It was not long after I had finished a tour of Hawaii doing guitar and vocals with B.B. King’s Allstars onboard the cruise ship MS Oosterdam. This had marked the end of my sixth international tour with the group, and Life was giving me signs to move onto other musical endeavors for a while.
Anyway… I was sitting around talking with my mom and eating a late breakfast in my old home in Tennessee. She was flipping through her usual programs on TV when a musical performance from a local artist came on one of the Nashville midday shows- Today in Nashville. “You know J.P., you should really try to get on there and perform,” my mom suggested.
I shrugged off the idea at first as many sons do when their moms try to make suggestions. As time went on I kept an eye on the musical performances on Today in Nashville and saw quite a few quality artists including some that I knew personally. My mom had definitely planted a seed in my mind whether I wanted to admit it or not.
Every now and then my mom would ask, “Have you gotten in touch with Channel 4 yet about playing the show?” “Not yet… I’m going to,” I would respond in a tone of pure procrastination. Finally, after playing a few original music gigs and picking up some steam I worked up the courage to give it a shot.
“I can you booked on Today In Nashville in August.” An email response had come back. Of course I instantly accepted. I was ecstatic about the opportunity to perform my music on live television in Music City, USA. Mom was right.
I had a few months until the date of my performance. So this gave me time to conjure up some ideas on how to make it a memorable one. I knew for sure I wanted to perform my original song entitled “Pain.” I also knew I was going to pull out all the stops.
Time flew by as I hit venues in and around Nashville with a full band. I also discovered many Blues Jams around and became somewhat of a regular in that scene. One memorable gig was one up to Knoxville to play The Blue Plate Special radio show. In the blink of an eye the eve of my television appearance had arrived. I rehearsed my band up and prepared myself to put on a show.
The morning of the performance I decided I was going to wear my blue pinstriped suit I had bought in Kusadasi, Turkey while on tour over there. I put on my vinyl of Led Zeppelin IV and listened all the way through “Stairway to Heaven.” Got my coffee and the morning ritual was complete. Time to play.
Everyone was very friendly when I arrived, and the band and I were shown to a nicely decorated green room with assorted teas. Before I knew it we were sound checking my song “Pain.” I could tell the hosts and crew were a little taken aback at first by the level of Rock coming from the stage. We made the proper adjustments and were about 10 minutes away from going live. Of course I didn’t show them all my tricks yet.
We got into the groove of “Pain” and everything was solid. Then came the solo section. This was where I did my best to shine. Getting down on my knees with my guitar. Playing behind my head. Even playing with my teeth. We kept the energy up until the end and finished the song off with a rockin’ punctuation mark. The Tune of The Teeth had been played.
The performance was well-received in the room as they cut to commercial break. “You’re the first person to play the guitar with their teeth on the show,” one of the hosts remarked. I passed out some merch and went on my way. The next day there would be another artist on the show as I went back into the sea of musical talent that is Nashville. One thing is for sure. This was a day that reminded me why I love to perform and entertain people. Here’s the video of the performance below.
If you like the video you might also consider checking out Snapshot of My Soul. It’s my latest album and features “Pain” as well as a mix of other Pop/Rock songs that shed light on the inspiration behind the teeth.