These days I can’t help but notice when I do something counter to what my history has taught me is the “wise thing” to do. Sometimes I can simply chalk it off to my short-sighted desire to getting my needs met, no matter the outcome, and sometimes I see that action as some naive urge in me that still wants to believe “it will somehow turn out differently this time. This time, it will all work out in the end.” And I suppose, if you back up far enough, it can all appear to have done just that, worked out. Just don’t count the bodies scattered along the side of the road, the collateral damage on the way to that ephemeral place we affectionately call “the end.” There is, of course, no such place. Seems like where we’re standing on the time-line of our lives is the place we keep referring to as “the end.” But we’re really just traversing across the Great Unknown on our way to somewhere else. But hey, you’d think time might have taught me to avoid wishful thinking a little, to not make impetuous “hopeful dreamer” partnerships, and yet here I go again…and loving it. Damn! Some people never learn.
At this point in my evolution, I guess I have to see the act of forming this new band as both, (1) simply getting my needs met, and (2) a testament to hope winning over experience. (What’s the definition of insanity? ” Doing the same action repeatedly yet expecting a different outcome?”)
(1) What I now need in my life is to keep making music, to stay creative and follow the muse. There are no “laurels to rest upon.” Not really. To feel productive and creative is my life-blood, and it sustains a sense of well-being that surpasses even the best endorphin high. Even sex (sometimes). It’s that simple: my music and my children are what keep me happy and moving forward in my life.
(2) I keep wanting to believe that with a little bit of kindness, generosity, and hard work we can, as Rodney King so eloquently stated years back, ” …all get along.” Starting a new band smacks of the kind of naïveté that I used to wallow in as a young man. I mean YEARS ago. Truthfully, I am now hoping that all these years of “executive decisions” within my solo career, all those life experiences can add up to a kinder, gentler way of doing business, or at least something not as ego-centered as what I have known. But I suspect the whole truth is, we’re all just people with the kinds of faults people have, and eventually those faults will rear their ugly little heads, and we’ll have to deal with the fallout. I guess that’s really what all this experience is for. To recognize my shit when it’s happening, and bust it ASAP. So it goes. “God grant me the serenity…”
But don’t get me wrong… Right now, it’s a honeymoon. We enjoy each others company a lot, and are having a great time writing, creating a dream, building the vision. Each time we get together, something really cool comes from it, and I’ve been doing this gig long enough to know when I’m wasting my own time. Trust me, this ain’t that. This feels like the moment you dream of as an artist; something like the “holy grail” — the slight possibility that you might just be doing something unique. But that’s the “cart,” and we’re still just “saddling the horse.” (As Rev. Johnson prayed in Blazing Saddles, “O Lord, do we have the strength to carry off this mighty task…? Or are we just jerking off?)