The life of Rock n Roll has always been about the journey, because if we ever reached a destination, the journey would end….. AND WE DON’T EVER WANT IT TO END!!!

Last week I shared the wave of nostalgia in regards to the spark that started my Rockstar: INXS journey 10 years ago. Milestones in life are a trip to the mind as they dig you into reflecting on where you were before, during and after this event that alters your life.  I was talking to my father yesterday and he mentioned how much fun he had thru the whole Rockstar experience and how he still hands out DVD’s of my performances to this day.  I don’t know if there is a better feeling in this life than knowing that the man you respect with all of your heart is proud of something you have done. My Dad also mentioned all of the great experiences and people I have met by taking this one small leap.

From the very beginning, the one thru line to my entire musical career has been making friends along the way.  From the early Swinging Lovehammers gigs at Reilly’s Daughter, thru the Hammerhouse days with kegs parties on a broken porch, to making so many friends post Rockstar while touring around the world.

You were so gracious to listen to my throwback last Thursday and I was hoping to hear a bit about your trials and tribulations over the last decade.  I know we have all ridden the waves up and down thru the good times and the tough times. If you are up for it, share a bit of your story in the comments below. I know many of us keep in touch on a pretty regular basis but a snapshot of the past decade gives us a thru line straight thru your mind.

Have a great weekend everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Marty Casey


13 Responses to “ZEN OVER TEN”

  1. Lyn Marchluk says:

    10 years. Tons of memories. So many, many highlights of my journey, but these are just a few.
    • Starting out an introvert who would not go to a show alone, because I didn’t know anyone, to being able to show up at a show alone and have friends all around.
    • Not having the nerve to go up and introduce myself to anyone in the band until my 4th or 5th show – to now being able to call Marty, Dino, Bobby, Billy and Bill friends.
    • Going to the message boards in 2005 just to lurk around, to finally joining and becoming an active member because everyone was having so much fun, I wanted to belong! And through the boards and the shows finding a close-knit group of friends who will be with me all my life.
    • Taking pictures at my second show, then my third show, then my forth show and so on and so on, until I had the honor and privilege of providing one of my pictures for the band to use in a national magazine ad.
    • Through Marty and Lovehammers, finding my love of music again. To the point where I feel deprived if I don’t get out to a live show at least once a month, if not a lot more.
    • Starting out helping out at the LH Store boards and then being asked to help run the store itself – which started me learning web programming and design. Still a beginner, but really enjoying learning something new.
    • And of course, the songs. So many great Lovehammers songs – lyrics which spoke to me many times during difficult times, especially Heavy Crown which helped me get through my mother’s death. And songs which make me smile every time I hear them.
    Marty, thank you so much for taking the leap to Rockstar. I know this ended up being more than just one highlight – but I wanted to share with you how much you and Lovehammers have changed my life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Melanie Taylor says:

      Lyn, I’m SO glad RockStar, and Marty and all the Lovehammers, brought us together! You’re a great friend, and we’ve had some crazy times, huh? :)

  2. Melanie Taylor says:

    The past decade– wow, talk about life-changing! More has happened to me in the last 10 years than in the previous 35 combined! Some of the highs and lows:

    — discovered one of my favorite bands in the world, and actually got to MEET and get to know them
    — met some of the most amazing friends ever– friends who celebrate the great times, carry us through the bad times, share both crazy adventures and just day-to-day chitchat
    — through those friends, discovered more music and met more bands and experienced a ridiculous amount of energizing, cathartic, soul-feeding, people-connecting, swoon-worthy, ass-kicking live music
    — lost my nephew, who was my godson, in Iraq
    — bought my first house
    — lost my niece to a drunk driver
    — lost my dad
    — started to get back into writing
    — lost one of my best friends from high school
    — lost one of my best friends from college
    — had 3 unbelievably beautiful, smart, hilarious, incredible, loving boys and became a stay-at-home mom
    — had some of those amazing friends I met through Lovehammers be a lifeline to me during the rough times, guide me through learning to be a mom who can still rock (maintaining my sanity and my pre-mama identity, offering advice, lending an ear, and helping me adjust to the millions of other changes that come with becoming a parent,) made me laugh, made me cry, sustained me, and made me feel alive.
    — through everything above, I learned a hell of a lot about myself– what I can endure, what I can create, what I am capable of, why I am the way I am, and so much more.

    Marty, thank you for you music, your writing, your inspiration, your friendship. Thank you for opening doors, for being a catalyst to huge changes in my life, and for providing the soundtrack to this part of my life.

    Who knew flipping that channel and checking out a tv show could have such a profound effect on my life???? :)

  3. Debbie Blecker says:

    For me, watching Rockstar changed my life in so many ways.

