I’ve always thought it cool when rich folks don’t flaunt their money so that other people can see it. I saw an interview on a late night show with a famous actor recently who said that when he began making real money, he bought a farm, log cabin, a trampoline, and a bed. Apparently he decided to stick with the essentials.

Lately I’ve been stuck on Bob Marley’s Legend record. It’s a “the best of” record and I just can’t seem to listen to anything else right now. I’ll pull out Merle Haggard or Jackson Browne but always end up switching over to Bob and the Wailers again. Right now my favorite track is “No Woman No Cry”; it’s a live recording from Europe, and it’s one of those where the crowd doesn’t recognize it right off the bat. But anyway, the reason for my Marley rant was that I found a quote from him that was funny and somewhat genuine. He said…

“I have a BMW. But only because BMW stands for Bob Marley & the Wailers, and NOT because I need an expensive car.”
This reminded me a lot of the interview I had seen a few days before. Some celebrities are rich and flaunt it; some are eccentric and buy weird stuff, and some buy BMWs because they have the same initials as their band.

If you get the chance, get Bob Marley’s Legend album. It’s one that makes you think of summer time when it’s cold outside, and it’s one of my all-time favorites.

Legend (Remastered) [Bonus Tracks] - Bob Marley

The Mother Church of Country Music

A couple days ago I came up through Nashville with a close friend, and we decided to take the self-guided tour at the Ryman Auditorium. We walked around from the back of the building and snuck up on the sweetest looking tour bus I’ve ever seen; turns out it was Gregg Allman. What are the odds? We walked in hoping to accidentally catch a glimpse of the man himself, but ended up watching the crew set up for sound check.

While the crew set up, we wandered around the creaky floors and read the exhibits from artists 60+ years ago. It was a surreal feeling looking at the stage from the original pews where people sat to hear fiery preaching over 100 years ago. But the real kicker for me was just wanting to be a part of the country music throw-down that was the Grand Ole Opry. I had no idea how many of my favorite artists played there during that time. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe, & Hank Williams brought the tunes at the Opry and kept the monster crowd coming back for more. Given, this is only a FEW of the amazing artists that played, but those were some of my top choices. I was shocked to find out that Elvis Presley only played one show in ’54 to an audience that couldn’t seem to warm up to his style. Elvis was never asked to come back. I guess no matter how good you are, if you don’t fit the vibe, you just won’t play certain venues.

As we kept browsing I realized that I might have been acting like a fat kid in a candy shop. Around every corner I was dying to see the next old artifact they had preserved in their king-size display cases. There were show posters, old guitars, clothes, shoes, sequin suit jackets (yep, sequin), and even Charlie Daniels XXL shirt from a show. The place reeks of real, genuine heart and soul, the kind that can’t be manufactured or commercialized, but real, good music.

If you’re ever in Nashville and have the chance to tour the Ryman, don’t pass it up. Best $13 I ever spent. You can feel the incredible history when you walk in, and you can’t seem to shake it off you when you leave. From the musty smell to the cracked and worn wooden pews, this place is all about good music that I wish I could have been around to hear 50 years ago.