across the pond next year, it would be great to meet you face to face. If we're lucky there might even be a gig you could come to.

Jess it occurred to me that you must've just had a birthday, well in the last few weeks anyway... when was it? HAPPY BIRTHDAY! xx
And yes, bless you, you are worthy! I only hope any man you meet is as worthy of you... but something tells me you're gonna make damn sure of that! ;-)

And Brina, that's such a great thing to do with your time and experience. I know you will make such a difference to the people who you counsel.
The way I've always rationalised the loss of somebody I loved, is that they must've been needed elsewhere, for their special qualities, and that wherever they've gone will benefit from they're presence. That way they live on in my heart, because I can imagine them sharing what they used to share with me.

Wow, today is a thoughtful day huh!
I'm gonna have a beer and a cigarette ;-) hehe

Stueeeeeeeee xxx

9:41 pm  
Blogger Bri said...

Stueeeee, (I love typing those e's!), You enjoy that beer and cig now. I'm going to content myself with ice-cold lemonade, which for some reason I've been craving lately.

I'd love to think that I could meet some of my blogger friends in England in March. Who knows, Jess and I may even be there at the same time! We're consulting...

Thanks for waxing philosophical with us.


9:58 pm  
Blogger Claire Eliza said...

Hey Stuee! Ahh, great post. Really, I needed some advice. I wasn't thinking too well of my self lately, but that really helped. Everything does happen for a reason, right? Well, I hope was great talking to you last night, and I hope we talk much more in the future (NOT! haha).
Alright, I'm going to check out some other blogs. Thanks for listening to my demand to update yours!
See you later, love!

- claire -

10:09 pm  
Blogger rachel fuller said...

Darling, you're so sweet. Hope we work together forever and ever.
Love you,

10:17 pm  
Blogger Claire Eliza said...

Haha, Bum-face is a link of Stuees blog! Yesss! now everyone knows me!

10:27 pm  
Blogger musicmikey said...

Hey Stuey, I was just saying the other day, how if my sister hadn't of got me evicted from my flat, and made me homeless for a while, I wouldn't have needed Rachel's attic to live in, and maybe I would have never appeared on 'in the attic', so I'm going to thank my sister, because I am smilin' now, thanks for your great blog mate.

1:15 am  
Blogger ginab said...


Yikes! You bare the name of the one who ate my soul. Someone I trusted for, yeesh, five years before we lit candles together to blow them out (together). I suppose that's why I was curious, from Rachel's site, about: who is this Stuart? The other one had laughed--gently--over me stating that everything happens for a reason. It was an impression or a lesson I'd learned over there, where you are, across the pond from where I am, years ago now. I've hung tough to that believe.

I felt terrible, deadly, for a couple of years, because of the soul eating. Things built up, the world was on its knees. Not until tonight had I in eons just saw myself standing straight in the mirror; I decided I was alright. More, in the past few days, I've been able to write and to feel good about the possibilities of each story, of each chapter.

My Stu was a little too near to the devil in ways of the heart and terribly close in terms of what became of my writing. I'm not sure the purpose of the experience being linked to a reason except I do keep writing little image pieces related to birds. Fly away perhaps I am thinking, certainly I am hoping.

Anyway, I've opened up here. Uh-oh! Your words were generous, spirited. I haven't responded for any other reason except to tell you that (about your words). So, I added more, but you were generous to relate.

Thank you!

2:08 am  
Blogger Gary said...

that's an awesome story, and so true.

I had no idea Fripp married Toyah. Saw her open for The Stranglers once.

I wouldn't be caught dead in Dubai these days. Or would I?

Thanks for that inspirational story.

4:09 am  
Blogger Karel said...

Great story Stuee..

It is really uplifting when something better actually comes up. It's just amazing that this happens multiple times in different aspects of our lives.

As far as I'm concerned, with the way you play music, I don't think you will ever be out of work.


7:09 am  
Blogger ginab said...

Uh Gary,

Toyah married Fripp.;)

1:30 pm  
Blogger AndyW said...

Great story Stuee.
I think everytime something bad has happened something even better has come along and saved me or made me feel better. Makes me believe in karma.

3:11 pm  
Blogger Delbut said...

STu. You will not remember, but we met in the gent's toilet at the Bedford -post gig.

I did not know you played drums too. A talented guy obviously. i play but i see you played Jazz. bloody hell, too hard for me.
And i have been in the shop at Poole too. I could spend a fortune in those places.

4:36 pm  
Blogger JoeBoy said...

Nice to read your blog. Yellow Fever shots are a MOFO. Same thing happened to me when I got one. I believe in silver linings. Your playing with Rachel proves that theory.

4:38 pm  
Blogger Stuee said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words... I'm so glad I'm not in cloud cookoo land with the way I approach my life! ;-)

Delbut, to be honest I wasn't the best jazz drummer - more into groove stuff really, especailly now. Although I hardly ever get to play drums these days (working on that!) I think I'm a better drummer now than I ever was when I was one, if you know what I mean?!
Playing bass has taught me more about drumming than anything else.

Karel, thank you - that's a compliment indeed! Would you like to be my agent? lol

Joeboy, I was going to say I'm glad I wasn't the only one to have that reaction to the jab, but thinking about it I wouldn't wish that on anyone! Hope it was worth it when you had yours :-)

5:27 pm  
Blogger Jessica said...

Stuee, sign on to Yahoo Messenger. I'll be waiting for you.

5:40 pm  
Blogger Delbut said...

Yeah, know what you mean about the bass thing. Practicing the drums at home, sans bass is a selfish way to play. I also tend to play a bit of bass to understand it. (but i'm crap)Much better on the rythem but drums are my first love now.

Your drummer at the Bedford kicks ass.

5:46 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

Got your blog from a link on Rachels site. Thanks for sharing the inspirational story. I've hit some rough times myself but always look ont he positive side of things. Things happen for reasons, your story helps me keep my focus on this important fact of life.
See you 'in the attic' later this week, thanks for sharing your music with the crew. ITS ALL GOOD!

7:34 pm  
Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

It seems Rachel is responsible for getting everyone into Blogging. Quite persuasive isn't she.

Need more drummers on the Blog!

8:06 pm  
Blogger wind-up-man said...

You're alright! You sort of summed up a few of my own thoughts on life and love. Dan

3:56 am  

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