I’m trying to remember my first hit. But then, it’s been a part of my life for so long, I can’t remember my first time. All I know is that it gave me a rush like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was sheer euphoria. My pulse raced. My heart was pounding. My temples were pulsating. My palms got sweaty. My breathing changed. Then, I knew: I was high! My first drug of choice: The Edwardsville Strings. My main adrenaline rush: a drummer by the name of J.D. Sloan. The song: Ain’t It Like Him. The roll of those drums sounded like machine gun fire. The cymbals crashed. The guitars screamed. A few vocals were thrown in here and there, “Ain’t it like him?!” Oh, my God! This high lifted me all the way out of my body. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was addicted. Eventually, just listening and watching wasn’t enough. I had to get a hit straight into my veins. There was only one way to accomplish that: I had to play. There was a monkey on my back that I couldn’t get off, and no amount of listening could get me there anymore. I had to take this addiction to the next level. I had to feel the sticks in my hands, and feel the pulsation of the beats in my blood. Only music could heal the savage beast and the savage beats! They were in me, and the urge wouldn’t go away. It kept getting stronger and stronger until finally I was completely consumed. I had to play. Every pencil, pen, or pop cycle stick became a potential drumstick. It was all I thought of day and night. Every waking moment revolved around a chance to get just one more beat. I had to have it. Everywhere I went, I had to do it. When I went to sleep, I dreamed about it. When I woke up, I had to create what I’d dreamed about. I’d become a hard core addict! And now though I’ve almost reached the age of forty-five, I’m just as addicted to music now as I was way back then. I’ve got to have it. Over the years, I’ve had to take it to other levels: singing, playing every instrument I could get my hands on, and then ultimately, writing. It’s my passion. It’s my addiction. Does anybody out there know what I’m saying? Tell me. When did you know you were addicted? Talk back to me.