Wisdom is the result of Battle. The color of Truth is sometimes Bloody Red. We are seeing many of these battles in internet streaming and distribution. Simultaneously we see the fall of the Record industry as we have known it. The tech and finance end of this is well covered in the media. The Human Element of a writer or Performer has been a talking point heavily due to the Change of all lives called Covid. For a few, there is another element not known about. A Battle of its own. Its name is Dystonia a disease this is a tale of some of the battles dystonia anI have had over the year and the story of the phoenix rising.
Phoenix Rising A dystonia inspired track
What would you do as a Musician, an accomplished Painter or even a Carpenter if the world you have known suddenly turned upside down and you find your own body turned against you? I found out the same as over 300,000 other American’s alone and Many more over the world.
We fight, we adapt, we change and we get ready everyday for the next Battle.
My Name is Jimmy Fleming and I began my musical journey 46 years ago as a 3 year old child. By Age 10 I had taught myself to play in a tuning created accidentally . I was never on any normal path. At the age of 16 I was playing as a professional with bands in Bars and Clubs and by age 19 found myself in a Room in Los Angeles, California with a set of contracts in front of me. Music is a Magical thing that will put you in the most amazing places. The music might be right where you want to be, and the circumstance will end that in a Heartbeat. Be it a bad contract, a Shady move, or a health issue that makes the world stop spinning.
Roughly 18 years ago I thought I had met up with every sort of nightmare countering my dreams. I had declined my L.A. offer on ethics and returned to Ohio and continued by then to have put in the first 15 years working not only with the Bands on the road and paying the dues of that life, but finding my own voice and in 2007 building and releasing a project via my own independent Label. I was gathering the beginning of some Global recognition and had a small feature in a Major Guitar magazine.
I had also become an Alcoholic and This was in part to the fact that I liked to drink, I had a job that as long as you could perform on the stage it was generally acceptable to go to work with a beer in your hand and thirdly these odd physical occurrences I had experienced randomly never were happening. IF I stayed Loaded. I also had reached the point of knowing if I continued this path I was soon to die and Sobriety for real this time was my only option. I made my mind up and kicked Alcohol. Then things got really weird.
I could not Walk , Drive, feed myself properly much less play a guitar in the short space of 10 days after detox. My motor skills were 95% devastated and I had no reasonable explanation until I heard the words from a Neurologist “I think you have something Called Dystonia”. In this particular case specifically Generalized Dystonia…meaning every muscle of the body.
The battles dystonia creates in the mind
Dystonia is a misfiring of the Brain and affects people differently. Some only in the hands, or the neck and head, levels of severity vary from case to case. The reasons for it are equally as varied.
All I knew was I couldn’t play the Guitar anymore and this was not acceptable.
I spent a year adapting to medications, but more importantly, regaining my ability and stamina to play music and by 2010 I was back in the game. Cured I thought. I released a few more recordings and was doing well. Playing Larger and larger shows and opening for National and internationally know Artists. Gaining press all over the globe, even if the money wasn’t reflecting the rise of the name being made. Then Dystonia came to call once more and began to let me know you have another fighter in the ring. I discovered much like relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis which my dad had been stricken with prior to my issues, this was going be a life of acts in a play. I entered the second act with a different focus. It was no longer all about music it was as much about advocacy for my fellow warriors in this battle, and educating the public on this lesser-known affliction dystonia.
The Music opened the door, to speak of this when the occasion happened. This was and still is a tricky task and were in all truth out of every 800 emails and attempted contacts you may get one or two opportunities. However, when you win those, they count..be it doing live Radio with the Creator of Woodstock and others Like the Legendary Angie Bowie, or Being able to say thank you to Alice Cooper for a public service announcement. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t play.
One day during a random walk past an art gallery, a small voice said to me “turn around and go back and see what this place is about.” My knowledge of Art I must admit was limited but my knowledge of adventure won out. I went in and during the course of a discussion somehow got to discussing mutual interests, in Documentaries with the Proprietor. I told her my plight and within a half-hour.
I had a new and true friend in one Cynthia Davis and we began to hatch a plan to help spread the word to the world. After many years of ups downs and hours unreal She has finished. “Witness the Rising” is a short film in which she masterfully told a story of Hope against all odds. This film release is currently TBA however keep your eyes open. Like playing a note it is all about timing and the time is approaching to hit that note.
In Summary, I’ve written this to hopefully inspire anyone with any affliction to never give up. In these acts in the play, I have managed to write over 100 songs, release roughly 10 albums
And EP’s.. and am still in the ring 46 years after touching the guitar for the first time. This is not without struggles and an all-out war to achieve it, but it’s worth the fight.
In the age of Covid, it has become even more difficult to make a living much less a dollar as a recording musician, as the performing musician’s life is looking better but the future is still a bit cloudy. My work can be found at this time via Soundcloud and amazing radio profile. Donations are accepted via the blue covid relief button or direct Or on my website guitardoor.com where you can buy my music or make a donation. However, it is not required but if you can help and if you are a guitarist you can also promote your guitar music with us.
I now have had the time doing Covid lockdown to realize that the unknown Artist is in the same boat as the Touring Legends. Yes, there is a frustration that life has changed so much and become difficult on this segment of the arts, but it has leveled all aspects of human life inside and outside of music. I simply seek to remind all of us Musicians that success is relative and we originally got into this to just be able to play that music that touched our souls. Before the business came into it.
To be able to pick up or sit behind that instrument you chose and studied and bled over, the thing that you breathed for when it all began for you. …That moment when you could make it create the sound in your head…That is a reward in itself. It is its own Blessing. Never quit thinking that way, and above all..just never quit. The book of life has not been completed for many of us….there is much more magic there to find. Warrior on and see the phoenix rising and see how Jason Dunn Battles dystonia in this news film below. That there may be a cure one day for Dystonia. Jason hopes just to live a normal life if they ever find a cure for dystonia and just do everyday stuff we all take for granted.
How Jason Dunn battles dystonia with his 5dollarcure