Music Heals the Wounds in Our Life Logs' "After the Breakdown"

This true-life story is a repost from our sister site, Our Life Logs®

After the Breakdown

I grew up in the 1960s, spending most of my childhood in the rugged, industrial city of Dayton, located in western Ohio. Though the city was tinged with gang violence, I roamed the neighborhoods without fear; a free-spirited soul I was. After playing outside for hours, I always came home to a loving family, my parents and three older sisters, who shared in the poverty and laughter of our home.

As a child, I gravitated to music, and as I grew older, I formed a relationship with the melodies I heard. I became hungry to create my own. At 15, I started playing guitar and quickly formed a band with some friends. The strings of my guitar became a second mouth. They spoke for me when words wouldn’t do.


After high school, I moved to North Carolina and got a degree in Electrical Engineering. Thereafter, I returned to music, joined a new band in the late 80s, and played with them whenever I could. One day after a show of ours, we decided to go to a dance club. We sauntered in with sweat-soaked clothing and wild hair looking like we’d come from some crazed bar fight. I didn’t care how we looked, that was, until I noticed a beautiful woman dancing on the stage. She had gorgeous brown hair and a killer smile that drew me in. I was in love from the moment I saw her. Her beauty reminded me that I didn’t match up with such a vision. Still, I was awestruck. I turned to my buddy and said, “I’m going to marry that girl someday.”

Me, 1989.

I spent the next six months going to the club to see her, putting myself out there, initiating conversation after conversation. Once we got to know each other, we were inseparable. We got married around 1990 and our lives merged.

Being around my wife brought me so much joy. I woke up each morning looking at her, ready to spend the day together. With her, even daily chores and mundane errands brought happiness. She livened the routine of my life.


In 2000, we moved to Tennessee. I was still interested in getting back into music—my guitar had been collecting dust for years and I itched to make music again. My wife didn’t really know how to play any instrument, but after I bought her a used drum set from a pawn shop, I found out she was a natural on the drums.

Together, with a few other friends, we started Forces of Nature, a guitar-driven metal band. Playing music with my wife was awesome. Two of my favorite things were brought together in one place, and it made me fall in love with her even more.

We played as many shows as we could and got noticed by local record labels that helped us support up-and-comers like Evanescence and Sevendust. Unfortunately, our band overdid it and ended up getting burnt out after playing 96 shows in nine months. So, we took a hiatus.