Mike Makes Music – Children’s Book Idea

I stumbled upon this children’s book concept that poured out of me a couple years ago.  The illustrator I was working with didn’t follow through, and I let the project stall.  So I’m putting it back out there.  Let me know if you know a good illustrator who’s looking for a fun project.  I think this could be a best seller.


Mike Makes Music!

By Eric Santagada


A children’s book about finding your passion in life.


Page 1


It was 6th grade.

Football tryouts.

All my friends wanted to make the team.

And everyone did…


“Run faster, you worms!” – Coach Krum


Page 2


Except for me!

I didn’t really like football, anyway.  

I just wanted Taylor to notice me.

She was the prettiest girl in school.


Page 3


As I walked home, I was sad.

I thought, “will she ever like me?

I’m not good at sports.  

How will I ever impress her?”


Page 4


When I got home, my mom made me feel better.  

“You’ll find something you like more than football,” she said.  

Then she told me Uncle Eric was upstairs with a surprise!


Page 5


Walking up the stairs, I heard beautiful music.  

It sounded like uncle Eric was singing a song about love.  

I wanted to hear more!


Page 6


When I opened the door, it was incredible!  

The music was so fun and happy.  

It made me smile and feel good.  

It was awesome!  


Page 7


Uncle Eric finished his song and said, “Mike, you’re old enough now – I want you to have this guitar.  It’s been in the family for generations.”

I couldn’t believe it!  My own guitar!  

I tried to play but it sounded horrible.

Then he said, “I’ll come back and give you a lesson every week.  Let’s have [...]

By |July 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Mike Makes Music – Children’s Book Idea|

The DreamBoard: Visualize Success Every Day

Last year I was fresh out of school, full of energy, the world at my fingertips – with no idea of what I wanted to do with myself! I moved back home to contemplate my next move. I can imagine thousands of others in the same boat.

My mother was reading a book at the time, titled “The Secret.” I picked it up. At first I didn’t understand it, and even scoffed at its optimistic promises. But I kept reading it every day, and the truth started to sink in – I CAN DO ANYTHING! AND YOU CAN TOO!

I read it twice. Three times. I wanted more. It pumped me up – but then I would put it down, and my old thought patterns would come racing back into my mind. I decided to delve deeper into this sort of philosophy.

I researched the “teachers” from the book. Many of them offered online life-coaching programs. “That’s it!” I thought, “I can learn how to live well – from the masters of life.”

In my opinion, Bob Proctor was the most impressive of the bunch. I decided to make a significant (for me) financial investment in my own future, and enrolled in the Bob Proctor Coaching program.

I’m so glad I did! As I saturated my mind with his lessons of personal achievement, I could literally feel my perception of the world, and my place in it, changing. I kicked bad habits. I developed good ones. I exercised my imagination. I learned how to conquer fear. I took better care of my mind and my body. I gained self-confidence. I started earning more money. Perhaps most importantly – I began to practice gratitude in a big way!

I still review [...]

By |January 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The DreamBoard: Visualize Success Every Day|

Bold Goals for 2015

When setting bold goals, it is important to leave yourself more time. Most people overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can do in a decade.

That’s why it is so important to be clear on a purpose and vision for your life – it makes the goals obvious.

I encourage you to set a bold goal or two for 2015 – and imagine how far it may unfold by 2025!

My main goals for next year are to record and release my first album, “The Law of Love,” continue to tour around the world as a bassist for hire, and to launch the DreamBoard, a new personal development product, on amazon.

Let me know your goals in a comment. writing it down is the first step in making it happen!


All The Best.

By |December 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Bold Goals for 2015|

Road Food

It can be challenging to eat well when traveling. Gas stations, hotel breakfasts, and dive bars are not bastions of health. I’ve figured out some good tactics to eat well, without breaking the bank.

The best thing to do is hit grocery stores and stock up on fruits, veggies, nuts, whole train bread, granola, and it you have a cooler, yogurt, kombucha, whatever else you like. Go organic if you can.

We hit a grocery store about once a week, and then we eat like kings.

Gas stations are a bit trickier. I head straight for the clif bars and Naked green machine smoothies. You can find deluxe mixed nuts, and sliced fruit on occasion. I eat a clif bar almost every day.

