THE BLOG
05/31/2016 05:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Art Saves Lives. The Wishmaker Simonetta Lein Meets Ryan Nelson, Guitarist and Singer of Gooch And The Motion

We live in a society that puts art as one of the last resources we have but art instead can inspire, motivate, and ultimately save lives. We all have to support, defend and safeguard art and artists for the sake of our future generations. Simonetta Lein

This is a wish come true. One of those stories that could completely change your perspective on life. One morning I was doing a television interview for the amazing Eraldo Maglara on Healthy Lifestyle with Eraldo. I was in the waiting room and I got talking with another guest also waiting to go on. He was in a wheelchair and had a guitar on his lap. A man who had been through a lot in life. A car accident had left him paraplegic. I talked to him and I felt an immediate connection. His name is Ryan Nelson but he told me to call him Gooch, and with an inspiring smile he shared his story with me. He had a car accident twelve years ago and was completely paralyzed. This meant that he had to re-learn how to do everything. As if that were not enough, five years later he was diagnosed with leukemia and he had to fight for his survival. Well, some may say that is all about bad karma; life was surely not easy on him, but he had two choices: to become understandably angry and completely destroy his life, or to react and decide to be an example. He chose the latter.

He had to re-learn how to play the guitar from scratch; he was frustrated at the beginning because his hands would not cooperate in playing in a "normal way". With a little help from his friends and his manager, and with the support of his family, Ryan soon learned how to play the guitar in his own way. A friend built a special slide to put on his fingers so that he could play the guitar in a sort of bluesy way. But it was much more, it was the Gooch way and soon the band Gooch and The Motion was born. Music is his way of uniting people, inspiring them and raising their spirits, especially when they are in his same situation. He often goes and plays at the hospital for those who are also dealing with paralysis. In addition he performs with his band, and through his foundation raises funds to help sick children, and people in difficulties and he also plays for them. Gooch is a completely sincere, down-to- earth, genuine and straightforward person. Just listening to his voice and his music gives you goosebumps.

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When you were a child, did you wish for the career and for the life that you have manifested today?

Not exactly. I was a wild, fun loving, outgoing and hard working kid. I had a knack for entertaining people and I loved music, but it's been a long journey to where I am today. I had to go through many obstacles and music became not only therapy, but a way for me to travel, network, and inspire others with my God given gift. I truly believe it's a gift from God.

**Many times when in trouble faith can be fundamental. In his case Gooch really feels that because they say God works in mysterious ways, this was the way God chose for him so that he could use his real talent. If you think about it, it seems very hard to understand but it is also my experience that what we may at the time consider to be bad things are actually the experiences that make us grow. You need a lot of courage to do that, and I am so in admiration of this young man who accomplished so much, and indeed became an amazing inspiration and musician instead of giving up. Yes indeed, God, life, works in mysterious ways, and Gooch's story can really teach us that is completely up to us what we want to do with our problems and whether we will decide to transform them into a precious teaching. I personally think that if he did it anybody can.

Name a wish that you had for your life or for humanity that finally came true.

I wished to play guitar again after my accident. I prayed for two years until finally I found a new way to play by laying the guitar across my lap and using a custom glass slide to play the notes and chords.

**If you simply play his music and you have no idea of his story you will still be fascinated. You can really feel the love and the urgency to love via music, that comes through when he sings and plays. He invented a whole new way. I saw him actually play when we met, as he went to visit a young guy who had a car accident on New Year's day this year, exactly like Gooch had had twelve years ago. He played for him in front of us in the hospital room and with his outstanding talent simply gave so much inspiration. I truly feel blessed when I can be a witness of how life should be really celebrated, and you often recognize it when you are about to lose it. Do not do that, life is so precious.

If you were granted one wish for humanity or for our planet, what would it be?

I would wish for equality, food, water, and a universal understanding of what truly matters in life. I'd wish for art and music to be regarded as the highest ideals of our society. I'd wish for all people to be collaborative, generous, and self-aware.

**Equality, food and water are our basis and they shouldn't be something that we have to fight for. But to me art is also incredibly important because it is the food for our souls. We live in a society that places art as one of the less important resources we have, yet it is a resource which can inspire, motivate, and ultimately save lives. We all have to support, defend and safeguard art and artists for the sake of our future generations.

If you could go back in time and ask one question from anyone from history, who would you want to meet and what question would you ask?

I'd ask Nikola Tesla what his thoughts are on the future of energy.

**Tesla, the inventor of electricity, for those who don't know, a hundred years ago was working on a way to create and harness free energy. He created a system that will be our future. Unfortunately history did not pass on to us his complete system that we desperately need right now. Our planet is undergoing an energy crisis according to many renowned scientists, and we need Tesla here with us now more than ever to help us and our planet. What we can all do concretely every day, having realized that climate change is upon us, is help by using less electricity, by recycling, and by doing all we can to avoid polluting our environment. If everyone started to be more responsible, even in a small way, I am sure we could make a huge difference. Please think about it.

Please tell me what influences your unique sense of style?

I like finding ways of mixing styles such as prep with old school, urban with skate board, or country western and street. I really enjoy combining styles. I'm a huge Sneakerhead too so I rock Jordan's, running shoes, and designer boots. I draw inspiration from old blues musicians, hip hop artists, and preppy nerd culture.

**As a fashion icon I can say that Gooch has a very cool sense of style and again it is amazing to think that even after all he has been through, he thinks about his style. But he does, and he passes it on to people.

Who is your favorite fashion designer or brand right now and why?

Ralph Lauren and Pharrell are my favorite designers. Ralph because his cloths are classic. No matter what you buy, you know it'll be timeless. Pharrell is my other favorite because he's fearless.
My favorite brand however is lucky brand. They have awesome cloths that fit great.

What is your fashion mantra?

Express yourself! To attain success you must project success in all aspects of life, including how you dress.

** Well said. I often remind my readers that life is a party and you should always dressed like it.

What is your final message for our readers?

Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle-Plato

**I had the privilege to study the ancient philosophers and Plato was always one of my favorites. Many times we yearn and strive to bring about incredible things but all too often we forget the simple things such as kindness and respect for one another. My dear Gooch, you are a very talented musician and an amazing soul. I hope to witness and help play some part in many more of your accomplishments, and see you play in a concert very soon, even though the personal one you gave for the young paralyzed man in the hospital is still in my heart. I shall always remember the look in the eyes of his mother. You not only gave her a lot of courage but also a wonderful time. She was cheering along with you, as was he. What you do is amazing and I will be honored to have you as an honorary ambassador of the Wishwall Foundation. You know that I help meaningful wishes come true. This was your humble wish, to be featured on my special place here on the Huffington Post. Well, wish granted! And very well deserved.

Please go and check Gooch's music and dates to see him play live at www.goochandthemotion.com

And by the way, Gooch was signed to a new label founded by 9-time-Grammy-Award-winning producer Joe 'the Butcher' Nicolo. is he amazing or what? His new album "Comin' Home" is currently available for download, please make yourself an incredible gift and support his music and his foundation.

As always, make your dreams come true.

From Philadelphia, Simonetta Lein The Wishmaker

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Credits: William Russell Edu Collaborator, Raphael Amabile Photographer