Pictures and thoughts from a Memphis Musician's Wife

Archive for October, 2017

B.B. King’s Memorial Service


On a stormy day in Memphis, B.B. King was honored with one of the most moving memorial ceremonies I have been witness too on Beale Street. The King of the Blues, as he was so affectionately called, was honored with a musical celebration fit for a king. I was blessed to be able to be backstage for the entire show because Ghost Town Blues Band opened the ceremony with a selection. That day was amazingly special for so many reasons, but the biggest for me was that Ty was able to be a part of the entire celebration. It was an amazing atmosphere, filled with emotion, love, and music.

Back to the Real World

Being a part of a touring band is a unique experience. Your life revolves around being on the road. It’s almost as if time stops while you are on tour. I toured for the past 5 years in one capacity or another. As of a few weeks ago, I am no longer doing so. Now, it’s back to the real world. 

This is definitely not an easy transition. Life on the road is so different. It’s something new every day. A different city, venue, people, and food selection are just a few of the things you get used too. 

For me, I was touring with my husband. He is still on tour, and now I am home. I shouldn’t complain. I can be here for my kids and family. I have a job I am blessed to work. But it is hard adjusting back into society after having been a part of the music world for so long. It’s hard not seeing my spouse for weeks at a time, especially since we have not spent more than a few days apart in the 7 years we have been together. It’s hard feeling like a single parent because I’m the only one here. It’s hard not being able to talk about how I feel because not many people get it. It’s hard seeing 5 years of work and honing my skills as a merch person basically flushed down the drain. It’s hard talking to him on the phone and imagining all that I am missing. Once again… Tears. 

I find myself crying uncontrollably after I speak to my husband on the phone. It’s hard to sleep and eat. I just don’t know how to cope. I don’t know how to express why I feel the way I feel. 

I hate change, and this one is big. So…I will do what I do daily. I will get up, follow my routine. Stay strong because that’s what my kids need. I will go to work and smile through the pain. I will keep going. There is nothing else to do. Giving up is not an option here!

Do they know?

Do they really know what we do when they are gone? We cook. We clean. We do laundry. We help with homework. We get kids to school and choir rehearsal, and then we get those kids to our other kid’s activities. We make sure they are all entertained, fed, bathed, and dressed ever morning and night. 

Road life is hard, but home life is no piece of cake. The routine at home is monotonous many days, while road life is hectic and always changing. Making the change has confused my body. My mind still thinks like I’m on the road. It’s hard not to ask questions when I am not there. Life. Death.  Changes. They are inevitable. I wonder if he understands how I feel. I wonder if anyone does. 

A rare sight 

It’s not often that you see wives on the road with bands. Most bands ban significant others from touring because it can cause major problems. It can be hard to separate personal from business when you are working together, let alone being on the road for days or weeks at a time. I’m still working at making sure I am more help than harm to the guys when I am on the road. I know that all these female hormones can sometimes be crazy, but I’d like to think I’ve done a decent job of keeping them in check…

I started this post a little over two years ago. Jeremy was in a different band, and it seems like a lifetime ago, even though it hasn’t even been a year since the switch. Other things have happened, too. We got primary custody of my stepdaughter. We became full time parents overnight. That really threw a wrench in things. I am also no longer a touring wife. I am now just normal Mary…Musician’s wife, mother, daughter, sister, waitress, aunt, and a few other things. 

My life has been through so many changes in the past few years. The emotional rollercoaster gets overwhelming at times. I balance my kids’ schedules, work at the restaurant, Jeremy’s schedule, and whatever others need into one tightly connected schedule. Now, I am home pretty much full time. I have a driving teenager, an eight year old with activities, and a 28 year old musician husband with gigs and driving Lyft in his spare time, what little he has just to make ends meet. I’m not the only one who has this predicament, and I most certainly won’t be the last. 

The band change was huge for us. We left a family we helped develop and mold for another family starting from the ground floor. Jeremy had the opportunity to be signed with the legendary Stax Records, and it was almost like a sign from God. I knew this could be a good step for us. We jumped in with both feet. We have been through many trials during this journey. Due to many circumstances, none bad, I now stay at home. My kids need stable parenting at home, and we needed the money since I am working at a better location of my restaurant. It is a new opportunity, and I have been grateful to feel a little normal the last few weeks. 

But still… This change… It bothers me. My life for the past almost 7 years has been spent with Jeremy at gigs. Being his right hand became my career. Now, that road life is over. I am home most nights on the phone with him imagining what we would be doing if I was there while we trade sighs on the phone. I knew it was coming. It’s just such a big change. I didn’t know I would miss it this much. 

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