    ~first one being flying for the first time without my husband.
    ~traveling to a far away city hoping to meet someone I’ve only seen on t.v. (Chicago)
    ~meeting women for the first time after talking online for months.
    ~forming friendships that will last a lifetime with one common interest…LOVEHAMMERS
    ~traveling the country and seeing places I may never had the chance too.
    ~having the chance to get to know Marty, Dino, Bobby and Billy and can consider them friends.
    ~hanging with my daughter and sharing the same enthusiasm <3
    ~conversations, dance offs, advice, long nights, friendship and just FUN!
    ~having a new appreciation for Brittany Spears "Hit me baby, one more time"

    Because that one night on July 11,2005 I changed the channel on my t.v life would never be the same!Thank you Marty, for taking the leap and putting yourself out there for the world to see!You've changed my life in more ways than you could ever know. YOU ROCK and I am honored to call you my friend!

    Oh, and the MUSIC! Can't forget the music!

    It's a clinic, and I'm in it…


  4. Liz says:

    A straight line through my mind is always in a forward direction, it is just who I am, but because you asked, just this one time.

    The last 10 years for me have seen the highest and the very lowest. 2005 was year 3 of a 10 year war that my dear Lester and I fought together hand in hand. Our world was centered around Les and I had become the commander in chief of everything. I had also become invisible. I was traveling weekly to LA that summer spending lonely nights in a hotel room. I stumbled across this new TV show and it was such a breath of fresh air. By the end of the show I had the sense there was something very important about Marty that the universe needed to embrace but he didn’t win and I was invisible so life returned to work and war.

    It turned out to be MC.ORG that changed my world forever. I was surfing the internet, in yet another lonely hotel room, in the fall of 2006 when I remembered that important man and googled him. Voila!! I started reading the boards but was still invisible. No one really knew me. For some insane reason of which has conveniently escaped my mind, I sent a msg to Marty. He replied. And in an instance, I was no longer invisible. He saw me. Not the clever Bostongirl, but me. He “got” me. I will remember that moment forever. The funny thing about becoming visible again is that you have to look in the mirror. It was not a pretty sight. It sent me on a journey to learn and embrace joy again. And that journey taught me that no matter your circumstances it is essential to be visible and embrace joy. I am sure Marty has no idea he did that, but I will forever be grateful.

    In the process of finding joy, I also found a new family and it has been such a great gift. Nancy and Duane took me under their wing and helped me embrace the fan “thing”, Susie and Steph opened their arms, Kim and Damien opened their arms and home, Teri, Rachel, and Erin let me tag along, Dawn helped maneuver through unknown territory, Lyn always there, Janet who will be my closest friend forever, and so so many others who I am so honored to know and share life with.

    On the home front, the war with cancer raged on. Les and I closed ranks and became closer and closer. We were committed to living and finding joy wherever and whenever we could. He never gave up but Jan 2011 no amount of will power could keep his body going.

    Since 2011 I have found yet another family here in Florida. They are also wonderful and crazy and it was yet again music that brought us all together. They make me laugh, they make me dance, and they make me sing out loud!! More wonderful gifts.

    Time to turn our direction forward again. This summer Marty is getting married to Daniella and I am so ecstatic for them. They are the perfect match and have brought out the best in each other. I don’t know what the future holds for me but think I will follow Marty’s lead and never, ever give up hope.

    Oh, and I was 100% right. Marty Casey is extremely important to the universe.

  5. Sue Cassidy says:

    I am so grateful that 10 years ago my hubby Jim and I decided to watch one of our first reality shows RS:INXS. We even got our then 5 year old daughter Meaghan hooked! Marty, you were our frontrunner from the beginning. I hate to admit it, but after discovering Lovehammers music– Murder on My Mind and L’Strange, we were secretly hoping Marty wouldn’t win so we could go to Chicago and experience the band live. As the show ended,I had discovered and LH.com and the .org. Groupless Group (GGs) was the thread where I met so many people I am proud to call friends. Highlights for me? Marty taking the time to answer one of Meaghan’s questions on .org, meeting so many friends online and then in person, being able to fly to shows on my own, meeting and talking with band members who are so generous to their fans, and forming lasting friendships with so many wonderful people especially my BFFs Beth, Julie, and TroyAnn (who was the light in all our lives), and her John who isn’t so “scary”. Lovehammers music has gotten me through losses (Troy, my brother, my dad)and a given me a common interest in music with my 14 year old daughter! The best of luck to Marty and Daniella on their wedding day and the start of a new life together!

  6. Tanya Hamilton says:

    I also have seen many highs and lows in the last ten years in my life and through it all Marty, you and Lovehammers and been there in the back ground or sometimes in the foreground but always there! I loved RS Inxs from the start. You were my favorite second show in. I googled you and found the Lovehammer history and music. I knew I was going to be your fan forever win or lose! I didn’t realize at the time that I would also be a friend.
    Ten years ago my daughter was in college and since has graduated with two degrees and gotten married. In ten years we have so many wonderful memories involving the music the band and our love of Chicago. I have to say in the beginning she thought I had lost my mind when I told her I was going to Vegas to see the opening band “Lovehammers” because you weren’t coming to Florida. Then the tour came to Clearwater Fl and I went again. Layla’s first time seeing you was our first trip to Chicago and Hammerjam. Then came many Hammerfests, Summerfest, New Years Eve shows freezing our Florida butts off, Taste of Chicago and seeing you in Ocala, Fl. And even in Sarasota when you were fronting LA Guns. Naked girls and all. Now my son in law is also a fan. Thanks for all the memories!!
    I have also recruited my friends to travel with me to see the band and they always come away fans. One of my favorite events was the cruise in Louisville which was also the beginning of a friendship with my best friend Ellen.
    Probably the biggest low in the last ten years other than losing my parents was being diagnosed with breast cancer!! I am winning that battle though and I really appreciate all your support!! The best surprise of my life was Layla arranging your visit on our last trip to Chicago for Hammerfest. It meant the world to me! I also loved meeting Daniella and look forward to what comes next for you! I hope one day that you get to meet my husband. The band needs to come to Florida though cause I will never get him to Chicago.
    I look forward to what comes next for me, my family and the Lovehammer family too. I know you have a wonderful future ahead with Daniella and I can’t wait to see!! Thank you for the music, for Silver Elements and for just being you!! “It’s Our Time”!!! ❤️❤️

