Vine was more than just the best band I’ve ever been in.

On a November evening in 2014, this two-bar earworm changed the course of my life.

I hadn’t played a note in years, but it didn’t take long to realise this was the outlet I always needed, filled with artists eager to inspire each other. One post and I was completely hooked; I’d found the perfect place to create.

As the days turned to months, I became more involved in the social side of the community, much to the detriment of my actual life. Group chats, plane tickets, meetups…I felt as though my life was crumbling and this was my only escape. Little did I know I was the one wielding the sledgehammer.

I had abused alcohol for 20 years when rock bottom finally reared back and gave me what I deserved in August of 2015. I was a barely functional, utterly selfish, monster of a train-wreck leading up to this point, aimlessly spiralling towards oblivion as the year wound to a close.

Then we lost one of our own.

Tommy (P’Funk) Palinkas passed away on December 31st, 2015. I did not know him well, but we had exchanged pleasantries; talks of playing music together, and his love of Canadian beer. During a lull in the waves of tributes and tears, I found myself reflecting deeply on the life I’d led. It was genuinely terrifying but I knew what had to happen.

My sordid, self-destructive relationship with alcohol ended that evening.

In the time that followed I was forced to navigate without the haze of a hangover suppressing the demons I harboured and damage I’d done. As I gradually unearthed and battled these festering emotional wounds, Vine became my journal. The fight continued, but a balance had been struck.

I kicked the compulsion to endlessly stare at my phone, and removed heaps of self-imposed stress, allowing myself to enjoy living for the first time. I reconnected with those I’d neglected most through this journey. I wanted to be better, for myself and for them.

I’m eternally thankful for all the life-changing experiences Vine helped facilitate, but the one I’m most gracious for is my wife, Rose. Through my darkest times, she became the most invaluable ally I could have hoped for. I’d have expired long ago were it not for her incredible patience and devotion.

Thank you all for inspiring me to live a life worth remembering.

I am forever in your debt, and you will never be forgotten.