Gave up being a rock star to talk to teens

Being a rock star is considered a dream job it’s attainable by some, and given up by others. What would make you give up a career as a soon to be famous musician?

By Bromley Chamberlain

Being a rock star is considered a dream job it’s attainable by some, and given up by others. What would make you give up a career as a soon to be famous musician?

Robb Nash was well on his way to being a well-known musician with his band, Live on Arrival. He’s played with Finger Eleven, Headley, Buck Cherry, Motley Crew, but has put his band’s career on hold to talk to teenagers about having a purpose in life.

He was nominated for best new artist and outstanding rock recording of the year.

“I say it all the time: If I had a chance to play in front of crowds of 10,000 people, or singing in front of 20 students, I wouldn’t go back to playing in front of 10,000 people for a second,” Nash said. “It’s so satisfying to do this; I think I probably would have quit already if I had continued on.”

Nash has put his music career on hold to use his influence as a rock star to talk to teenagers, to tell them they have a gift.

Nash’s story begins where most end.

When he was 17 he was pronounced dead after a head-on collision with a semi-trailer. The car went under the trailer ripped the top of the car off, and took off the trunk.

Nash’s parents were notified and were en route to the hospital to identify the body of their son.

On the ambulance ride to the hospital, Nash’s pulse returned, he started breathing and was pronounced live on arrival at the hospital.

His recovery was long and hard. After four months of going in and out of consciousness, Nash woke up without any recollection of the accident.

Nash is the founding member and lead singer of Live on Arrival. With two songs from their latest album making the Top 10 in Canada, Nash and his band were destined to be great.

“Some people walk up and say ‘It’s kind of good what happened to you with the car accident. Look what you’ve done with it.’” Nash said. He doesn’t like that. “There was nothing good about the car accident.”

When Nash’s pulse stopped, and he was pronounced dead, then miraculously his pulse started and he began to breath again. He was given a second chance.

“I realized nobody had ever told me at 17 that I had purpose, I had a destiny,” Nash said. “You think your life starts when you’re old, 35, 45, 55 years old but there is a purpose for every day of life, I believe, and I realized that nobody had told me that as a teenager.”

Nash has been spreading his story across Canada and hopes to reach as many teenagers as he can.

“I don’t want people to go through what I did before they realize the purpose of life and to have that fulfilled knowing that you are fulfilling your destiny,” said Nash. “My goal is to go to teenagers, to go to schools, and different places and share my story.”

Nash also pairs up with Mothers against drunk driving (MADD) and Impact Society to talk with teens. Nash also spends time at adult learning centres and talks to troubles teenagers.

Jack Toth is the founder and CEO of Impact Society, created in 1994 to help teenagers thrive on their gifts and abilities. Toth has joined up with Live on Arrival to spread an important message to teenagers.

“Leadership is a choice. Make the choice to lead from your gifts and abilities. We can impact the world around us,” Toth said. “I believe most teenagers, as most people, are despite to know that they have a purpose. If they know you’re speaking to them, not at them, we listen differently.”

The Impact Society runs a heroes program, which consists of 14 to 20 hours in class, and they help the students understand they have a destiny, a purpose in life.

“I am tired of young people waste their amazing gifts and abilities when they have so much to give,” Toth said.

Tying in Toth’s Heroes program with Nash’s band creates a performance that leaves students speechless.

Nadine Bruno a student at Nipisihkopahk Secondary School in Hobbema was among the students listening to Nash and Toth speak.

Nash and Toth spoke at Nipisihkopahk Secondary School on Oct. 19.

“The performance was awesome. I learned a lot from it, it makes me want to do more with my life,” Bruno said. “This kind of experience was awesome. It helped me. They’re incredible. It made my day.”

Nash listens to the students’ stories and draws his inspiration from them.

“You think you’re alone, but there are people across the country, across the world, dealing with those same issues,” Nash said. “So many people think that nobody know what they’re going through, and after talking to 700,000 students, you get to the next school and you see people dealing with that same issue.”

Live on Arrival’s next album is songs they’ve written with students, or with kids in prison.

“We’ve been completely inspired by the stories of others and if you go to, you’ll see so many videos of the things that we’ve done,” Nash said.

Nash hopes students will learn from his stories and make better life choices for themselves.

He joked about his accident throughout the performance, to lighten the mood.

“I can still be bitter about that car accident, the fact that I still have surgeries coming up,” Nash said. “The fact that if I go bald, I’m going to be a really ugly guy because of all those scars. I could be bitter about theses things, but with everything in life I have to make the decision to what I’m going to do with it.”

Nash is considered a hero among some high school students and Toth sees changes with every Heroes program he teaches.

Making a difference in this life, trying to save a life, is something we should all strive for.

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