Monday, April 28, 2008

Home. What is that line from Garden State? Do you remember? Where Zach Braff and Natalie Portman are in the pool talking about the meaning of Home?
I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. August 29th, 1979. I was given the name Jacob Anthony Marshall by a young man named Kenneth and his wife Marianne Scott. Kenneth played electric guitar in a band called The Bridge. Marianne believed in him and loved him. They were happy. They had miscarried twin girls about a year and a half earlier but in the hospital Marianne said she saw God come into the room and wrap around her like light. She was young and broken by the loss of those two lives. But in that miraculous moment she was given the promise of a son.
I heard this story for the first time late last year. As my house was being beaten by several different storms, my dad (Kenneth) reminded me that my foundation was built on a deeper promise. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen him cry. When Marianne's Dad died he cried for her. When his own mother died in 1990, he cried for her and for himself. When his dad died in 1995 I saw him cry. This time he cried for me. We were in Panera. Having lunch. It started out rather normally but he could tell I was in bad shape. I am always the one whose eyes are filled with life but for months they had been dark and hollow. He said, "You are the fulfillment of a promise." As he told me about that afternoon in the hospital, the tears began to form, expand and roll heavily down his cheek. It didn't matter who was around or who saw. It was pure. It was vulnerable. It was a father reminding his son that life was bigger than the now, that home was of heart and spirit not earth.

We just ended our tour in Greensboro. My dad's best friend came and met me at the venue. His name is Skip. Skip had also played guitar in The Bridge. Kenneth and Skip had traveled North America together for almost 12 years.
Seasons have come and gone and come again since I have even thought about the street I grew up on. Brice Street. 1818 Brice Street. We were a poor but happy family of three. We were empty of money and full of imagination and love. If you were looking for me, I was out in the back yard (aka Narnia) chasing down centaurs and defending the castle Cair Paravel. ( Sometimes I was Luke Skywalker. Or Han Solo. Usually I was riding a speeder bike through the forests of Endor. (
Skip picked me up and asked what I wanted to do. He asked if I wanted to go see the old house on Brice Street. He asked if I wanted to see the old church yard where I got in my one and only fist fight. He asked if I wanted to eat at Yum Yums, the hot dog and ice cream restaurant founded in 1905. I said, "Yes. Yes. Yes."
There is nothing more bizarre than a modern visit to your childhood home. It is amazing how perspective shifts. How our lives evolve. I remember the 5 year-old Jacob Anthony Marshall's body and mind crawling into a top bunk and thinking I was home. I imagined that my bed was a ship that would take me on adventures every night and bring me back by morning. I had good dreams in that house. I had my first steps in that house. I used to think of that building at 1818 Brice Street as "home."
In the last few years I have been of thinking of home from many different perspectives. I don't know if I will ever find that feeling of "home" in a place again. It might just be relegated to my memories. To distant yet familiar haunts of boyhood, back yards and the smell of rain on asphalt.
Really, home is people. Home is the people who you ache to see when you are gone for months on end. It is the people who you cry for. It is the people who cry for you. Who do you say "I love you" to and mean it the most? That person is your home.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hello friends,

Its been awhile. Much love to each of you. This tour has been exhausting and wonderful. We are nearing the end and we have just finished a 17 or 18 hour drive from Phoenix to Abilene, TX and I figured it was long past time to share some road glory with you. Let the floodgates open...

1. Salt Lake City. You are always a breath of fresh air. Usually win the "Best Crowd" award on tour. This time was no different. Amazing people. Thank you for making us feel alive.

2. For those of you still mesmerized by the idea of "back stage." Hate to break it to ya, but this is typ. Although, I am fortunate to have this guy hanging around backstage every day to bring the jokes and the awesome.

3. Congratulations to my brother Bourke who has conquered Los Angeles and taken over the Saddle Ranch Chop House on Sunset. Oh, and even bigger congratulations to he and his new wife Bethany and their little one on the way!

4. From the drive today. Yes, it says 80. God bless Texas :)

Its 5:22 AM, I am going to bed, goodnight.

A special hello to Brendan, thanks for reading. You are truly a gentleman.