Going Down in Flames, or Giving Gifts Back to the World?

Peace, Love, Music imageWe’ve all heard the many stories about musicians living on the edge, burning the candles at every end, dripping the hot melted wax of drug and alcohol abuse all over their friends and fans, and skyrocketing to a glorious early demise.

We sometimes idealize and deify those who gave everything of themselves, while simultaneously digging an untimely shallow grave, littered with dead flowers, empty wine bottles, and spray painted graffiti.

Writers who do not perform their own songs are a little more immune to these extravagant lifestyles. But as musicians, we all share the characteristics that lend themselves easily to decadence and self-destruction. The biggest ones being the constant uncertainty of not knowing where that next paycheck is going to come from, and the burning inner passion to get our creative ideas out into an often cruel world that easily dismisses this magic as frivolousness.

If you are hooked on the wild ride, and want to hang on to the runaway train blasting out magnificent music while it tumbles off a mountain cliff, more power to you! I am not one to judge personal choices; I have had my own Dances with the Devil, and felt the flames on my toes.

I would just like to bring to light the FLIP SIDE OF THIS COIN, the other heroic figure in music. These are the songwriters and performers who find a way to walk this tightrope of the music business without a net, and never seem to fall. They stick around for a long career and give something back to the world.

A couple examples that come to mind are Bono, from U2, who fights for humanitarian causes all over the world, and Paul McCartney, who dedicated his whole career to the promotion of love and world peace through music.

The key to becoming a gift giver to the world often lies in finding inner BALANCE, and dedicating some of your life to PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.

There are shortcuts to personal empowerment that many artists and songwriters use to cut through this sometimes harsh world like a machete through the Amazon jungle, and bring out our magical gifts much more quickly. If you work on changing yourself first, it becomes much easier to help make the world a better place for everyone. I am a big advocate of applying methods of self-improvement to enliven the Great Songwriter Within. Please share any methods of inner growth that you have found effective.

And if you can think of more great examples of the second type of heroic songwriter, please post them below as well.

Thanks, Kevin

  • mark angelo cummings

    It is all about leaving you mark, I believe in unconditional love, the awakening of our species and using music as a healing device.

    • Kevin Thomas

      [admin: Kevin Thomas] That sounds awesome Mark! Thanks for the comment.

  • Leo Prodz

    Hi! Thanks for sharing, Kevin!!

    Yes, I’ve also found great things improving myself first and then using my musical gift as a vehicle to share spiritual richness.

    I believe that If I’ve found help in music, then why not continue with the legacy? hehe…

    So I believe it is great to list all things that music has given me as a Listener, make an inventory of What Do I have (talents, skills) that can be applied in a similar way, and just do it!

    I also meditate (Zen) and practice Chi-Kung (QiGong) and have made amazing connections with my true self, being able to see thru some dirt curtains one installs …

    Thanks a lot for inviting to the reflection and help make this world a better place for all of us…

    Blessings! Rock n Roll!!!!

    • Kevin Thomas

      [admin: Kevin Thomas] Thanks for sharing Leo, I also have found meditation very helpful as a musician. Zen sounds interesting, but I have never tired it. I have done a few other kinds. I always seem to come back to Transcendental Meditation because it works so well. Lately I have tried Chi-Gung as well, but no matter how much I practice it I still can’t figure out the correct way to spell it, ha ha.

  • davy

    i appreciate this lesson and i agree, personal development in route of humane kindness is better than my dance with the devil. Thanks Kevin

  • Stefanie Potter

    I am a singer- songwriter that actually has the stated purpose of inspiring hope for the hurting and inspiring compassion-filled living. I think the entire Christian music industry would fall into this category of writing music to make a positive difference in the world. I can’t say that I’ve found anything that has improved myself more than giving my life to God. I know not everyone believes, but just saying based on personal experience and what I’ve seen in other people too. 🙂

    • Kevin Thomas

      [admin: Kevin Thomas] Yes, I know Christian rock has had huge success as a genre over the past 10 years or so, and these days Christian Hip Hop is becoming very popular. Thanks, Kevin.

  • James

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your contributions to the online songwriting world 🙂

    One unique way songwriters can help others is through an organization like the following:


    • Kevin Thomas

      [admin: Kevin Thomas] This seems like a great resource for helping kids. Thanks for sharing it. Kevin


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