Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009-12-16 Monte Montgomery

12-16-2009: Monte Montgomery 
Where: The Saxon Pub, Austin TX
Went with: Myself


This is how a week of work travel can turn into a wonderful memory. Here’s the week in a nutshell:

  • Left a very stressed wife at home for 4 nights of work travel
  • Plane delayed, de-iced, then landed 60 minutes late into O’Hare 
  • Connecting flight departed with me waving at it (5 hours of wonderful O’Hare seating to enjoy) Yes…that’s the plan as it pulls back while I watch it after feeling my lungs bleeding from running across O’Hare to catch it…IMG_2495
  • Great education at work on marketing, competition, and pricing.
  • Became scared and quite motivated at our competition vs. our products
  • Met some great people in marketing

After all that, I needed some great music. Now that a constant goal is to hear and see great music, even when I’m in a town for work I try to find something great. In this case, working in Austin, TX for made me hope to see something ‘native’. To my joy, I found a new iPhone app called ‘Concerts’ that, based on my location, listed all big and small shows in the surrounding area. AWESOME!

Enter Monte Montgomery – an Austin native. In the iPhone listings, this name popped out as one I recognized. I read a lot of guitar magazines (duh) and it turns out he was listed in the top 50 guitar players alive in Guitar Player. I was sold. Needed to see him.

Luckily work wrapped up around 7pm so I drove downtown Austin to see him. What a treat!IMG_2518


He mingles in the bar before. He walks on and says ‘hey’. He starts playing acoustic like I’ve never heard it played live. And he whacks and bends the guitar to do what he wants. Amazing. Never thought acoustic and drums could sound so good.

Take a listen….

See? Amazing. Then, he had a sax player along. Now, this may sound terrible, but I’ve never really liked sax players…they just take precious guitar soloing away from me. But then Monte invited a beat-box player…now THIS was awesome!!!

Acoustic, drums, and a beat-box player!!! So cool. And, when beat-box player was done, he just walked off stage, got a beer, and stood next to me watching the rest of the show. Must be something to be that good but just be another ‘anybody’ in Austin, TX.


See the guys on the left  of this photo? That’s Monte…and the next band to play (Monte was the 8-10, and he was talking with the 10-12 act). This made a big impression. This guy is in the top 50 ON EARTH and he’s still pounding out music at small bars with 80 people looking on, then stepping out the stage door to the parking lot to chat as the next act rolled in.

A great night of music, but also a great night to realize how good I’ve got it. I can play music when I want, where I want, but I don’t have to worry about how it’s going to pay for my next meal.

The other insight I had: I need my wife’s support. She is my anchor at home. If she is supportive, that anchor is solid and I can fly free, hard, and take my ambition to new heights because I I know she’s there and I am happy. However, when she’s worried and not happy (stressed) then the anchor starts slipping and I can’t feel the connection…I don’t want to apply any energy in fear the anchor might rip out.

All in all? A very good trip for the life of Greg.

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