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  • Writer's pictureEric Dahl

Fail Until You Succeed!

Updated: Jul 15, 2018

Welcome to my blog on . My intention has been to generate a weekly blog for family, fans and friends every week but travel, work, life and all my side creative projects have deterred me. While traveling recently it occurred to me how many times I have failed in my pursuits. When we fall short of our goals it can be depressing, disheartening and cripple our forward momentum. But I wanted to share a few of my failures that led me in other directions. Some of these created tentpole changes in my life. Summer of 1981 I decided to try out as a musician for Opryland, so I could work here in Nashville over the summer and get to know the area and people. At the time, I was living in Fruitland, Missouri (tiny town outside of Jackson, outside of Cape Girardeau just south of St. Louis), so my dad drove me to Music City and I hit the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to wow them with my guitar skills. This was my first time to try out for something in this manner and it was intimidating for a 16-year-old from a small town being on stage in front of judges. I played my songs to the best of my ability and left the stage. Less than a month later I received an Opryland Dear Eric letter that I didn’t make the cut, but thanks for trying out. It was a hard pill to swallow at that age, but this pushed me to practice and play more guitar, take classical guitar courses at a college level (while still attending high school) and start playing local gigs in downtown Cape at the Madder Rose. Next after applying myself to guitar studies I decided to pursue a degree in music performance at Belmont College in the fall of 1982. My parents had divorced the year prior, but both of them drove me down to Nashville to get me setup in a campus apartment. While attending my first semester I learned invaluable tools in playing guitar, but I also saw many people with music degrees at the time that didn’t have jobs and this worried me as I didn’t want to work at the blood bank. So, after one semester at Belmont I moved back to Missouri and began studying Mass Communications with a Music Minor in guitar at Semo. I’ve been in TV for over 34 years now. Like many musicians I played in bands on the side of my regular day job. In the mid-nineties, my guitar teacher and family friend since I was 5 years old, Joe Lowes, had an opening in his band Night Shift. There was another local guitar player that wanted the gig also, so the band had tryouts and since Joe and I were friends he withheld his vote. The other band members felt that I was too Blues and Rock sounding so they went with the more country styled musician. Although I was discouraged that I didn’t get into my buddy’s band it forced me to start a band playing the music I wanted to which was Blues based and of course Rock. Van Gogh’s Ear formed in 1995 and disbanded when I moved to Las Vegas in 2001. During that tenure, we won City of Roses Music Festival awards and became one of the top local bands gigging every weekend in the Cape Girardeau market. After moving to Las Vegas, I began playing music with Kelly Sheehan and her band Sideshow. Guitar Center was putting on the King of the Blues contests. I would compete each year and ended up in the final five for Las Vegas, but never the winner. This forced me to continue to hone my chops as a guitar player, play more casino gigs and help launch a praise team band at Good Samaritan Church. The event of finding B.B. King’s 80th Birthday Lucille at a Las Vegas Pawnshop, returning it to him and spending time with my guitar hero was life changing on its own. Then Mr. King gave me permission to write a book about all of his Lucille’s. I started the book in Las Vegas and then completed it in Nashville. Being very naive on book publishing I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get published. Two different major publishers rejected my book because they felt that B.B. King wasn’t a big enough name to make it worth publishing. Obviously, this shocked me but didn’t deter me. I continued to seek a publisher and ended up receiving two offers to publish “B.B. King’s Lucille and the Loves Before Her.” This was accomplished in 2013, two years before Mr. King passed so he could see it in print. Once my family and I moved to Nashville in 2011 I came up with a news segment idea that would be focused on music gear, since we are in Music City. I pitched this idea for months and the News Director continued to shoot me down until finally she said “Fine, why don’t you just do it.” Thus, was born the FOX 17 Rock & Review which has aired over 300 episodes since 2012, has garnered A list stars and is now airing in other markets besides Nashville. My personal list of failures could fill a book of their own, but what I see in these incidents that were potholes on the road of my life aren’t failures as much as they are detours or redirections. If they hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be on the road I am now. Failure doesn’t define us, nor should it stop us, or limit us, it should motivate us to pursue our real dreams and chase our passions! I have every confidence that I will continue to have more failures, as we all do, but I don’t let them bog me down now. Thomas Edison failed at inventing the lightbulb 1,000 times, but all it took was one success! I hope this helps you find the success in your failures as well!


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