COMMON GROUND


I live in a bubble. At least that’s what my grown children tell me. “Things come easy for you!” They exclaim. Admittedly, it’s hard to argue with them considering the oceans of shit that I have managed to navigate myself through and still smell surprisingly rosy! Lol. Yet, should I attribute this to luck, hard work, or a combination of them both?

I have a wonderful family and many trustworthy friends who would give the shirts off of their backs for me if deemed necessary. My work life has given me many opportunities to meet, talk with, and sometimes even become friends with some of the most talented musicians, songwriters, and actors of today. Wrapped up in all of this is the fact that I still enjoy a tremendous amount of time off to enjoy with my family and friends yet still earn a decent living. Compared to most, I suppose I do live a life “Outside The Box”. And to be damned honest with you, it’s sometimes difficult to see things “Outside” of my “Box”. It’s all a matter of perspective. If I can see my life through the eyes of my grown children, perhaps I’ll get a better idea of how people in general may view me. I have a little story I’d like to share with you now that made me think about how people may view Rocky Harrison.

I was contacted by the tour manager of a very popular band recently in need of my services for a short time (4 weeks) as a guitar tech. My “Gig” was to fill in for the lead singers permanent guitar tech. while they finished a prior commitment. At the same time I was hired, another person was hired full time as the guitar tech for the band. We were to work together side by side on stage right, each with separate duties yet in my eyes still working very closely together. At this level of the music business I don’t perceive my coworkers as competition. At the very least I look at them as equals and treat them as such. After all, neither of us would be in our situations if we hadn’t proven ourselves at some point in our careers.

Normally I feel as if I get along with just about anyone, I believe it’s just my nature. But right from the “Get Go” this coworker seemed to have a bee in his bonnet about me for some reason. As many people know and understand, I am not perfect by any means, but I just couldn’t figure out why this person and I seemed to be at odds. I certainly had nothing personal against this person and couldn’t think of a single incident in my past that would have created the “rift” that for some reason existed.

I was on the road with this band for over a month and was really hoping that “Time would heal all wounds.” Well, I was wrong. As time went on things between us did not get better, the chasm between us only grew. However, with virtually everyone else that I interacted with my relationship with them seemed to blossom and grow.

When this person had problems with some of the gear for which they were responsible, I offered my help and advice. Not once, but twice I offered and was rebuffed on both of my offers to assist. I did my best to achieve “common ground” with this person but after two or three weeks it seemed as if there there would be none.

At the end of my time with this great group of people, I left them feeling as if I had acquired a great many new friends in my life and was disappointed that not everyone had accepted my extended hand in friendship. At the last show I did with them, as I was walking away from the lead singer I heard the vocalist say to the new person and my “no common ground” friend, “So, you two guys are friends, huh?” I pretty much stopped caring about common ground at that point. I now understood the “rift”.