Brad Bailey

The Rookie

I grew up wanting to play music. First drums, then guitar. I went to school to study classical guitar. But I didn't really know what to do from there. So I didn't really go anywhere, or do anything with it. I took a steadier job to support my growing family, and if I played, it was just to take up time.

Somewhere along the way, I was looking into the Army Reserves. I didn't really know what I was looking for. But the recruiter gave me the Active Duty job list, and looking through it, I saw "trombone player." I thought that was weird, and I wondered if maybe they had "guitar Player," too. So I flipped back a few pages, (alphabetical, you know), and there it was. "Guitar Player." I headed back home, and when I got in the door, I told my wife, "If I go active duty, I can be a guitar player in an Army band." She said, 'Well, turn your butt around and go sign up." So I did.

It took two years, LASIK surgery, and losing 30 pounds, but I did what it took to meet the requirements, and ended up being accepted into the US Army. To. Play. Guitar. Seriously. At 26 years old. After I'd pretty much given up on any chance of playing music. For that matter, I don't know that I ever really thought I had a chance back then.

Now, I've recorded and released a CD, with another one on the way. I play shows pretty consistently, and I play my music. Music that I've created.

Somewhere in all of this, I saw The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid. It's the story of Jimmy Morris, a high school science teacher who, after giving up when younger, was finally able to achieve his dream of pitching in the major leagues. I don't know if I can express how much this resonated with me. I really felt like it was my story.

I'm watching it again right now, and it still hits me.

 

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