Wednesday, June 11, 2014
For that kid who dreamed of rock and roll stardom since before he was tall enough to see over the guitar he was just learning to play, Eddie Bush’s career has followed twists and turns no one -- least of all Bush – could ever imagine.
Bush, who has been writing, recording, and performing since before he was in high school, has built a career doing what he loves – writing, recording and performing music. Indeed, he has lived experiences about which most people can only dream.
In many ways Bush has followed a recognizable career path – writing songs, recording CDs, performing live -- but along the way he has taken side trips down less obvious tributaries.
At the heart of it all, he said, is this sense of joyful serendipity, a vibe that says hard work produces positive results; treating people the way you wish to be treated can only be good karma; and good karma can only beget opportunity.
For example, last year he ran into an unexpected opportunity through one of his guitar students, whose father, Jim “Bear” Dyke happens to be the owner of Mira Wineries.
“I think he always knew me as a guitar teacher but maybe wasn’t as aware of some of my other activities,” Bush said.
That changed when Dyke finally heard Bush perform. According to Bush, Dyke apparently liked what he heard because not only did they become friends, Dyke became quite a champion for Bush, reaching out to friends and business colleagues to try to promote Bush’s music.
The result was a CD called “Eat, Drink, Sing,” recorded late in 2013, which features ten of Bush’s songs and is being distributed by Mira Wineries.
Bush also recently signed a new publishing deal with Blue Guitar Publishing, a Nashville-based music publishing company.
“This actually came about thanks to a good friend of mine,” Bush noted. “I was kind of at a point where I was coming to terms with the idea that this particular aspect of my career was ending and I needed to think about exploring other things.”
Fortunately, thanks to introductions made through long-time friend and advocate Mark Evans, a former program director with KNCI radio station in Sacramento, another unlooked-for opportunity came to pass. It was through Evans that Bush met and became friends with Sam Ramage and Mike Krasky. Both are long-time heavy hitters in the music industry who after careers with such companies as Sony decided to start their own company, Blue Guitar Publishing.
“When Mike asked if I was interested in writing for them, I jumped at the chance,” Bush said. “It’s so hard to get that kind of a situation these days, especially when you don’t actually live in Nashville. This was an absolutely incredible, amazing opportunity.”
But this was not to be the only unique opportunity friends would send Bush’s way.
Another friend, Keith Vincent, contacted Bush about another gig: Would Bush consider writing music for “A Piece of the Game,” a reality television show airing on the Fox Sports South network?
“I wrote a song for the show that very same day and sent it to them,” Bush said.
“They freaked – they loved the song and couldn’t believe I had done it so fast.”
Shortly after that, Bush went to Nashville to the studio of good friend Dave Matthews – the veteran producer and studio engineer, not the performer, Bush admonishes – to record music for the rest of this season, he said.
“The show is fantastic!” Bush said. “It’s similar to shows like Pawn Stars or American Pickers, only they deal in sports memorabilia – and they have some crazy stuff on there!”
For example, one show featured a basketball from the 1936 Olympics, he said.
“It’s kind of weird – Hitler actually held that ball,” Bush said. “Since Germany hosted those Olympics, Hitler demanded that the balls be manufactured by a German company.”
Closing the circle
If one were to pinpoint a time when Bush first dreamed of playing music, it would have been during the late 1960s/early 1970s watching country music legend Glen Campbell on television.
“That man is the very reason I play guitar,” Bush said. “I can remember as a little kid pretending I was him, jumping up and down on the bed with a broom in my hand pretending I was playing guitar.”
Bush would never meet his idol personally, yet their lives would intersect.
Fast forward to around 2001 when Jon Vinci, owner/designer of Dillion Guitars, heard Bush’s music for the first time, thanks to a mutual friend, Bruce Henderson. Vinci liked what he heard and offered to design an Eddie Bush signature model guitar. Bush debuted the guitar at a major national event in Washington, D.C., and has played it extensively ever since.
Then about two months ago, an odd thing happened, he said.
“So I got a post on my Facebook page from a former student,” Bush said. “He had posted a picture of himself at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, standing in front of a display case full of guitars.”
Prominently featured in the front of that display case — which turned out to be part of the Hall of Fame’s Glen Campbell exhibit — was a Dillion Eddie Bush signature model guitar. “This is in the section that exhibits all the guitars he played throughout his career,” Bush said. “How he found out about that one, where he saw it, I have no idea.”
What Bush does know is that in 2010 Campbell was asked to appear in a movie in which he was to sing and play guitar — and that Campbell contacted Vinci asking if he could play one of those guitars in the movie.
Vinci sent him two, Bush said.
Despite the fact that the two have never met, the thought that his childhood idol actually played a guitar named and designed for him astounds Bush.
“Talk about full circle,” Bush said. “I never met the man, but he’s my original inspiration, and here’s that guitar with my name on it in his collection in the Country Music Hall of Fame. What are the odds? I still get chills just thinking about it!”