Matt Strickland

So I rode my motorcycle in this morning after a short trip around the outskirts of town to the music store I had always dreamt of owning.  I married the woman that stood by me even when she probably shouldn’t have.  We have a one year old little boy that I hope one day thinks Dad is as cool as I try to be.  We live in a neighborhood we drove through for years hoping to one day call home.  I sit back and feel like I am very fortunate to be living this life.  

I’m Matt, I grew up with two brothers in a small Alabama town with not a whole lot of money.  I guess we were probably lower middle class.  I believed then and still do now that my Dad can do anything.  We were brought up using our hands.  Calling the repairman was a foreign thing to me.  In my household we value hard work and sweat.  My Mom was my connection to music.  She still has the same piano that my brothers and I beat on as kids.   Daniel and I played Heart and Soul pretty regular.  I think that was probably the first “band” I was in and the first time I felt the way music consumes me.  

Guitar is how I found out who I wanted to be.  I found that music was the one thing I could truly feel.  It was a lot more to me than notes and chords.  Guitar got me through puberty with all of its craziness.  Guitar gave me a style, it was my new identity.  This was my release, a way to get the inside out.  It was, and still is, the way a guy that can hardly muster a sentence to a stranger made friends.

So I never made it as a rockstar.  I figure at this point I will just call myself an artist.  You don’t have to be famous to be an artist right?  Anyway, I did the college thing, got a job, and made money, but punching a clock just wasn’t me.  I was driving down AL Hwy 31 and Scott Avett sang “one foot in and one foot back, but it don’t pay to live like that.”  I had heard the song a thousand times before but this time it made sense.  I had already opened the store but wasn’t sure if I was ready to dive in just yet.  At that moment I made a decision to go put both feet in.  Being a business major I was very aware of the probability of failure, I just never considered myself a statistic.  

I have now been doing this full time going on five years.  I have met and made so many friends since starting up.  I am a part of a community of people that love music, art, and can value thoughts and ideas of others.  The shop is so much more than just a retail location.  This thing has become a place where we hang out and talk about random happenings going on in our lives.  Sometimes conversations get heavy and sometimes we speak total non-sense.  I sell guitars, fix guitars, teach guitar, and play guitar.  I go home completely exhausted more times than not.  What seemed like such a distant circumstance is now my life.  I hope this ride lasts forever.