The Rock 'N' Roll Shaman: Not a marketing or branding tool, it's way of life.
It's 2 minutes to midnight as I sit to write this.
Where are my Iron Maiden fans for that intro?
I was talking with a friend of mine about what was playing as it was playing on my Turn the Mirror Inward playlist I use to detune and refocus at the end of the day. Every song has a reason for being on the list. As I am writing this it's Amazing by Aerosmith that is playing.
We all have times in life when we feel as though we are scratching and fighting just to get through another day.
My life was changed by a film. Eddie and the Cruisers was a film that said words and music they need each other. It changed the way I listened as I cared as much about the lyrics as I did the music behind them. When I interviewed Michael Pare the man who played Eddie Wilson in the film, I asked him what role he felt most fortunate to get?
He said Eddie Wilson and then spoke the line that changed my life at age 10 I think. I am not sure I could ever convey how amazing that moment was for me personally. I was happy to find out that Michael was a very decent and kind human being and loving father and dedicated husband. The hour and half I spent on the phone with him was pure joy for me getting to talk to the man who played one of my heroes.
As Changes by David Bowie comes on it is a song that reminds me to change your story you make changes in your character. The story that is your life will for the most part stay within the context of the character that is who you are.
All change in life first starts within.
As the shuffle continues Blowing in the wind by one Mr. Bob Dylan has come on. It's true, for those who know how to listen the answer my friend is blowin' in the wind.
Throughout the song the question is about how long. How long does it take and who sets these standards. Intuition will answer these questions better than anything I could ever say. The answers are different for each of us. Each of us grows at different rates. One has to feel to hear the wind and all it carries.
Now let's join a rock star I have actually insulted face to face Somewhere on the other side of nowhere by Powerman 5000.
I put the list on pause to tell this story. I met Michael "Spider" Cummings several years ago while in L.A. doing some interviews with independent film directors and producers. For those who don't know Spider is the brother of Robert Cummings A.K.A Rob Zombie.
I was at this Italian restaurant for a business dinner that is next door to the famed Troubadour rock club. After dinner I had stepped out to smoke a cigarette and Spider came out. As we were talking i mentioned I was from Chico and he got animated as he said "Chico, man I almost died one night in Chico, let me tell you about it."
What my dumb ass didn't realize was that at the time the individual who shall remain nameless that had introduced me to Spider had spoken highly of me and Spider was trying to show off and impress me. This nameless friend has been friends with Spider since childhood.
Spider tells me about being out front of the venue and a guy walking up with his hand in his coat pocket and that he was afraid he was going to get shot. Long story short when he told me the guy pulled out a pipe and a lighter and wanted to smoke a bowl with him, this was the response I have tried to apologize for many times since that night.
"You were in Chico dumb ass, what did you think would happen?"
Months later I was driving cab here in Chico and picked up a DJ. I wanted to impress the DJ so I told him my Spider story. Here is the DJ's response that woke me up to the fact that I had been a dick and owed Spider an apology.
"You stupid motherfucker, look right here."
He was pointing at a tattoo on his arm of one Dimebag Daryl who got shot on stage. That's when it hit me that even though he was telling me a joke, he had a real reason to be scared and I was an insensitive prick.
When I owned up to this in the moment with the DJ and told him I agreed I owe Spider an apology, he rewarded me for manning up in the moment and owning my mistake by giving me Iron Maiden tickets worth over $80 for a $15 cab ride.
I was actually never really fan of Powerman 5000 until after I had already pissed off their front man.
Somewhere on the other side of nowhere reminds me to disconnect and find my place of peace where none of it can touch me on the other side of nowhere for my meditation before bed.
It's not a gimmick or an attempt at clever marketing or branding, it's how I actually live my life. This is why I am not pretending to be the Rock 'N' Roll Shaman, I just happen to be in being the me that I am.
If you have to try to be you and create an image to sell, you'll find much better results and less self loathing if simply find out who you are and be that. Don't sell it, be it. And to quote a Rocky Horror Picture Show song, don't dream it, be it.
I am off to do something totally me, do something totally you.