Hotel breakfasts often feature fruit, yogurt, and raisin bran. I can’t help but indulge in biscuits and gravy from time to time!

The better I eat, the better I feel, the better I think, the better I play, the better life is. It’s extremely profitable to eat as well as possible .

Here’s my diet ideal:

Every day:
Leafy greens
Whole grains

Several times per week:
Green tea

Once per week:
Red meat

I’ve been maintaining this well-balanced diet on the road for less than $30 per day.

Thanks for reading and I hope you eat and feel well at all times on your journey.



By |June 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Road Food|

Beloved Books

Here are five profound books that have improved my view on life over the last six months.  My friend Dan Arias asked for the list and I’d like to share it with everybody.

Most of them are free and in the public domain. I read them regularly on my Kindle for iPhone:

As A Man Thinketh – James Allen – A poetic & short volume on the power of thought. In my opinion, the most beautiful thing ever written. Every sentence is ripe with wisdom and truth.

Think And Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill – A holistic philosophy of success, formed through a lifetime of studying and associating with the greatest men of American industry. One of the most highly regarded personal development books ever written.

The Secret – Rhonda Byrne – An encouraging primer on the power of the law of attraction and the idea that your thoughts, good or bad, become your life.

The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace Wattles – A short and impressive book describing the exact laws of achieving wealth and prosperity.

The Master Key System – Charles Hannel – An advanced course of study, designed to help people become the master of their thoughts, and therefore, their circumstances.

I love these books!

By |May 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Beloved Books|

Williston, North Dakota

We spent most of this week in Williston, ND at Ashley’s parents’ house. Williston is a fascinating place. Several years ago, vast oil reserves were discovered below the town. Since then, the local economy has exploded, and what was recently a quiet town in the badlands has become a bustling center of industry.

Thousands of men and big companies have descended on the town, looking to stake a claim and make a buck. There are growing pains. Rent is higher here than in New York City or San Francisco. Properties were suddenly worth millions of dollars. Dangerous ‘man camps’ popped up on the outskirts. Scores of oil rigs and apartment complexes materialise on a regular basis. It is a fast-moving case study in capitalism.

After laying low for a few days, practicing and eating delicious home cooked meals, we played a show at the local bar. We played four sets, as usual. We added some new songs, including “Working Man Blues” by Merle Haggard, which I sing, and “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty, where we all switch instruments. Steve, our drummer, plays guitar and sings. Guy plays bass, and I’m on the drums.

Today we are off to Newburg, ND, to start a short stint of one night stands across the state.

Peace, Love, & Thanks,


By |April 11th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Williston, North Dakota|

Boot Hill Residency

We played Wednesday-Saturday night at the Boot Hill steakhouse and nightclub in Gillette, Wyoming. They put us up in the fabulous, wholesome and friendly Arbuckle Lodge. During the days, I woke up to yoga and continental breakfast, and proceeded to play bass, read books about the law of attraction, and write. Later in the day I would head to the spa for some gratitude and meditation practice. At night we would head to the club to play four sets of country music to a receptive audience of locals.

The owner, Rick, is a remarkably sweet and genuine man, a serial entrepreneur who owns several businesses in the area. He made us feel very welcome, fed us prime rib & mountain lion, and even sang a song with us one night – “tougher than the rest” by Chris Ledoux.

I am feeling more and more comfortable with the band and the material, and we are sounding better every night! This job is a blast. I have to pinch myself sometimes – playing bass for a living! So much power in these wiggling fingers!

On Sunday we packed up and took off towards North Dakota, to stay with Ashley’s family for a few days. We stopped at devil’s tower in Montana, a geological rarity. It was magnificent! I’m glad that we are taking the time to enjoy the sights and sounds. The road can be exhausting if it’s go go go all the time!

We’ve got a few shows here in the Dakotas, then it is heading back south east towards Tennessee to arrive home April 21.

Good thoughts create [...]

By |April 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Boot Hill Residency|

First show with Ashley Buchart Band

We were on the road to the airport by 5am. Peace and quiet at that time. I caught my flight to Chicago, then another to Des Moines to meet the band as they drove across Iowa to the show in Nebraska that night.

