I Don’t Want To Be Anything Other Than Me

When I was in my early twenties, there was a TV show that was instrumental in defining being. It shaped every single aspect of my life. From my taste in music to the way I write, One Tree Hill was the prime influence in all of it. And I didn’t really pay any mind to it when it came out.

I thought it was about basketball. I’m far from being a sports fan, but I watched an episode from the show’s second season on a local TV channel and I immediately got hooked. It was about more than basketball. It was more than a teen series. It was about growing up. It was about loss. It was about love. It was about overcoming the odds. It was about music. It was about life.

One Tree Hill had the most interesting characters on any TV show that I’ve ever watched. Lucas, the writer and bastard son of Tree Hill’s golden boy. Nathan, Lucas’ half-brother and reluctant son of said golden boy. Peyton, the cheerleader rebel embroiled in an on and off relationship with Lucas. Brooke, the beautifully damaged princess. Haley, Lucas’ bestfriend who winds up as Nathan’s wife. Dan, the protagonist who you just love to hate. These and the others that eventually made me fall for their strength and their will to go on and live.

The music alone was worth watching the show for. I discovered a lot of great songs through the show – songs that are still on my daily rotation. Songs that still make me cry and transport me back to the scenes that soundtracked it. Like The Replacements’ “Here Come A Regular” when my dear Peyton Sawyer found her birth mother’s body and Devics’ “If We Cannot See” at Jimmy’s funeral. Each song was carefully chosen by the show’s music coordinators and by Executive Producer Mark Schwann himself. Each song that was played seemed like it was exclusively written for a specific scene. Sometimes, the songs come to life and are performed by the artists in the show, with the scenes becoming unofficial music videos.

 

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On Saturday, February 13, 2016, I’ll get to pay tribute to that one little show that helped shape my very life. I’ll have the honor of playing songs from One Tree Hill. I’ve retired from performing onstage, but for a special occasion such as this, well … as much as I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately, I have to make an exception.

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