By Karen Eden
Huey Lewis and the News was a very popular Top 40 band for more than a couple of decades. Back in my radio days, I was backstage when Huey Lewis was coming off from a “standing-room-only” performance. I could tell he was more than pleased with his show; he was literally wiping the sweat off of his face.
Just then, I heard someone make a comment to him.
“I remember seeing you at the Aqua Knot nightclub when you were a start-up band,” said the man.
“Oh, wow!” replied Huey, with almost a look of pain on his face.
Huey wasn’t rude or impolite. But I could never understand why he had such a deflated look on his face when that guy told him that. Until now.
A lot of years have gone by since then. I’ve come into my own as an author of four books and a journalist with over 20 years of writing for martial arts magazines and newscasts.
I’m always honored when someone conjures up something I wrote from 20 years ago. But I find myself also saying “thank you” with that same look Huey Lewis had.
You see, it’s like this. When you’re a musician, a writer or any other kind of artist or anybody in the arts and entertainment industry, you’re is usually very hard on yourself. The thought that someone can recall your work when you weren’t as polished can immediately take the fun out of any compliment, though it was well-meant.
I look at some of my earlier writings and they are definitely a reflection of where I was at that time in my life. I reread books I’ve written and often wish I could change something to make it better. It’s a never-ending process. There are times I over-think what I’ve written, to the point that I’ll miss a deadline if I don’t just go ahead and send it!
It’s kind of like someone telling you that they watched your yellow-belt test when you’re now a 4th-dan master. You’re really not sure if you should say thank you or just walk away with a smile.
We were all white belts at one time, just like some of us were budding artists and garage-band performers. As a high-ranked master myself, I, too, grimace when someone from my own federation tells me he/she remembers my black belt test. I obviously passed. But that was so long ago and I’m so much stronger and wiser now I almost grimace when I think about it.
I also remember, as a colored belt, being taken back when other black belts treated me with respect and camaraderie. They were like Bruce Lee to me, and I felt special to be able to even hang out with them as a young girl.
Today, with the shoe on the other foot, I totally get why we are so kind to those coming up in our industry. It’s because we can all remember what it was like to be the white belt. We know what it’s like to be the one that isn’t yet confident and secure in what we’re attempting to accomplish.
Without a doubt, someday I’ll look back and think of how much better my writing has become than it is today, as you read this column. I probably won’t be able to do the kicks I did as a young girl, because I can’t even do them the same way now. But I will think about how much stronger and wiser I am as a teacher and how far I’ve come in life.
Well, I don’t know what happened to Huey Lewis and the News. Perhaps Huey is playing back at the Aqua Knot now that his career has come full circle. But there’s nothing to feel bad about. Huey Lewis could just be playing in his basement. Yet another day of contributing to his craft will no doubt continue to make him all the more wiser and better.
Time is a funny thing like that. It’s the only thing I can think of that can make us smile and grimace — all at the same time!
You can contact Master Karen Eden at [email protected]
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