(Or a MusiCurmudgeon Begins His Journey)
Greetings to all readers of this chronicle containing the misguided ramblings of a diseased mind - whether you have arrived here purposely or merely by chance you are welcome.
As a bit of an explanation for my presence on these auspicious pages, please allow me leave to explain. When the infamous Brothers Bonyata asked me to add a few lines to their exemplary website I balked, and upon further reflection, balked again. The boys are truly swell fellows (when you keep them away from the Jack), and I hated to let them down, but as a card-carrying misanthrope of the 33rd degree - whose views on art, life and music are so clearly outside of current tastes - I failed to see how anything I could have to say would have any value. Having long ago learned the three things never to discuss around the dinner table: politics, religion & music, I dreaded the death threats that would surely come my way should I dare share an opinion with the world; and upon my reluctant agreement to engage in written activity, I feared that inspiration to write would be nonexistent. No, I felt, much better to be silent and stay in my safe little corner.
But in a serendipitous moment while driving home tonight I observed something that sent my brain a pondering. It was only a traffic sign - a simple sign that announced STOP AHEAD; however, in an act of utter incomprehension some brave and clever soul had brazenly spray-painted over the words to make the sign read instead: GIVE HEAD. Out in the middle of farm country, on a back road little traveled by anything other than tractors and the occasional random soul (as such one of my favorite roads), someone had vandalized county property! Great care had been taken in the act, as evidenced by the fine lettering and choice of paint color - the effect of which presented from a distance a quite shocking and realistic appearance - almost as if the county were regulating and promoting an act of sexual nature. Not as catchy as Make Love Not War, but a noble sentiment nonetheless.
Why would someone do such a thing? And why (besides the obvious fear of legal action) would the rebel choose a location so far from where such a message could be more than a minor irritant to the powers that be? For some reason the beautiful futility of this action reminded me of the current music scene with millions of musicians forming bands, recording cds, and emailing mp3s out to the great unknown without any hope of reward. One of the great legacies of the punk revolution is that it made it possible for anyone to be in a band. Have you seen the magazine Alternative Press? A great rag filled with bands you have never heard of and never will - a new crop every month. The gazillions of wretchedly bad musicians now filling up the internet, airwaves and television make it nearly impossible for anything of substance to work its way through the morass. The great shame of the punk revolution is that it made it possible for anyone to be in a band.
These tangled thoughts swirled in my head as I filled the tank of my car at the local station. Entering the establishment to fork over my hard earned cash without complaint, I found myself confronted by rudely indifferent employees (who acted as if I were a complete stranger despite my weekly visits), bureaucratic hogwash regarding the simple request for a receipt, and a No Shirts No Shoes sign that seemed to holler at me and tell me I am bad person. Fuming as I headed back to my car, I thought back fondly to that radical soul who painted graffiti on a stop sign out of pure spite against an unfeeling world and reveled in his act of rebellion. That is what rock and roll is all about - a cry in the wilderness - an act of empowerment - a blow against the system that says everything must have a value, a cost to be calculated, a price to be paid. My thoughts and opinions may have no value, but I do have a voice and I intend to use it in these pages for better or worse. Rock and roll is not dead - the spirit still lives though the heartbeats are hard to hear beneath the surface. Here's to the lonely sign defacer - Give head indeed!
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