The Arka Tech

The cowboy rides away —my farewell address

Well kids, as Kris Kristofferson once said, “This may be our last good night together.”

It seems like it was just a few months ago that I began working on the Arka Tech staff. From day one, my goal with these weekly musings of mine was to discuss albums and topics that you wouldn’t necessarily hear about in mainstream outlets. With my background being rooted in country and rock, that was what I ended up gravitating to, and there’s a lot to cover just in those two genres.

As I sit here writing my final ramble, I’m looking back on the things I’ve written in the past few years. Although I’ve never been perfect (what a shocker to hear me say that), there’s not much I would change, except for one big thing that I must address:

One of my early articles was a review of Van Halen’s 2015 live album, “Tokyo Dome Live In Concert.” In that article, I gave a fairly negative review of the album, which understandably made some fans a little unhappy. I’ve always regretted not making an immediate clarification as to why I gave it such a negative review.

I saw the band on its 2008 reunion tour with, original vocalist, David Lee Roth. I felt like the band, especially Roth, put on a killer performance that night, and to me, “Tokyo Dome Live In Concert” didn’t reflect that at all. My feelings were and still are that Roth’s performance on the album was not as good as he’s capable of. I’ve seen him do a great performance, so I know that he can do it. That’s all.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to leave you with a few final nuggets of wisdom that relate to this art that I love so much:

1. If you like an artist and believe in that artist, support them. Buy their music, go to their concerts, wear their shirts and tell everyone you know about them. Like Willie Brown said in the 1986 film, “Crossroads,” – “Take it past where you found it.” It’s not easy to make or maintain a career in music these days, so now more than ever, artists need help from their fans.

2. If you’re hearing music in your head that nobody else is doing, grab a guitar and make it yourself. You never know when it’ll be the next big thing. I mean that.

3. Nobody can stop you from working towards your goals. If you believe you have a talent, and you want to pursue that talent, you have to do it. You either use it or lose it. You owe it to yourself to give it at least a couple of good, honest attempts. When somebody tries to tell you that it’s impossible or a waste of time, ignore them. Johnny Cash’s first wife tried talking him out of music.

4. The good stuff always lasts. Don’t worry about making music that fits the trends. Just focus on making good music that you believe in. This really applies to everything, not just music.

I’m not sure that I’ll have the opportunity to do something like this in the future, but whatever the future happens to hold for me, you can bet it’ll involve music. Music is such a huge part of who I am, and it’s very important to me. I hope you’ve enjoyed any of my articles that you’ve read.

To Tommy Mumert, our faculty adviser, and all of the wonderful editors and staff members I’ve had the privilege of working with: Thank you. Your support and friendship is something I’ll always cherish. And to anyone who’s ever taken the time to read any of my articles: thank you. Please feel free to find me online and come to one of my shows. Let’s keep the music going.

I can’t think of any better words to end this with than those of an old George Strait song. “Oh the last goodbye’s the hardest one to say. This is where the cowboy rides away.”