In the well known course on creativity called “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron asserts that we each possess inherent talents, and it is not only our right, but our responsibility, to share them with others. In this way, we satisfy our own desire to originate while, at the same time, inspiring those around us to find their true potential. Now that we are in 2011, the year that the Dave Matthews Band is officially resting, I can’t help but wonder how each of the band members will keep alive their imaginative sparks, given that they won’t have their usual performances to fan their artistic flames.
As DBTP posted earlier this week, Dave has been busy, well, being Dave, in a new ad for John Varvatos’ high end men’s clothing. I love this ad because I can only imagine that Dave must have had a say in how it turned out. Seriously, how else would a monkey have gotten involved? Indeed, this is one commercial that has the stamp of DJM written all over it, and it makes me ever curious as to what else our frontman will be up to this year. But in the absence of a crystal ball, it also seems that the New Year is a good time to look back, or maybe forward, to the open doorways that DMB has facilitated for amazing performers like Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Avett Brothers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, and countless others.
Of course the tradition of having an opening act is not unique to DMB, but I do feel that the Dave Matthews Band may be rare in their tendency to invite members of these lesser known groups on stage to jam with them. Or maybe everyone does that, and I’ve just been living under a rock. But regardless, what ends up happening, is that loads of fans who would otherwise be unaware of these relatively new entertainers get the opportunity to see them play songs that they already love. It also lets us know that these rising stars are endorsed by our favorites, and that definitely has an impact on our first impressions.
Maybe part of the reason that Dave is so willing to lend out a piece of his pie stems from the fact that at one time, he too, was unseasoned. There is a great video from 1998 that aired on Dutch television, during the time that Dave was in Amsterdam to support the Rolling Stones. In this documentary he talks about the trials of being unknown, playing to a stadium of blank stares. Now, 13 years later, it’s hard to believe that such a charismatic man ever faced such tribulations, but, in fact, everyone has to start somewhere.
All I can say is thank God, Dave’s dream was stronger than his ego. And as we all pause to consider Martin Luther King’s famous words this weekend, let us remember that following our heart’s desire not only paves the way toward our own highest good, but it also illuminates the proverbial yellow brick road for fellow seekers on their way home.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.
Author of Serendipity and the Search for True Self