Perhaps you are among the many thousands of individuals who have purchased one or more of my recordings, which range from as far back as the late sixties to the present day. Conceivably, you may be one of the hundreds of musicians that I have "jammed" or recorded with over the past forty plus years. If you fall into neither of these groups, you're probably asking yourself, "Who is James Vincent?" and "Why would I want to read a story about his life?" Iíll try to help you answer those questions.
I was never an astronaut. The title of this book, "Space Traveler," is taken from an album I recorded in the mid seventies, and it is my most commercially successful record to date. The subtitle, "A Musicianís Odyssey," signifies that this book is the story of my life, which covers a lot of ground. I first heard my title cut on the radio while pouring cement for five dollars an hour on the island of Kauai, unaware until that moment that I had a "Top 40" hit. But for this one event, my life would have taken a different course.
For the vast majority of musicians, even those of us who have achieved some level of notoriety, the profession does not lead to a glamorous lifestyle. For me there were some great successes as well as dismal failures, both professionally and in my personal life. Over my four decades in the music profession, I have from time to time been engaged in acerbic internal struggles, and I have often found myself weighing the balance between the forces of good and evil. The lessons I have been taught along the way have led me to a spiritual growth I may not have found were I to have chosen another path.
Before opening up my past, I want to define the whole point of my narrative. I have written this book in response to numerous requests from friends and fans. Many are simply interested in my musical life... the road, the clubs, the studios, the concerts, the celebrities, and the "sex, drugs and...," -you know the rest. Others have wanted more, and I have come to agree with them that there is much more to be told here. I have opted to tell the whole story of my life... laid bare as best I can in the bright, unforgiving light of truth, with all its blemishes revealed.
I will confess that to be a professional musician requires a larger than average ego, but mine is not so great that I would attempt to simply glorify my life before the public. You will see that much of my chronicle is full of chagrin. I will make it perfectly clear that my youthful indiscretions and reprobate behavior and lifestyle, as described in some portions of this book, bring me no sense of pride. I reveal them only to illustrate the dire consequences that can result if we fail to reach deep inside ourselves when making the important choices in our daily lives. If I were not absolutely certain that the exploits and trials and errors of my life contained social and spiritual truths that might be of help to others in their journey, I would never have undertaken this project. Perhaps someone will learn from my mistakes.
We all make thousands of determinations throughout our lives... practical and analytical decisions, and moral, ethical and spiritual choices. By nothing more than simply making these choices wisely, I am convinced that we may all overcome our cultivated tendencies for destructive behavior. Regrettably, that is a talent which all too often requires a lifetime to master.
I have come to firmly believe that there is an order to our universe that we are all called upon to recognize at some point in our lives, regardless of our vast diversity. I am certain that each of us is put here to develop a noble character. Life is an opportunity to build, brick by brick and stone by stone; to find and correct our weak points in order to form a symmetrical structure that no tempest of trial can blow down. I have found that it is only as we take a genuine interest in the welfare of others that we can find lasting peace and pure satisfaction. By the end of my story, you will know how this principle was revealed to me. I hope that you will enjoy the voyage.