The past week I’ve been reading the book Outliers, The Stories of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. The basic gist of the book is very successful people, outliers, owe their success to a few proven factors: time spent practicing their craft, dedication and luck (class, unique historical moments, when they were born etc.) Anyways, I immediately thought of this book when I went to the Rite Aid on York and Ave 64 this evening and spotted this young dude playing his guitar and singing outside the front door.
I’ve seen him all over Highland Park, at the farmer’s market, the library, on Figueroa, all sorts of places and he’s always with his guitar. I thought to myself, it’s not too many young people that would have the dedication and gumption to stand in front of Rite Aid playing on a Monday night. But it seemed to be paying off, I saw a man go to his car, get money and come back to put it in the already-full-of-bills of hat. Nobody does that in Highland Park, c’mon! Make an extra trip to give someone money? They wouldn’t even do that for their mom! Something about this dude’s spunk was admirable and piqued my interest so I asked him if I could interview him for the blog. He was really nice and said yes, even though I interrupted his song. It’s okay it was a Beatles (gag) song.
What’s your name?
That’s your stage name?
No, my real name. I was born with it. [laughs]
How old are you?
How long have you been playing guitar?
How did you get into music?
My dad played classic rock guitar
Is your dad from Highland Park?
Yeah, but he doesn’t live here anymore. He lives in Bellflower [laughs]
How about you?
I’ve lived in Highland Park my whole life.
Where do you usually play?
In front of supermarkets, farmer markets, anywhere…
What kind of music do you play?
[He shrugs and then exclaims] Rock n roll!
I play in a band too, called Liquid Love Ghost (add them on FB).
Thanks! (I drop a dollar in his hat, what a cheapskate, huh?)
And that concludes our Rite-Aid interview!
A review of Zeus from a friend of mine who lives in HLP:
He was playing in the park next to my apartment on a particularly shitty day…and something about it just made me so very happy, to see him making music in the park while I was fuming away. I stopped and smiled and said, “You just made my whole day!” and he said, “I did? Awesome.”
One last story about Zeus. I was in a local library, checking out books of course, when I saw Zeus in the library surrounded by a group of friends and quietly playing his guitar. The librarian went over and told him to stop. But he kept playing, so she told him he had to leave. He continued to strum his guitar while walking out, a small gaggle of teenage girls trailing behind him…
Good luck to Zeus and all the other aspiring young musicians of Highland Park! Remember The Beatles played every night for eight hours at a time to perfect their sound. Zeus has got a leg up on the competition already!