Late the previous night, I changed the battery in my bass and the connector part ripped in half. Yikes! Thankfully there was a RadioShack in Des Moines and they had the perfect replacement part. We got a soldering kit as well, and Guy (guitar playing singer) did the repair at the gig.

My amp had been in their trailer for the past week, and something must have gotten jumbled – the XLR output wasn’t working on that either! Both my bass and amp were messed up on the first gig. Quite the challenge.

I remembered the number one piece of advice I had recently read by Taylor swifts bassist – show up on time with gear that works. Whoops!

Luckily there was a music shop here in Grand Island, NE, and they had one DI box left in the store. We flew across town and got there 2 minutes before closing. Someone up there was looking out for me! My rig was all patched up and sounded great.

We proceeded to play four sets to a small, enthusiastic, dancing crowd. It was a blast. We had never even rehearsed, but I think I did a good job.

There was an open bar with a friendly bar tender – that loosened things up a bit as well!!

We stayed in the same hotel where the show was. I’m rooming with Steve the drummer, who is also a Northeastern grad, coincidentally. Good grooving with him! [...]

First Tour

Last weekend marked my first tour from Nashville as a bassist.   I joined the Leah Marie King band for two shows in the midwest.

There were four of us.  Zack, the drummer, is an older dude, well versed in the blues.  He sings and plays harmonica as well.  We’ve gotten tighter together as a rhythm section over the last couple weeks, and he has taught me a great deal about the blues, and shuffle feels.  Mark is Leah’s manager and live sound tech. Great guy from England, he has a good handle on the practical business side of things.  He’s also the driver!  Then there is Leah, who is the artist. She sings, plays guitar, and writes the music.

We left Friday morning in her big green conversion van.  We drove to Tuscarawas, Ohio, where we played at the Canal House to a very receptive audience.  It was a great show – two one-and-a-half hour sets of classic blues, rock, and Leah’s originals.  The crowd was there to listen, and gave up lots of love.  I’m still seeing various facebook pictures and friend requests from the show!

On Saturday we drove to Western Pennsylvania to play a show at The Ski Lodge at Treasure Lake.  They fed us and put us up in beautiful condos.  I had lots of free time to practice bass, eat a tasty lunch, go on a run, and watch the sunset.  It was another great show to a receptive audience.  Different energy, different culture, same hard-rockin’ tunes.

We spent most of Sunday driving home.  I drove with Peter Gallinari, a keyboard player and singer who sat in on Saturday.  He told me stories from his remarkable life to help pass the time [...]

LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival)

I’ve had a great trip since leaving Austin.  Camped at Lake DeGray, spent a couple nights in Nashville with Ashley and Linus, then came here on Thursday for the festival. I heard about LEAF through Facebook, it sounded like a fun time so I signed up to volunteer!

I volunteered for 10 hours (pouring beer) for a thurs – sun camping pass.  Paid $60 more on the spot to get a mountain top car camping spot – near the drum circle, with a nice small community up there.

At my first shift I met Rachel – beautiful traveling free spirit.  Loves to ride her bike long distance.  After we worked 9pm – 2am, we danced the night away.  At Eden Hall rave, on the small island in the dark, at the tribal drum circle.  We spent the $20 she found on the ground to have a nice breakfast (Veggie Thang), followed by yoga, followed by contra and waltz dancing.  It was a fantastic 16 hours.

I met lots of people, as usual at a festival.   Michael and his daughter Zayana, his talkative father, his brother-in-law Niko (swiss-american food entrepreneur). Other classic festival characters – old scraggly guys, several drum circle hippies, an assortment of old and young partiers.

Eric, about 30, who’s life changed forever when he got a girl pregnant.  I saw him one morning walking up a flight of stairs with his little guy on his shoulders, he said “I’m carrying a heavy load…” and those words were true and deep.  We jammed a little while on his guitar and banjo.

Sarah and Taryn, very pretty girls selling pastries and jewelry respectively.
Jack, Craig, Remy, Amanda, Derek, and all the other volunteers I worked with.

Many more I can’t [...]

By |October 24th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival)|