once again, in lieu of dealing with writing something new and to get the dylan thing off the front page once and for all, i bring you one from august of 2007. it bounces around a bit but there are a few kernels of sustenance to be found in it.
i’m not sure where this one is going or even if it will make it to blog print. as all i have is some sort of vague idea or something and a desire to see if that something ends up on the page.
in my last blog i ran down or sorta ran down my friend, john harrelson’s, saturday night show. another friend this morning, who was also there, brought up the religious analogy of divine intervention in regards to john’s smokin’ performance. i sorta alluded to it as well with my fire and brimstone thingy in my last blog. john brought it up himself yesterday evening when he mentioned a lady friend who hadn’t seen him perform before said, i can’t remember the exact quote, but something to the effect that john was a devil. i took it as a good thing and john did as well. the consensus being that it’s better than being called an asshole.
all of which brings us to the point of this epistle. maybe. john’s performance did indeed have some religious overtones but then all good rock and roll performers seem to have that aspect to their stage show persona’s. certainly jimi, mick, john lennon, or perhaps the more obvious, george harrison. pretty much all great rock and rollers along with some of the blues and jazz greats have it there in their mien while on stage. perhaps some even when they are off stage and out doing what we all do. live and breathe. a drift for another time.
for those of us who grew up at the very beginning of rock and roll, my first record purchase was elvis’, ‘love me tender’, in 1956. we’ve been at this thing for a long long time. many of us then drifted off into an obvious blues tangent along with jazz thrown in for good measure. along with that the life of a musician has always been sort of a back burner fantasy. for some of us it became a way of life and a life’s work. for others, like myself, the musician as artist never worked out like a lot of things. though upon occasion that fantasy, even at this late stage in life, is still bubbling under or away in my brain cell depleted brain. this is wandering all over the place though my usual readers are used to it. i digress.
the one person that really stands out in this whole rambling sorta concept thing is the late, sam kinison. he was a preacher, of i guess, some note. he gave that up to become a stand up comedian and one of my all time favorites. he also wanted to be a rock and roll star. his videos in that vein are some of the finest ever. their tongue in cheek aspect not with standing. sam wasn’t the first and probably won’t be the last professional religious person to sorta give that up and go rock and roll, the blues or whatever music. or vice versa for that matter.
i guess the whole point being that a rock and roll musician performing on stage, in some instances, not all by any means, can be looked at as a religious, or feel like a religious experience. the same can’t be said for a motion picture actor, or at least i can’t. not even brando at his finest ever brought a religious connotation to his performances. or richard burton. or elizabeth taylor. peter o’toole. al pacino. ad nauseum. for myself, stage actors would also be in the same boat.
i suppose some painters conjure up a religious experience like the old masters and their madonnas or similar work but that’s what they started out to do. a religious painting. plain and simple. monet, for example, has done some wonderful things but none of them have an inkling of a religious aspect to them other than the pure beauty of nature, color, and light.
there is a joy and beauty to all artists work. we are the lucky ones to sit and watch/listen as they do what they do, for our pleasure. for me, and i think a lot of others, watching a grand performance by a rock and roller is akin to if not a religious experience. it took awhile to get here but i hope you got the picture.