My guitar teacher when I was 13 or so had a poster of Robert Johnson on the wall of the glorified music store closet he taught lessons out of.
There you’d be, trying your damndest to stumble through Stairway, and Robert Johnson was just posted up, staring you down.
At the time, the image burned into my mind. Eventually, I checked Johnson out, but it didn’t click until sometime in my 20s.
First, if you’re a guitar player, you realize Johnson is doing things on a guitar that seem impossible. So you get lost in the technical and mechanical abilities of this mere immortality. It’s awesome.
But then, the songs start to actually get into your head.
Robert Johnson was no motivational speaker, but he was a poet and a truth-teller. When I listen to him now, I get hung up on these details.
I’m taking this lesson to heart recently: if you’ve got stones in your passway, and you do (people, we ALL do), get them out of your way. Keep moving forward.
No matter who put them there – you, your enemy, the world in general – get around those stones or else you’re going to be as stuck as those stones themselves.
Thanks Robert Johnson (you’re still looking down on me in that practice closet, aren’t you?”