There are two kinds of travelers. There is the kind who goes to see what there is to see and sees it, and the kind who has an image in his head and goes out to accomplish it. The first visitor has an easier time, but I think the second visitor sees more. He is constantly comparing what he sees to what he wants, so he sees with his mind, and maybe even with his heart, or tries to. If his peripheral vision gets diminished - so that he quite literally sometimes can’t see what’s coming at him from the suburbs of the place he looks at - his struggle to adjust the country he looks at to the country he has inside him at least keeps him looking. It sometimes blurs, and sometimes sharpens, his eye. My head was filled with pictures of Paris, mostly in black and white, and I wanted to be in them.
Adam Gopnik – “Paris To The Moon”
(Minutemen bassist Mike) Watt says the title is a poke at mainstream rocker Sammy Hagar, who had recently proclaimed his incredible rebelliousness with the Top 40 hit “Can’t Drive 55.” “You’re such a wild guy, you’ll break the speed limit,” Watt says, chortling. “How about your tunes, though, buddy? We were making fun of him. The title means fifty-five miles an hour on the button, like we were Johnny Conservative.”
Michael Azerrad – “Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From The American Indie Underground 1981 -1991” on the title of The Minutemen’s 1985 album “Double Nickles on the Dime”
“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“I never really said all the things I said.”
Brian Westbye dreamed big of becoming a famous guitarist, then put the dream aside as undiagnosed depression took over his early-to-mid ‘20s. By his late ’20s, Westbye revisited the dream…and made it. And he started writing. Then he put the dreams aside again, settling for a great, if artistically unfulfilling, life of domestication and corporate servitude.
In February 2015, the day before his twelfth anniversary working for a grocery chain, Westbye was fired for “falsifying records.” What sort of criminal enterprise was he running? He missed a time-clock punch and forgot to correct it.
This cosmic gut-punch sent Westbye into a deep dark depression, and it took everything to recover. But he took advantage of this unexpected second chance, returning to the University of Maine at Augusta after two decades to finish his BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music. During this return engagement he once again heard the call of creative endeavors.
The next three years were a blur of temp jobs, playing and recording music again at home, publishing spiritual articles and op-ed, and trying to re-establish a center of normalcy. A classic midlife crisis. And what do you do with a mid-life crisis? You take a long solo road trip, of course.
In Double Six On The Dime: A Man, A Midlife Crisis And A Quest To (Re)Discover America And Myself On Route 66, Brian Westbye brings it all home. Part Travels With Charley as written by Anthony Bourdain, part City Slickers as re-written by Chuck Klosterman, Double Six On The Dime: A Man, A Midlife Crisis And A Quest To (Re)Discover America And Myself On Route 66 is all Westbye: an ode to the Great American Road Trip and the Great American Midlife Crisis. In May 2019, Westbye will be embarking on the ultimate American journey: a drive along Route 66, in order to (re)discover his country and himself. He wants to get lost in a foreign American land and find his way home, rekindling old dreams and discovering what else is out there. Maybe along the way he’ll even figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.
Double Six On The Dime: A Man, A Midlife Crisis And A Quest To (Re)Discover America And Myself On Route 66 is a memoir in three parts: Before (biography and setting up the depression/midlife crisis), During (planning for the trip and journal entries from every stop) and After (what have I learned?). Westbye plans on taking names and notes, subsuming himself in foreign American cultures and checking himself out along the way, comparing these new experiences to his day-to-day to see how he can do things better, or at least differently. There will be gorgeous scenery seen through the eyes of an open-minded traveler, feats of gastronomic insanity and plenty of foibles and unplanned calamities along the way. And at the end of the day there will be lots of reflection on lessons learned, for the author and the audience.