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Life On The Road

Life On The Road

This week, Molly’s blogger Desperate Dad takes a wistful look back in time, to the days when rock stardom almost beckoned – well that’s what he says anyway…

There was a time when you’d regularly find me lugging drum kits and amplifiers in-and-out of pubs and up stairs into various unsavoury venues across the country.

I’ve spent countless hours behind the wheel, in ramshackle vans, trudging up and down the A1 in the dead of night.

Band practices twice a week, 12 hour recording sessions and last minute gigs – a wondrous life – but in the words of Don McLean that was ‘a long, long time ago’.

Pre dynamic duo I was in a variety of indie/rock/metal bands for most of the 90s and early 2000s.

My flair for the drums, discovered pre primary school, was ignited at secondary school, pursued with fervour in my late teens and cemented in college as I entered my 20s.

Along the way there were a handful of real landmark moments – a few headline concerts and a feeling here and there that we were on the cusp of something quite special.

But it never quite materialised and as reality dawned and energy levels waned, so did my dream of making my living out of music.

It was mostly a serious hobby, albeit a semi-professional one at one time or another, but it’s something I’ve recently longed to rekindle – one day maybe.

Lately I’ve had a real hankering to get back behind the kit and give it some serious welly again.

I haven’t sat in the stool (as it were), since around late 2004, towards the end of my final band tenure and some sweaty London gigs that were high on energy but low on longevity.

After realising that particular group was unfortunately not for me and hanging up my sticks for the last time, I settled down and into my career – focussing on work and family.

Marriage and children beckoned, with an exciting new adventure in prospect and one I welcomed as I waved off my battered old kit to the plucky amateur drummer who collected it ‘free to a good home’, on that fateful day more than a decade ago now.       

Sad and as regretful as that may be, my life now has a new passion.

Not long after this tearful goodbye I was cradling the most beautiful ray of sunshine I’d ever seen after my wife’s epic, near 24-hour labour.

A face of complete beauty staring up at me in dazed newborn wonder.

In that moment a new rhythm took hold of me, a constant driving back beat that will never cease or lose its power and grip on me.

And with the birth of my second son came an overwhelming sense of purpose and pride – another two day spanning labour and another earth moving, life changing moment.

The heart stopping, jaw dropping moment when my first-born son met his baby brother for the very first time.

When time stood still and memories of gig nights and crowd roars seemed nothing more than a passing phase, to be remembered fondly with a wink and a grin. 

It was probably in that moment I realised that drumming was always going to be a poor second best for me.

Always second to the rhythm of my life that keeps me coming back time and again, like a never-ending encore of wonder, beauty and delight.  

Barry Wood is an ex journalist now working for the NHS in Lincolnshire.  A father of two boys and husband to one Portuguese wife, he blogs regularly as Desperate Dad.  Read more adventures:

Facebook: Desperate Dad

Twitter: @Dad_Desperate

Instagram: daddesperate

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