Home > Uncategorized > In a world gone mad we’re all keen to find a temporary oasis….and if you can bring your guitar with you so much the better….

In a world gone mad we’re all keen to find a temporary oasis….and if you can bring your guitar with you so much the better….

I’ve reached that age. It’s not a number, more like a feeling. It’s called “old”….and it creeps up on you. Things hurt you didn’t even know you had. The nights are shorter and the days are longer and the couch beckons the way a long-legged cheerleader sitting alone at the back of the bus used to. Most things you used to do you can’t do anymore. Those you can do….take a lot longer….and if they take too long you wonder why they were so fucking important in the first place. I’m way smarter than I used to be, but I don’t have the energy to mobilize my brain-power. In other words, I’m asleep by the time the 3rd quarter of Monday Night Football starts and need 2 days to recover if I stay out past midnight….which I rarely do of course, because I’m old.

SAM_6980But I sometimes do…and it’s because I still play music. Music is the only thing that makes an old person feel not so old. If it’s 1am and I’m singing “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in a smokey bar filled with empty chairs and a handful of people who know the words and aren’t shy about sharing…..I get a second wind that even drugs can’t touch, and I should know because….well….never mind. That was a long time ago….when I was young and stupid and happier than I am now but I was happier probably because I was stupid. Yea, that must have been it.

I spent the last few hours playing music with another old guy….whose identity I’ll protect because he probably doesn’t want you to know that he’s even older than me. We sat knee to knee and sang songs and tossed ideas back and forth and said “yea, that works”, or “no…that don’t move me” and tried to make things right with the world for 3 minutes at a time. We spoke of Levon Helm and eating pizza with Van Morrison and having Dylan peer over your shoulder and why it’s perfectly normal that the same guy who wrote “Jungleland” also wrote “Crush On You” and was proud of both……and we spoke of making movies and rum commercials and writing plays and having daughters and being blown away when others are as passionate about their craft as we are about ours…..which in turn means we give our shit away for free when we should probably ask for at least beer money….but no matter. It’s only rock and roll and we like it even though we’re broke as shit.

And then it was time to go home and feel old again because nothing this good lasts forever.

On my way home I had the music blaring so loud that I lost track of the fact that I was merging into a single lane construction zone….blowing past a yield sign and nearly getting flattened by a meth-fueled 18 wheeler in the process…piloted by a driver who clearly did not understand or much care that my muse was working overtime…and that singing along with Richard Manuel to “King Harvest” was way more important to me at the time than not being killed. At least that’s how I took the long, hideous blast of his wretched horn. Perhaps he meant something else by it, but I doubt it.

Probably an old bastard in the cab. Can’t you just spot them a mile away? I sang these lines tonight. “I don’t wanna grow old / rather run out of time…” and now I know why I wrote them in the first place.

And so it goes. The things that make me feel old work on me like a masseuse, so maybe the music gods try to even the odds a bit by granting me a few hours with a kindred spirit.

In a world gone mad we’re all keen to find a temporary oasis….and if you can bring your guitar with you so much the better. When the world comes crashing down I’d much rather be found playing a loud A chord than worrying about the ecumenical details….because any angels worth believing in would never turn their backs on a dude banging out an A chord. This I know to be true because I’ve been praying to Pete Townshend since I was 16 and the fucker always answers me.

I’ll keep chasing these shadows across the borderline, because it makes me feel less old. And that beats shit out of being old.

Thus endeth the lesson.

In a bit..



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