Monday, January 26, 2009

Long December

Black & White Ice
Originally uploaded by drewmaniac

It was 2003, winter, and cold. I wasn't doing very well financially. My car wasn't working and I had no money to repair it. I was walking to work in the snow. On longer jaunts, I'd borrow my roommate's car. I had no phone because I had no way to pay for one, so I'd purchase a phone card and use pay phones.

Family problems over the years, and then my father's roller coaster health issues had emotionally drained me. Two years before, in a hurry to escape some of the pressures I had moved to a town I had never really intended to end up in. I moved in such a hurry that I had not seriously considered the financial impact it would have, what job I would have, or even where I would live.

It was one of the longest winters of my life.

Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, in an interview on VH1's Storytellers recounts the story behind their hit song, Long December.

In the middle of December of '95 my friend Jennifer got run over by a car, just creamed; and I spent that whole month, while we were just beginning the record and most of January and February in the hospital. Each morning and early afternoon then I'd go to the studio, the house where we were recording, and we'd play all afternoon and all night . It was a very weird time because there is a lot of stress, not that it's a big deal being a second album, but any album. They're just not that easy to make. It's a very stressful process, especially when you're first starting out. I spent a lot of time in the hospital which is pretty weird. But one day I just left the studio about 2 in the morning, and I went to my friend Samantha and Tracy's house which is Hillside Manor, that's what we call it anyway, it's just a little house and I sat there talking with them. I woke them up, got them out of bed and made them talk to me for a couple hours, then I went home to my house. I wrote this song between about 4 and 6 and then went to the hospital the next day, and came to the house and I played it for the guys before dinner and taught it to them after dinner.

At various periods in our lives we must all face a long winter, a long December.

Whatever your winter is, the only option must be to press on. Understand that your winter will one day give way to spring. Work hard to come up with sound solutions to overcome your winter. No matter how difficult things may become, you must press on.

If this past year was a winter you would like to forget, "... there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last."


Chris McDaniel said...

Well said, my friend.

Steve Harper said...

Outstanding post!

We always have to remember that a step forward is a step past those circumstances which try and hold us back, keep us down, or hope we stay exactly where we are. When those December's come...keep shuffling those feet forward.

Ripple On!!!

Andrew Weaver said...

@Chris - Thanks, man.

@Steve - Appreciate you stopping by as always. I did just that - I shuffled my feet forward and worked my way through those times. I am, however, very thankful for the experience and having overcome it.