If there’s one thing I know, it’s this: music unites people. In the darkest of times, music brings people together. Songs hold memories of those you may have wanted to forget. On the other hand, music may hold the memories of those you wish you could have back. This article will not be a typical article we publish here, but it’s one that is particularly special to me and our team.
Despite what you might think, there is no doubt that music influences your thoughts. It influences who you hang around, who you are, and who you will become. Particularly, music molds us and drives us as people in a variety of directions. A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to stumble across a couple of guys who shared the same musical interests as me. For those of you who love hard rock or any of its sub genres, you know what I mean when I say a friend who mutually enjoys that music is hard to come by. Despite life’s journey, I knew from an early age music was a part of me. My taste in music was long distilled. I knew what I enjoyed, as I also knew the type of people I wanted to surround myself with. I never thought in my wildest dreams that those two things would coincide.
It’s not too often you come across a great friend. Someone you enjoy being around, and someone you can lean on in the good times and the bad. I was fortunate enough to find that in two people, which brings me here in this moment to deliver these words to you. For those of you who know both Bailey and Aaron, you’ll probably know us as the “swole patrol”. In other words, a group of wannabe meatheads who dig hard rock, funny YouTube videos, and long nights of playing video games.
In the beginning, we all ran in the same circle. Three guys with mutual interests, but no knowledge of it. When we all united, there was no doubt it was something special. Those who know us best know it may have been too special. Before you knew it, we were piling in a car and blasting the heaviest songs we each knew. We grew in the biggest of ways, leaning on each other to build our character and be the very best we can be. We reached our full potential when we attended our first concert together, an Issues show in Atlanta. We survived, as did the many memories that we constantly reminisce on. Nights like those will never be replaced and always will hold a very special place in your heart.
Over the course of the past two years, we all grew closer on an individual level. Much surpassing the group setting, we became best friends with each other. Aaron and I attended quite a few more concerts. Of course, we followed script with a lot of fast food and deaf ears for days and days on in. In a long list of shows we dominated, we were able to see a mutual favorite of ours: Being As An Ocean. I’d say we spent most of our time with their music, texting or calling about new releases and singing them together in the car. Hindsight is 20/20, and I’m thankful to look back and say those days were the best of my life.
Being As An Ocean, circa 2013 at The Masquerade (Atlanta, GA)
I think I speak from the heart, from both Bailey and myself, that our dear friend Aaron brings out the best in us. None of us were able to achieve our goals without each other. We relentlessly supported and pushed each other, because we knew what we were all capable of. My dear friends and readers, friends like that come once in a lifetime. In this life, I am most thankful for my family, my friends, and the faith that unites us. The “swole patrol” became much more than a small group of crazy college kids, as we formed the greatest friendships you can ever obtain in life. I have no doubts that music started it and music will forever hold the memories of our best days.
The takeaway is this: cherish those around you and the things that unite you. Music brought us together, and it will keep us together until the end of time.
In Loving Memory of Aaron Whitaker. Long live.