Author Craig Sim Webb has been studying dreams for over 35 years. His recent book titled “Dreams Behind the Music” includes personal experiences from over 200 artists and industry executives across all genres of music.
In the book, they share powerful dreams and lucid dreaming experiences along with the songs and surprising success that resulted. It’s filled with impactful, insight-packed dream accounts by music icons Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Billy Joel, Sting, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, to name just a Few.
The dream analyst and researcher’s interest in dreams comes from his own personal experience years earlier, which set forth his intention to study the impact and meaning of dreams. In his own words, “the book itself arises from 4 things: my 35-year passion for and research into dreams, an incredible lifelong creative drive, my love for music and performing, and my wish to widely share in one place many very helpful dream- and creativity-related insights and tools that I have come across.
Dream analyst and author Craig Webb
Your book “Dreams behind The Music” is fascinating in a sense that it helps guide creatives by tapping into their dreams, can you tell us more about the book? How long did it take you to write?
I genuinely appreciate the supportive feedback! The book itself arises from 4 things: my 35-year passion for and research into dreams, an incredible lifelong creative drive, my love for music and performing, and my wish to widely share in one place many very helpful dream- and creativity-related insights and tools that I have come across.
Aside from the 3 decades of personal and professional dream research I did before writing it, the book involved a few thousand hours over about 3 years for planning, research, interviews, writing, editing and design, including over 750 end notes so the stories are well-documented. It has been a major project, but hearing readers’ overwhelmingly positive feedback and the powerful dream experiences that the book inspires for them fulfills my mission and makes all the time spent worthwhile.
Decades before writing the book you found your life path began when you almost drowned on a rafting trip, then powerful, lucid dreams and visions started happening right?
Yes, I was studying at university and went on a white-water rafting trip one weekend. I fell off the raft and got stuck beneath it, unable to see or get air, and realized I was drowning right then and there. Strangely, a deep feeling of peace also filled me – I believe peace around dying. I ended up eventually surfacing and then rafted the rest of the day as normal, except the rich deep peacefulness which lingered on that day and into the following days.
Soon thereafter, I suddenly and surprisingly started remembering many dreams each night, and having lucid dreams – meaning dreams in which I realized I was dreaming during the dream, and also experiencing clear, specific dream visions that would come true shortly after the dreams. Those new experiences spooked me, since they were way outside my physics training, and yet also highly intrigued me since some invisible doorway in my psyche must have opened through which so many dreams and other experiences flowed in that really blew my mind.
What is the most fascinating dream encounter an artist or executive had (that you can speak about) and how did it help their success?
That’s a tough one since there are so many truly amazing experiences, and different people seem to be fascinated by different artists’ stories. Aside from dozens of dream-inspired Grammy wins, as well as the pair of dreams that inspired the top-grossing film of all time, one dream that stands out was by Lynyrd Skynyrd’s back up singer JoJo Billingsley. She was not currently on tour when the band invited her to fly out and join them for their next gig.
That night she had a terrifying nightmare of the band’s plane having a terrible crash, and she awoke screaming and crying. The next day, she called the band, told them the dream and that she would not come, and urged them not to get on the plane.
The band did meet and voted regarding the warning, but sadly decided to take the flight to their next concert in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That was the plane’s ast flight and many people were injured or died including band leader Ronnie Van Zant, 2 other band members, both pilots, and the assistant tour manager.
It was a tragic disaster that might have been avoided, which included other surprising synchronicities too. So the dream tried to help the artists in an enormous way, but a key principle is that most dreams need to be acted on to make a difference. At very least, the backup singer’s life was saved since she did follow the dream. There are also a number of other true accounts in my book involving artists where dreams offered crucial guidance with life in the
balance, including John Lennon.
You’re not only an author, but also a dream analyst and researcher, can you speak more about your pioneering dream research as well as your work in biofeedback development/feedback.
I feel very lucky to have a great deal of creativity and multiple natural talents that continue to develop. I have been fortunate to experience well over a thousand lucid dreams, atl east twice as many precognitive dreams, and to have been part of the pioneering research at Stanford University that brought lucid dreaming into the mainstream before the turn of the century.
