Thanks for stopping by! I want to take this opportunity to personally welcome you to my brand new blog, “Have Guitar - Will Travel.” Why that name you ask? I’ll explain in a moment.
Ever since I was a young boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago my heart and soul have been drawn to pursue two things: music and travel. And although I have been sidetracked from this path more than a few times, thankfully I have always found my way back and it is what I call “home.” Even if that home is constantly on the move.
Playing music professionally and touring across America is what I have done longer than any other vocation. Longer than my time working as a big-time insurance broker and longer than several other pursuits that I was never really fond of.
When I was away from music and thought that I had life all figured out, I received a rude awakening. I got in way over my head, made some big mistakes and was at the brink of suicide because I was so ashamed of myself. Thankfully, I realized that taking my own life was not the solution and that I had a responsibility to deal with the mess I had made for myself. I did and am a much better person because of it.
Actually, my misfortune was a blessing in disguise because no matter how rough that road was, and believe me it was rough, that rocky little stretch of life brought me back to my true path and reason for being on this planet: create and perform music and give back.
The second chapter of my musical life began in 2012 and has been going strong ever since. Before embarking on this new journey I had a clear vision to share my music and comeback story in hopes of being a real-life example for people of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances to follow your dreams, believe in yourself and never give up!
Prior to my collapse and comeback the vision for myself and my life was to have a great career doing what I am passionate about, own a nice house in a safe neighborhood and fill it up with a couple of kids and a loving wife.
Well, none of that has happened except for the part about having a great career doing what I am passionate about. In fact, each year is better than the last and I have also been forturnate to use my music and story to make a difference. This years tour supporting equine therapy will be the most exciting and productive yet.
Event though I have yet to fulfill the goal regarding a family and house in the suburbs, being on the right track and “following your bliss” certainly has it’s benefits.
As I have said in countless interviews, from the stage during my concerts and when gathered around the table with family and friends, I have been given so many gifts along the way after deciding to never give up. I have met incredible people, many of which have become lifelong friends and have had the opportunity to see more of America than I would have ever imagined when first dreaming of touring the country as a kid in Illinois.
Instead of going on and on describing the people, places and things that I love, I thought it would be much better for your to join me along the way so that we can share and enjoy these “gifts” together. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss a beat!
Now for the name, “Have Guitar - Will Travel.”
My earliest memories from childhood involve my family and I saddling up in the family truckster, usually braving the snow and sleet of those Chicago winters and heading to the home of my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Tex. Auntie Phyllis saved everything! That may be a topic for another blog post but for now just know I loved her and couldn’t wait to head down to the basement where her most valuable items were stored.
My brother and I would spend hours playing electric football, a board game of sorts that consisted of a playing surface that could be plugged into an electrical socket, causing it to rumble , buzz and shake, and move the tiny players across the field. It was better than any virtual reality video game the kids have today, or at least we thought it was.
However, one vintage board game in our Aunt’s stash always grabbed my attention more than anything else, “Have Gun - Will Travel.”
Debuting in 1959 and based on the hit televison series of the same name which ran from 1957-1963, the game follows the adventures of it’s star, “Paladin" who accepts assignments to capture outlaws of the Old west.
Each player is dealt a card depicting an outlaw, the city he's located in and reward amount for capturing him. On your turn, you spin the spinner and advance along the trails the number of spaces indicated. When you reach the town where the outlaw on your card is located, you immediately spin the spinner and if it stops on "HIT", you capture the outlaw. If not, you try again next turn.
Once captured, you place a "Bullet" token on the card then draw a new one. If you land on another player, you are forced into a shootout and the loser has an outlaw escape. The first player to return to San Francisco with the required amount of money and outlaws wins. Can’t you just feel the excitement?
Aside from playing my drums for hours on end this is the most fun, excitement and adventure a kid from the Chicago suburbs with chronic asthma and the inability to go outside 11 months out of the year could have. So when deciding on the perfect name for a blog that will chronicle my real-life adventures across America and beyond with my trusty six-string Godin guitar, I could not think of a better, more fitting name. See you on the road and be sure to sign up! #HaveGuitarWillTravel
SCOTT HELMER is a singer, songwriter, musician, talk radio host, and Guinness World Records title holder for "Most Live Music Performances in 24 Hours (multiple cities)."
Since 2012 his special fundraising concerts have helped raise more than $2 Million Dollars for good causes across America ranging from military veterans and their families, equine-assisted therapy, suicide prevention, first responders, pet and animal rescues, food banks, historic places, special needs children and adults, and more.
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