Just Not In Me?


I'm not sure why, but I did something very different this last week. I turned down not just one, but two musical opportunities. I'm not sure whether they were for the same reasons, probably not, but it's very odd behavior for me in any event.

First, the Church is putting together a Zoom holiday show and wanted its musicians to submit videos for it. I've never fronted an act for any of these shows (it's only been over Zoom this and last year) but have backed others and performed as part of the Church band. I had no problems saying no this time around. But this year something different happened; I was one of four people that one of the musicians putting the show together came after. That was certainly a boost to my ego if nothing else.

But though the worst of it was over, I still have a bit of a cold lingering, and final submissions have to be in by December 6. But I'm pretty sure I'll be over it in plenty of time. I know the technology involved, it would just be a case of finding an appropriate song in my vast collection, getting it ready, and recording it. Last year I did three such songs for an Advent presentation.

This year I simply felt the show could easily go on without me. I knew that I just didn't want to go through the hassle, especially of finding a good Christmas-y song. I made no phony excuse, like I didn't have time or some such thing. I simply replied "Thanks, but I just don't have it in me."

It's probably just as well that I did so. I'm feeling no regrets.

The other gig I turned down was with my old band Void Where Prohibited. I've been occasionally filling in for their bass player since July as he walks the tightrope of band vs. family demands. Later this month will be my fourth bass gig with them.


This time, however, it was their lead guitarist who couldn't make a potential gig. In a moment of uncharacteristic clarity, I turned this opportunity down also. Suddenly the thought of the rehearsals and gear schlepping and not being able to get the songs as good as they used to be when I was their regular lead player made the whole idea unappealing. As with the Church gig, I politely declined.

As with the Church gig, I'm feeling no regrets.

Neither of these turn-downs, in and of themselves, would be cause for alarm, but together, they make me wonder. How much were my decisions just due to the specifics of the gigs, and how much is part of something deeper.


The latest resurgence of COVID certainly has me down, not to mention the rest of the news. But have my musical bearings themselves changed? Playing bass again has been fun, but at

Shin the Musician

Last update: December 1, 2021

The John Shinnick Web Site

No music? So not me!

the same time, it pretty much requires having a band to play in, and I'm not sure I want that anymore. I've been in and out of bands since I was 12 (if you count the Kamikaze Turtles) and just don't see anything new on the horizon. Subbing is a bit different, but has serious drawbacks - like being unable to help polish the music. It's more like trying to survive a night while enjoying myself.

I tried going solo for a time, but that never worked out. I never had the confidence to be the whole show. I often thought I might be a good second for someone who wanted to and had the talent to front the act. I never found the right person.

So I'm kinda rudderless right now. Nothing seems particularly interesting. But somehow I think I'm just going through a phase. Sorta like the pandemic!

The recording, lyrics, and back story to "My Brain Is Too Small", a song I wrote and recorded in 1990.


The video, lyrics, and back story of the song I wrote and performed for my retirement party in 2006.