Rock and Roll Fever


    I’m probably too old to go to rock concerts. 

    I go anyway.

    
Not just to share the experience with my kid. He’d prefer I didn’t. And it isn’t to name myself at an in-vogue event. They are; I’m not.

    I actually go for the music.

    A gazillion years ago, some long-ago forebears of ours came out of their caves and started making noise. Most of them likely uttering guttural, pretty unpleasant sounds. Grunting –probably the root vocabulary of teenage boys. 

    But then there were the others. Emerging from those very same caves, sometime after the last hunting party had gone off for the day, they made their own sounds. I imagine upon their less-stressed entrance to the day, their attitude wasn’t so much ready-for-the kill, as ready-for-breakfast. And the tenor of their voices, less get-going and more get-down.

    
I imagine them humming. 

    
Against the grain of their tribesmen, against even the instinct of their survival, they heard –and listened to- the beat of a different drum.

    
I live with one of those.

    
Even on the worst of days, he still emerges from his own cave –with music. In his heart, in his hand, by way of an instrument, and in his hum.

    A
nd as much as he hates the possibility, he gets that from me.

    
Music is passion and even if I can never be its direct participant, I can connect to the notion of doing something you love –merely for the sake of doing it.

    
So I go to rock concerts. And often find myself too close to stoned and sweaty 20-somethings, singing along to lyrics I probably shouldn’t know. And I watch the guys on stage and live vicariously. The best of them are still shouting and strumming about the inequities of life. The youngest rail against the closest of their authority figures –parents, teachers. But those with a bit more depth take on other enemies of the day –big business, big government –the “man.” They’re burning with their own passion, but also trying to light a fire under those oft-apathetic kids in their audience banging their heads to the beat. Rockers try to send a message. With their music.

    
A long time ago, another generation did this with gusto. They built a genre around a war and made a difference.

    
It would be nice if Michael and his ilk could do the same. 

    
But it’s doubtful. 

    
It’s not that they lack talent or intelligence or even passion. What seems still missing among he and his bandmates are those other necessary components that enable one to reach a goal: a lot of work, sacrifice, follow-through. 

    
His dream is like a distant island. He’s more than willing to put his feet in the water, swim a few strokes in its general direction even. But a stray piece of driftwood, a rough sea, and he’s fully sent adrift. What he really needs is a good solid boat. Problem is, building one takes a whole lot of effort. Forethought, exertion, follow-through. Maybe even a bit of tutelage under a good boat builder.

    I go to rock concerts and hear the music. I get lost in the lyrics and sucked into the dreams. Because I still believe that dreams can come true. Not just for the guys on the stage fulfilling their own. But also in their dream of reaching the masses, getting a message through, making a difference.

    
One of Michael’s favorite bands is pretty intent on not just playing the music. The lead singer has the audacity to believe that he and his music can make the world a little better. But he’s not a kid anymore.

    
I wish Michael would listen to one of his heroes:

    “…I’m tired of living in the fable. A real sky I long to see. The journey must continue. It does not start or end with me….”

    
Michael needs to do more than put his feet in the water if he expects to make it to that island. He needs to build a boat.



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5 thoughts on “Rock and Roll Fever

  1. So well put, as usual. I’ve so often wondered about this generation and how they will finally take responsibility and grab onto their passions. Some do but what I’ve seen is most are a drift. Unfortunately too often the music that is being heeded is Bob Marley and not State Radio.

  2. I love this post, Linda. It makes me think of Woodstock. I believe the youth of this generation have the power and the passion in them; it simply hasn’t been summoned yet. We tend to think it is a sheltered time but it is just as important to have a voice today as it was in each preceding generation. There are so many issues to speak to and music, now as accessible as ever, is the language to do so in. Like the song “Secrets” by One Republic, we see what’s happening in the news, problems we could speak out about- find what matters to you and give it your all. Beautifully written as ever, Linda. 🙂 !

  3. I love this post, Linda. It makes me think of Woodstock. I believe the youth of this generation have the power and the passion in them; it simply hasn’t been summoned yet. We tend to think it is a sheltered time but it is just as important to have a voice today as it was in each preceding generation. There are so many issues to speak to and music, now as accessible as ever, is the language to do so in. Like the song “Secrets” by One Republic, we see what’s happening in the news, problems we could speak out about- find what matters to you and give it your all. Beautifully written as ever, Linda. 🙂 !!!

  4. so different from my son’s music, but such a pretty song -and a good message. i wonder how
    much of woodstock is viewed with revisionist history. i’ve read so much about it and the critics
    claim the event was far less a political call-to-action than we’ve been led to believe. mostly
    a really good party, with good music. still, the music of that era sent a pretty powerful message.
    unlike too much of what hits the airwaves today. not just the misogynistic lyrics (which i hate)
    to which our girls are exposed, but also pretty good songs with not-so-empowering lyrics.
    john mayer: “we just feel like we don’t have the means to rise above and beat it…waiting for
    the world to change.” what happened to believing that young people are exactly those who
    COULD change the world?

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