Not many can say they have fulfilled their childhood dreams, but that is not the case for local country musician Tim Hassler.
Hassler grew up in Missouri between Labadie and St. Albans, near Fiddle Creek Road. He is the fifth child out of a total of six siblings.
His love for country music started at an early age when his mother and uncles would get together to play.
“When Christmas would roll around every year, I’d want a toy guitar. That was No. 1 on my list,” Hassler said.
“And Mom used to tune up my toy guitar, you know, so I could play along with them.”
When Hassler became old enough, around 5 years of age, he was able to play his mother’s guitar.
“She taught me a few chords and I just kind of took it from there,” he said.
At 9 years old, he began writing his own songs, he added.
“It wasn’t much back when I was 9, nothing was a keeper back then, but it’s fun to create music and songs. I always try to tell a story when I write my songs,” Hassler said.
He wrote and recorded 10 songs within a year for his first album “Wanted.”
“When I did that first album, I did a demo in St. Louis of three songs, first, to present to producers,” Hassler said.
He had his own record label for his first album, which debuted when he was 38 years old.
When the opportunity came for him to create a second album, he said he jumped at the chance.
“I was writing a lot of songs and all my friends were saying ‘You need to get these on the radio; these are good songs,’” Hassler said.
“My DNA Says I Should” was released in November 2016.
Having never been on tour, Hassler said he only performs regionally.
“I play music for fun. It’s my release, my passion, and if it ain’t fun, it becomes work and I don’t want to do it,” Hassler said.
“It’s always been fun and it’s got to stay that way to enjoy it.”
His favorite part about being a musician is the feeling he gets when playing in front of a crowd.
“Some people like to jump out of planes for (an) adrenaline rush, performing is where we get that, as musicians,” he said.
“It’s always fun to sit down and play music with people, or even by myself sometimes I’ll sit down and write a few songs, and it’s always fun.
“But when you perform on stage and you have an audience, the adrenaline goes and it’s sort of a different place you’re at, and even the music reflects that when you get on stage; everybody tightens up and tries to do the best that they can possibly do.
“You get that sweet sound of a full band, it’s gratifying, and it makes it a lot of fun, especially when they’re playing your music.”
Writing and creating music was his first childhood dream come true, and his second dream came true when he was featured in a locally filmed movie called “Defiance” in the early 2000s. The movie takes place in Defiance, Mo. set in 1874, and follows the life of a boy stuck in a cycle of revenge.
“I got to be in a cowboy movie, so that was kind of one of my childhood dreams,” Hassler said.
For the past 18 years, Hassler added that he been sober, which has helped his music.
“My ability to write music and perform increased of course, and I’m just a lot happier person. I’m not the same person I was back when I used to party all the time,” Hassler said.
“When I finally quit, my life improved and still improves all the time,” he added. “It’s something I try to urge other people to do.”
In addition to music, his hobbies involve Hot Rods, which inspired a song on his latest album “New Corvette.” The song was previous titled after his blue Corvette.
“When I wrote the song, it started out as ‘Blue Corvette,’ and that’s the way it was until I got ready to do the album, and then I got to thinking ‘Well, maybe, I’ll change it to new Corvette, then more people can relate to the song,’ ” Hassler said.
Currently, Hassler drives a 2012 yellow Corvette.
While he is not writing or creating new music, Hassler said he jams out with the Washington Missouri Blues Society.
Additionally, Hassler worked as a roofer, carpenter and contractor for more than 40 years. He said he retired at age 50, and currently lives in St. Clair with his wife, two daughters, a German shepherd and a chocolate lab.