Arlen Roth

No question that most of us who make it in this business have had to possess a certain kind of “inner drive” to make it. It doesn’t always guarantee that we in fact will make it, but the fact that we are trying is crucial to not only our success, but to our well-being too!
I know that regardless of all the trouble I’ve been through and all the trials and tribulations, I still have been able to maintain at least most of this “drive” that I talk about. It’s a hard thing to maintain with true consistency, because let’s face it, “life” gets in the way! At one point, when I started Hot Licks with my soon to be wife, Deborah, we saw what a thriving business and fresh idea we had, and the results were so immediate and strong that I essentially “channeled” that drive I had into the business we were embarking on. Yes, I still had gigs, tours, solo albums and other things that were of great importance to me, but the fact that we had a totally self-contained new lucrative business in the palms of our hands really took over for quite some time.
But all of that was the result of the initial and still very real drive I had to “make it” with my music. I wanted my playing to be recognized by others, and even though Hot Licks was a bit of a “left turn” away from the “norm”, it was definitely a result of all that drive I had as a guitarist in the first place! Anyway, I figured that folks would get to know me as a player through the instruction tapes in addition to my albums, my performing and my “sideman” work!
Thus latest phase of my life has been full of challenges, and I find myself at certain critical junctures that test my “inner drive” and test my ability to “go on.” People whom I work with on certain projects may not really understand what it is I have been through and the sense of urgency I feel when it comes to certain things like getting bookings, getting session work, and especially projects that mean a lot to me such as my new “Slide Guitar Summit” album and film!
These represent milestones in one’s career, and they are not only important to how the public perceives you, but even more so what you feel inside, and what it personally means to you too!
This is definitely a subject I could and should go on and on about, since I feel it can help a lot of people, so there will be future blogs about it, but in the meantime, check your own “inner drive” and make sure you have it, use it, protect it, defend it and most of all preserve it, no matter what! Trust me, it’ll always be there, even when you think it’s gone!