a little motel music

It’s twilight, and the notes I sang to people some hours ago seem to float in the air like motel room coat hangers.

Lying on the bed with my guitar and my remarkably low-fi, home recording studio away from home, it’s clear that the motel exists to help me think of loneliness and make up another song.

Things that are supposed to be so honest, so true, have to be done alone. And this mom-and-pop, roadside motor lodge is a calm and quiet place to do it.

No Wi-Fi. No 4K internet speed. No flat-screen TV.  It’s the perfect writer’s refuge. A place to escape the continuum of 24/7 connection.

Thousands of neon dots just like it once dominated America’s highways and byways. Now, they’re nearly extinct. They’ve largely slipped from popular imagination.

It’s a departure from the script of routine life, a place where someone who’s just passin’ through can make up a different past, a new destination, a new song.

You’re in a motel on the edge of town, and the big sky here leaves you lonely. You’re isolated and apart from everything, and it’s there that you can remember what you believe in, or what is—what is the nature of being, as you see it.

The motel is a place where I can remember what I wanted out of this songwriting thing in the first place: to be myself, rather than what others would want me to be.

I’m hoping tonight that the two of us, my Martin guitar and I, and this shabby motel room make for a dangerous combination.


10 thoughts on “a little motel music

  1. Tony, I don’t know about your song writing ability, but I do know you are a great writer of meaningful words, that together form a beautiful philosophy and much more – a way of life that is far more beautiful. It serene. A place where one can actually take a deep breath, feel the wind, hear the rain on the window panes, see the stars, be unencumbered by a multitude of technology that is busy, noisy, and dominates everything. Thank you for sharing and keep on writing.


  2. Tony, there were so many beautiful things in this post. I loved the idea that motels exist to remind us of being alone; that the most honest and meaningful work has to be done alone; and that you got into the music business to be/find yourself. These words felt so authentic and universal to me and because of this, it was nourishing to read them. Thank you.


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