Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Friends and Fans

This morning I had breakfast with a group of men I see on a regular basis. As I walked in one of them said, “Hey, you look like Johnny Cash,” referring to my black pants and black jacket that I wear about 75% of the time. I laughed and commented that I like black. Another guy said, “If you could only sing like Johnny Cash, too.” I said, “Actually I hear that a lot,” thinking of the half a dozen people a week that say I sound like Cash. As the banter continued, I realized that none of the men in the room had ever heard me sing or even knew that I played in a band, even though I am sure I brought it up on several occasions.

Nobody there knew that I had sung “Big River” and “Folsom Prison Blues” to a packed house and cheers just three days before. I couldn’t think of a way to mention it without sounding like I was making something up or bragging, so I just let the subject drop.

The point is – most of us are multi-faceted and many areas of our lives don’t cross each other. I often ask musicians how many of their friends have heard them play. Surprisingly, the answer is often – not many. They often lament that their fans and friends are two different groups of people, making it very hard to talk about their music and musical accomplishments with their friends.

I don’t know the application to this story other than the fact that we often don’t know our friends very well. Our relationships are often superficial. It is very difficult for more than a small handful of people to know us well enough to know what we care about or what we think. It is difficult for us to know our friends and what they care about. But it is worth the effort. Everybody is worth knowing and worth finding out what makes them tick and what makes them come alive.