In 2012 I was sitting in the outdoor café of a hotel in Los Angeles, having breakfast with a friend. In walked two living legends- comedian Steve Martin and singer Paul Simon.
They sat across from us and I tried to not stare but it was difficult to pretend not to see them when two of the most iconic talents of our time were just a few feet away.
Eventually, my body reacted with an involuntary muscle reflex and I magnetically rose and approached their table.
Steve Martin looked up annoyed. His face said “Oh geez, would you please not bother us?” But Paul Simon looked up and smiled, making eye contact. I said “excuse me but I just wanted to say Mr. Simon that your music has inspired me and you have touched generations.” He said thank you and asked who I am and what I do?
I said I was a songwriter, musician, and that people remarked that my singing voice reminded them of him- that I sound a lot like Paul Simon.
His reply startled me. “I’m so sorry, I have never liked my voice.” I always wished I had more of a voice like John Fogerty.” I was shocked and tried to make nice and say something to smooth over his self-depreciation with “Well Paul, you really haven’t done too badly in your career.”
I went back to my table, meanwhile the whole café was watching from the corner of their eye, and my breakfast mate was amazed that I conversed with Mr. Simon.
Steve and Paul got up to finish and started to leave before us. Mr. Martin walked out, but Paul looked at me and waved goodbye.
10 minutes later he came back into the café and stood before our table, towering above. To this day what he said was unbelievable, amazing, shocking in the most sensitive and spiritual of ways.
Paul said “last night an angel appeared to me in a dream. The angel said little voice don’t cry, little voice don’t cry, big or little it’s all God, it’s all the same. I think I was meant to tell you this message, it was a message meant for you to keep singing.”
If my warped sense of narcissism weren’t delicately balanced, having Paul Simon tell me angels appeared to him to deliver me a message about my voice, certainly didn’t help.
I was always the one they took the microphone away from growing up. In bands I tried to sing but was terrible, always off pitch. I’d get offered one song to sing lead, and after the first rehearsal I’d come back to the next rehearsal to find my microphone gone and the band saying “Larry, just play keyboards we got the singing covered.”
Both Tony Robbins and Joseph Campbell describe each person having a personal myth- their own symbolic life’s journey. Mine has always been the ugly duckling and the swan. Going from unpopular kid to shining musician on stage. I was never the lead singer in any of my bands, so in middle age to have one of the most successful singers on Earth, tell me that angels instructed him to send a message to keep singing was a very out of this world experience.
These days, I just sing. I don’t care how I sound, whether I am warmed up, it just comes from me like water flows from the mountains to the sea.
What is the takeaway lesson here? I believe that it’s simple; just do what you love and whether it’s for your personal fulfillment, or as a career like Mr. Simon, or both- following your passion will lead to remarkable events, unforeseen circumstances that come to your aid once you take action on your dreams.
Thank you angels, thank you dreams, thank you Paul for the inspiration. For more stories and to contact me: [email protected] Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoWhatYouLoveCommunity/ or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dowhatyoulovemedia