The first time I heard the term “Bucket List” was in the title of the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman film. I was only 57 then and didn’t think too much about it. Now that I’m 63, that has changed. I actually have a bucket list these days.
Tired of the nonsense I was encountering in radio and shopping television, I retired last year. Like most, I don’t think retiring means getting up every day at noon and watching daytime TV with a robe exposing my genitals. I only dress that way when I answer the door for a salesperson or someone hawking their religion.
My bucket list consists of mostly musical goals. I’ve always regretted not pursuing music full time when I got out of college. I was music major and was making some waves with my compositions and the opinion pieces I was getting published. When I went into advertising, I had the opportunity to write some pretty famous jingles, but most of my time was spent as a sober version of Don Draper, finding ways to sell everything from soft drinks to telephone systems.
So here’s my current Bucket List.
1. Make the ukulele a bigger deal than it already is. My passion for this instrument grows on a daily basis.
The best way I figure I can do this is to represent and sell a ukulele package on a TV shopping channel. As I’ve written previously, the time is right for this. TV shopping really boosted the popularity of the guitar in the early 2000’s, I know it can do the same for the ukulele. This is especially true since I would offer a much better ukulele than the truly awful guitars that were sold on television.
Here’s my latest ukulele performance. A pretty cool medley if I do say so myself:
2. Have one of my original songs recorded by a major artist.
While some of my songs have been covered by various artists, none of them ever made a lot of noise in the charts. Considering my style, country artists would be best suited for most of my material.
3. Write a song for a major motion picture. With all the great composers who are doing this already, this will be difficult but not impossible.
4. Win a major award for a song I’ve written. Grammy, Oscar, CMA, People’s Choice…I will grab one of then before I croak. (Of course, I may have to run out on stage and grab the award out of Taylor Swift’s hand.)
5. Perform music live on a regular basis. Oh yeah, and get paid for it.
Since I’m usually asked “why aren’t you playing anywhere?” after I perform at an open mic, I’m more determined than ever to make this happen. Most of the “talent” I’ve seen at open mics strum 2 or 3 chords and scream their vocals, mostly out of key. Many of them actually get paid to perform at various venues in the area. I have that beat, big time. Yes sir, just what a bar needs, an old fart playing an eclectic mix of blues, jazz, 60’s pop and originals. But I do attract an older crowd (really?) who drink martinis and 12-year-old Scotch instead of beer. There’s money to be made by having me perform where booze is served.
There are more goals on my bucket list, but those are the top 5. Each has definite action steps that I’m currently pursuing. I was going to include “Replace Letterman” on the list, but it looks like CBS has that covered. So goal #6 is “Replace Colbert.”
I wish you good health and success!