Have you ever wondered if art and music, as a therapy, help children?
Well let me share this little story with you, that happened to me in Queensland.
While I was in QLD playing on the tour(see below), I met a small boy, about 9yrs old, in a hotel in Thangool. He was there with his father, who obviously had a mental disability, as did the boy to some extent... Before the show started, he came up to us as we were setting up the stage lights and talked to us about his favourite colour, due to the colour of the lights.. He told me his favourite colour was blue.
During the show the boy was sitting right up front of stage and couldn't take his eyes off us the whole time, even though, through the whole show, his old man was getting off his head on caffine and dancing around the room yelling and swearing his box off. This was due to the fact he sat there and must have had about 15 cans of coke in two hours. The poor boy just sat there with a smile as big as WA on his face, totally trying to ignore his dad.
At the end of the show, the band and I went through to the bar and sat there for a few beers, to wind down. I coudn't believe what i saw in this SMOKE filled bar. This little boy was over in the corner all by himself trying not to cry as his dad played pool and drank more coke. Apart from the smoke, the bar was filled with a mob of drunks full of grog and bad manners, swearing and fighting over in the corner...
My jaw dropped.. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. This little boy was left alone in this bar to do what he wanted, if he wasn't so scared that is.
Every time we looked over at him and caught his eye, his face would light up and he would give us a huge wave.. This brought tears to my eyes, and I tried to hold it back as I thought of something to do with this boy... It really did affect me badly... (Crying is not something someone does in a bar full of XXXX and rum drinking cowboys)
Anyway, I thought of the band and I signing a guitar pick each and Tim, our drummer, signing an old drum stick and giving these to the boy. You should have seen his face when we took them to him.... He lit up like you wouldn't believe.... It nearly made me break into tears again..
During this time, he was left to go to the toilet by himself, passing by all the violent drunks on his way.... As he walked back to his table, he was practicing his stick spinning skills and holding the picks against his heart... You should have seen his grin. He was soon joined by one of the bar staffs sons, to look after him, and he sat there for the rest of the night (1.30am) with a monster grin on his face, looking over at us untill he left. Even then he didn't want to go without saying goodbye to us, laging behind his dad as they walked out... What a champ...
This would have had to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life, I would have to say. I will never forget him and his two big front teeth. We tour there again next year, I hope he comes back to see us..
I hope the art form of music changed his life to some degree... I'm not much of a writer, but I hope this gets my point across. I think it works without a doubt..