Integrity is strength of character. We apply the word to bridges,
buildings and to individuals. Integrity has to do with a person
or structure being true to its purpose or design.
There are countless examples of human integrity in American History,
the Civil Rights Movement and other aspects of life. People tend
to recognize this strength when it's in the limelight, but when
it lives next door, it's a little harder to distinguish. That's
why I've chosen William Mylar as an example of integrity.
My point exactly.
William Mylar is a Sacramento native who has been pursuing a unique
musical vision for almost 25 years now. He has never risen to the
top of the charts. He's never been on the Grammy's, and he is not
a household name - yet.
William Mylar is just a guy who's been perfecting his craft. He
has not been swayed by opinion polls or the latest trends. He has
never led his audience in the Macarena or YMCA. What he has done
is remain true to his musical convictions when nearly everyone else
was doing everything they could possibly think of to"make it"
in the music business.
Mylar cut his teeth at the Eaglet Theatre and Music Circus right
here in Sacramento. Blessed with a natural baritone voice, he learned
projection and articulation by performing in countless plays and
As a young man, he decided that music was his vocation, so he
packed up his vintage Gibson Hummingbird guitar and headed off to
the musical Mecca's of LA and San Francisco, trying to find an outlet
for his art.
But the music business is fickle. Mylar watched from the sidelines
as one "next big thing" after another faded into memory
while he quietly crafted a genre that he labeled "Folk Wave."
Rather than try to cash in on something that was not true to his
musical nature, Mylar stayed with his calling. He honed his style
-- solo, in duets, and in bands -- never changing dramatically,
but growing in refinement and sophistication.
That is not to say that Mylar is dowdy or boring. Rather, he is
a mature performer and songwriter who has paid his dues and developed
a unique sense of music and lyric. Sometimes the songs are melodic
and sometimes they make you want to get up and dance. But whatever
the tempo, the music remains true to the original vision.
The William Mylar Band, the current vehicle for this vision, is
now playing around town. The band consists of William on guitar
and vocals, Ken Burnett on mandolin, Pete Miller on drums, and Jim
Irion on bass. But more than the parts, this band is a true combo,
a unit that works effortlessly together.
What kind of music do they play? Original songs known simply as
"Mylar Music." Ranging from pop, to ballads to reggae
and even ska, there is an indelible stamp of originality and authenticity
on every song.
The lyrics are intelligent without trying to be clever. The music
is intricate without trying to be showy. In short, Mylar Music is
true to the original vision that William had nearly twenty-five
years ago. Of course the vision and the music have evolved; the
lyrics have matured. Almost like a fine wine, the ingredients have
blended over time to create something magical, something excellent
because it is true to its very nature. That is what integrity is
all about. That is William Mylar.
Edward T. Quigley is a freelance writer and English teacher.