One aspect of the Stanford research was proving that subjects were dreaming consciously by monitoring their eye movements during sleep and watching for a pre-agreed-upon eye-signal pattern during the dream that was extremely unlikely to occur by chance.
Alongside the sleep lab research, I developed the original mass-market dream mask that helps people become lucid or conscious by signaling gently to them while they are dreaming, and it sold around the world.
Later, I developed other biofeedback, peak performance, and educational devices including one design that has sold over a million units. I like working on projects that can touch and hopefully directly benefit many people, so the inventions I work on naturally align with that goal.
One inspiration for my musical dream research is that I dream new music very often, more than most of the artists in my book. However, as I tell people including my tele class students and private clients – everyone dreams creatively and can develop various dreaming skills, as is true for most disciplines. For example, I have demonstrated that it is not difficult for people to experience and harvest dreams containing original music, if they choose to do so.
You have helped many successful people in many different industries, what has that experience been like?
Thanks for acknowledging that. Serving others is what keeps me going and I believe a wise focus for anyone wanting long-term joy. My path has been rich, varied, and mostly enjoyable yet often challenging – which I honor nonetheless since I truly value the growth and learning that challenges usually offer.
I have had the good fortune to be an invited dream analyst and expert for major motion pictures, top celebrities, CEOs, and corporations, and over a thousand international media. It has been fun and fulfilling working with high profile clients, though also very rewarding to help others who are not in the public eye.
Life’s grace surely plays a part in such opportunities coming my way, though I do dedicate myself, work studiously, And regularly follow dreams that guide me about career, personal, health, and of course creative choices. Another key role of dreams alongside the practical guidance is that they continually offer insights about the life lessons on our plate. I deeply value such learning since I believe that, at the end of our earthly journey, our progress with such lessons is not only very valuable, but also one of the few things we get to bring with us beyond life. So I highlight life lessons in my training programs, books, interviews, and other work.
What are you up to now, are you working on any new research or creative endeavor’s?
I continue to offer plenty of interviews, presentations, and trainings for private clients and classes about the practical benefits of dreams. I am also working on multiple creative projects that will reach a larger audience including a new invention, new music for a film soundtrack, multiple film projects and some fresh dream research.
I will hopefully also be making an avant-garde film, a project which dreams have hinted at and which hope to receive physical world confirmation about shortly. Alongside the outer work, I also keep health, personal growth, and outdoor play as high priorities. So my days (and nights!) are full, yet in a fulfilling way.
Any advice you can give to some authors trying to get published?
When beginning on a book, it is key to clarify one’s long term goal for the project since
birthing the book will likely take months or longer – and writing it is just the beginning.
Like having physical children, the “parenting” phase is usually much longer.
What audience does the author want to reach? Would an e-zine or magazine article or video or podcast or series of blog or social media posts be a smart step to test the market first? I would also strongly encourage new authors to have a marketing plan before, or at least while writing the book, so that the launch and outreach part of the project can be successful. Is it worthwhile to spend the time and energy trying to get an agent or publisher?
Sometimes yes but depends on the author’s aims and skills since many people choose instead the quicker path of self-publishing their book(s). And if a book project feels worth committing to, it may be worth contemplating whether fiction or non-fiction serves the author’s goals best? And if choosing a bigger project, like my book, a key to a completed book and a balanced life, is to set and stick to a disciplined schedule for writing, like each morning for a couple hours, and/or a writing retreat.
I also highly encourage any author, and anyone anywhere for that matter, to watch dreams closely, since they regularly offer creative and career insights as they did for the hundreds of artists documented in my book. Intentionally focused dreams can also help with the marketing and outreach phase as well, or maintaining or improving health, relationships, finances and other important life aspects that are important to enable the book or creative project come to full fruition.
What is the best way to purchase “Dreams Behind The Music”?
I truly hope that everyone will get inspired to start exploring and harvesting the amazing benefits that dreams continually offer. As a great jump start, they can learn more about the book and get it here:
And if they are interested to hop aboard for live private or team learning adventures that I lead, I offer out a warm welcome to connect with me here for more details: