For those wondering what the 33 on my guitar means…
No, I am NOT sponsored by Rolling Rock… In short, 33 was my father’s football number at Audubon High School, where he was quite the fullback, i might add. Growing up, i would go through the 3 inch thick scrapbook my grandmother had made, of articles about how “Tommy Touchdown” barreled through this defense, and ran around that guy for the winning score.
Record after record, it was awesome, yet very intimidating because THIS is what i had to live up to! For a brief year, i tried my hand at it & even wore his number. That’s when i realized that maybe I wasn’t meant to follow in my old man’s footsteps, and that i would have to create my own path. …so, i decided to give my heart and soul to music the way he gave his to football.
Thinking about future conversations i may have with my now 1&1/2 year old son, i can now see why this would scare the living shit out of any parent… Needless to say, it lead to many disagreements with my father. He didn’t necessarily approve of the path I chose. I spent years trying to show him that I could actually support myself by making music.
I don’t think anyone starts singing or playing an instrument with mediocrity in mind, especially with playing guitar. Growing up in the “MTV generation”, you see the videos, interviews, and you want the “brass ring”. Some people get knocked down to reality quicker than others. Some do whatever it takes until they become someone you don’t recognize. I was starting to become that person, and, selfishly, i thought that getting the “brass ring” was the answer to all my problems, and the gateway to acceptance with my father.
One of the last conversations I had with my father, before he passed away in 2004, he said: “I may not have much time to say this, Matt, so i have to tell you this now… I may have gotten on you a lot for what you do, and may have been against it, at first, but you proved me wrong a long time ago… and i’m proud of you”. Those were the most powerful words i’ve ever heard. That was my brass ring.
The number 33 sits on my guitar as a tribute to my father, and a way for me to feel like he’s always there, on stage with me… of course, with his sense of humor, he’d be screaming shit in my ear, like: “YOU SOUND LIKE A DYING SEAGULL”, or “CHECK OUT THE RACK ON THE ONE TO YOUR LEFT!”