    • Liz says:

      I am so glad I checked back in to find more posts. I am so happy to know you Tanya and you are a hero to me!! One of these days we need to meet in Florida rather than Chicago..lol!!!

  7. Melissa Miles says:

    10 years ago I happened upon a tv show called RS:INXS that changed my life. I was captivated by this singer whose songs and performances spoke to my soul and I needed to find out more about this blonde guy from Chicago. I never knew what I was getting myself into when I went online to find out more…

    I discovered Lovehammers and immediately bought MOMM. That album ignited something in me that I still don’t know how to describe. Quickly after, I bought L’Strange. I was hooked. Listening to LH music took me away to a place of excitement and gave me this new outlook on life. I had been an extreme introvert my entire life. Never had many friends, never really felt accepted. Listening to LH music became an escape to me.

    Then there were the message boards. I read them forever before I got up enough courage to post. I was afraid of being rejected. We all had the common bond of this love of a singer and a band and one day I finally took a leap of faith and joined the madness. Everyone was so welcoming. It was overwhelming having all these people I’d never met be so gracious and genuinely interested in what I had to say. I didn’t know then that some of those people would become lifelong friends. And I certainly didn’t expect one of them to change my life like Laura did. Laura was a light in my life. She inspired me, believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, she gave me wisdom, she made me laugh like no one else, she was extremely generous and loved me with her whole being. She was my soulmate. Marty, if it weren’t for you taking your own leap of faith, I would’ve never met the amazing woman who was my Laura. And for that I am forever grateful.
    After talking to these incredible people online, I decided that I would get on a plane for the first time and fly by myself to Milwaukee to meet them and see this band that had infiltrated my soul. It’s so hard trying to explain this to other people. What on earth provoked this super shy, small town (and I mean reeeeally small town) girl to get on plane and fly out to meet up with these strangers to see a rock band? It is crazy when you think about it, but I was never scared. I knew that it was what I was meant to do and oh, how I am so glad that I did.

    That was just the start of this crazy journey all thanks to some reality show. In between then and now have been:
    -A LOT more concerts
    -some crazy fantastic trips with some of my favorite people in the world
    -starting a career as a medical assistant
    -learning that life has it’s ups and downs and that when there are downs (and there have been a lot) not to give up because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel
    -speaking of tunnel, I got my “I will stay true” tattoo in Chicago that holds so much meaning
    -I lost my best friend, Laura, which reminded me to never take any moment for granted and that all things happen for a reason.
    -through my hammerhead family, I discovered what true friendship is
    -I have grown so much as a person, coming out of a shell that I was never truly comfortable in to begin with. I’m still a work in progress. But without the experiences I’ve had the past 10 years because of rockstar, I’m not sure I would’ve made it this far.

    Thank you, Marty, for starting us on this incredible journey. You changed the lives of so many of us and I, for one, am eternally grateful. Your music has helped me celebrate the good times, helped me grieve in the worst times, given me hope when I had none, and provided an escape when I needed one. The past 10 years have been life changing and I’m looking forward to what the next 10 bring.

  8. D Gibbons says:

    What has happened in the past 10 years? Where to begin. Like the other responses, it is hard to put into words just what your music has meant to me. It’s brought my family closer together with our “Windy City – Marty Parties” where I get to travel with my sisters every year to come to “Hammerfest”. This is not something we’ve done in the past and it is something we all look forward to year after year. I come from a very large family (7 sisters/ 2 brothers) so we don’t always get a chance to see each other and one year we were 5 of us heading to your show – that is absolutely amazing in my books! Unfortunately over the past 10 years I’ve lost a brother and sister as well as my Dad….so these family trips mean more to me than ever…and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    I could not go on without mentioning how fortunate I have been to be able to meet the amazing Marla. Without you this would have never happened. She has been so good to me and I don’t think I could repay her the kindess she’s shown me and my family. She truly has become my Chicago Sista!

    I do have one regret that I hope to rectify in the future…I would love to meet your beautiful fiance Daniella….I have been too shy in the past and never had the nerve to approach her. I have never seen such a couple that is meant to be together than the two of you and I would just like to say “Hi” one day.

    That’s it…thanks Marty for you and your music and all the wonderful things it inspires in different people. I wish you nothing but success and happiness in the years to come!

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