Friday, January 20, 2017

The Victors






Maybe history is written by the victors. I don't know. Somebody forgot to tell Howard Zinn.

Me? Well, I went to segregated schools. I took the colored drinking fountains for granted and watched all of the African Americans trudge to the back of the bus. If the coach filled up they would even have to give up those seats for white women.

Yeah, I lived through nigger knocking, queer rolling, Spanish fly, all the way up to snuff films. I've watched politicians lie to get rich, sending other folks' kids off to die in wars to protect financial interests in oil.

I'm writing the history now. I'm singing about Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Mr. Rogers, Rosa Parks, Meryl Streep, Dr. King, Gandhi and Jimmy Carter. I'm talking about slavery and ethnic cleansing. Oh, I hope it doesn't sound hopeless.

The weapon to extinguish love hasn't been developed. Einstein knew that all of the energy and all of the love were intertwined.

Get busy. Get out there. Love with all you've got.



                                         

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Don't Know Much About History






At a certain age it becomes obvious that you've lived through a lot of history. I'm getting ready to live through a lot more. Oh, how I hope that I'm a bad prognosticator. Love doesn't seem to be fashionable at this point.

Let's look forward to it coming back around.

Come on, rock'n'roll, save us again.



                                        

I Can See It From Here






When I think about what an honor, what a privilege, it has been for me to play my music for people for the last fifty some-odd years I am almost overcome with gratitude and joy. That first night could easily have been the last. 

Maybe I would never have had the nerve but my pals, Buddy and Eric, needed me. Their bass player, Charlie, claimed to be sick with the flu and they had a show at Madison Junior High. I will never forget the thrill of the intoxication that comes with rock'n'roll. It never changes for me.

There was a time when I dreaded lugging heavy equipment. Missing weekends. Strange beds and boring motels.

Now, I cherish every show. Every song I write, no matter how trite, seems like a grand gift from somewhere I've never been. It can still be hard for me to talk to someone I don't know but it is thrilling to meet so many kind and fascinating people.

While I'm babbling about people, let me say that I have worked with and for the most wonderful folks in the world. I can't begin listing all of the musicians, technical people, promoters, writers and photographers. Audiences. The list would be way too long at this point. Worse, I would be coming back to edit this post continually adding names that I forgot.

Of course this missive won't end up before many of the ones that I address. It's from my heart and it's for the ether. Thank you. I love you.




Sunday, January 15, 2017

Missiles and Marbles






At this point mediocre won't do. I watched two well established, i.e. long in the tooth, TV shows last night with major musical guests. Despite the hard work and energy expended, they both bored me to death. Oh, I don't care if they practice in front of a mirror at home. Onstage, though, I need "real."

Little Richard was born Little Richard even if he didn't know it. Bob Dylan had to learn to be authentic. He built a mystique. He developed charisma.

In most cases, old and new, your favorites and mine just might not line up. That's okay. If you don't like Elvis, circa 1956, though, you're just wrong. In fact, you're dumb.



                                     

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Standing On Shoulders





Here I sit- one hit shy of being a one hit wonder. Mental demons? The dog and I consider them roommates. If Lack of Willpower shared the utility bills and Hazy Ideas did the laundry from time to time, life would be grand. 

Now I find myself pondering the genius of Hank Ballard. On his plaque in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame it should read: "Invented A Dance That White People Could Do."


                                       

Friday, January 13, 2017

Katy, Bar The Door






She's eleven. I'm almost seventy. If all the lessons are loss, we're both stuck with memories of wives, girlfriends, roommates and red headed singers. It's been quite a year. We've said goodbye to hope, romance and our Angel. Somehow, though, I look forward to the rest of it and in my anthropomorphic arrogance I'm pretty sure that she does, too. These melodies fill my head and this love fills my heart. Hot dog, buddy, buddy!


                                         

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Getting' To Know Me






Maybe I've always been afraid of me. I've surely done everything to avoid being alone. I remember reading once, "I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid of dying alone." I never got over it.

At some point in elementary school I was told that some Buddhist monks wouldn't go outside after dark for fear of stepping on insects. I have my own reservations about venturing out after dark now.

My belief that all science and all art are about love sums up my philosophy. My language is rock'n'roll.

An eccentric is someone with an unusual set of ideas. I'm a one off. Eccentrics are common. Dime a dozen.