KEEP THE FIRE BURNING
Testosterone driven 1970’s Hard rock and roll. I love it. I loved it then and I love it now. The 1970’s had a lot of that to offer. Like every generation since the 1950’s does, of course; and every generations rock and roll is a little different. But they all have some things in common that speak to the backseat lover in all of us. Hard driving simple chord changes, a slim and sexy lead singer with nice hair and a great voice (well, not always), ripping guitar solos, lyrics about girls, sex, rock and roll, mind altering substances and all that the dark side of our teenage years was all about. Experienced in our youth it can seem to many like the ultimate physical and emotional release of raw energy. The Nirvana of the number that your body is doing on you throughout your teenage years. (Well, outside of sex that is; and let’s be honest; when this music was at the top of our personal charts the majority of us had yet to experienced carnal worldly pleasures) It is the music of youth, frustration, dreams, little responsibility and reckless abandon. Not everyone succumbs to its power and is left to deal with the consequences of a misspent youth, but many do. (And don’t kid yourself, it IS powerful) Some outgrow it and leave it in their closet along with their high school memories and college annuals. Some try to hold onto it for their entire adult lives. Some make the biggest mistake and make it their entire career. Thus, forever stuck in Teenage Rock and Roll Limbo. Traveling down a path that usually does not have a happy ending. Then there are the lucky ones, who as they age ,regardless of their career path, take with them the memories, melodies and mystical madness of the dreams Rock and Roll offered to us in our youth and use it to keep a tiny flame and vigil alive in their souls. Just enough to keep burning the excitement, adventure and possibilities of life that our Rock and Roll youth gave us, while actually growing up and learning how to be functional, successful, healthy and happy aging adults.
As for me you may ask? Well, I have always known and felt inside since I was a young boy that I had no choice. Music chose me and I was stuck with it. For better or for worse. Couldn’t get rid of it if I tried. What some people may not be aware of is that I have seriously tried on a handful of occasions to make a career change – It was hard and painful and I was unable to win that fight. Can’t shake it. I was meant to be a musician and God is taking no other option. Well, at least at this time. After all, he is in charge. I have been extremely blessed (or cursed some may say) with an unexplainable passion (Ok..obsession…I give in) and love for many genres and styles of music. The Good Lord also blessed me with ample musical talent; enough so that I have been lucky enough to be able to make a living with it for the past 30 years. That is a long time on the road playing rock and roll. So, am I where I thought I would be with rock and roll at age 52? No, not by a light years long shot. But then I wonder, who is? Life is about choices and your life becomes the choices you make. Almost like flipping a coin.
As much as I cherish, love, respect, and will forever wave it’s flag high, rock and roll taken too seriously can lead one to make many, many irresponsible mistakes and choices. It can put you in unexpected arrested development. It can take you down a realistic road of no return, much worse than some nightmares you have experienced in your darkest night’s sleep – and leave you alone in Limbo. I know, I have been there. While I have been very lucky and blessed to have a great career, it took me almost the entire length of it to finally get my “real” life straight (and it still needs a lot of work). But on the other hand, taken in good moderation ( I know…real rock and roll is not about moderation, but go with me here for the sake of argument and age) it can give you some of the best memories, dreams, fantasies, passions, physical and emotional pleasures you can have on earth. Even if only available for a limited amount of time, and not always in the back seat of your 1974 Chevy Monte Carlo. I choose that side of the coin. I choose the happy life I have now. I choose sobriety. I choose God. I choose love. I choose to be a loving parent. I choose life.
But I still choose Rock and Roll. I choose the flame.
July 13, 2013 marks my 52nd Birthday and I would like to take some time this month reviewing some of my favorite rock and roll albums of my youth. For your enjoyment and for mine. I look forward to your comments, thoughts and insights.
Keep the fire burning.