When I was younger, I got a lot of my musical influences from my brother, he liked a lot of alternative and classic rock but one day when I was about 12, he had this cd of this guy with dreadlocks and the album was called “Legend” by Bob Marley. I didn’t know who Bob Marley was and I had never heard Reggae before. I borrowed it and put in my Discman to listen to at school, I fell in love with the music right away, I had never heard anything like it before but it was just so mellow and peaceful, relaxing music. I must have listened to that album on repeat for weeks, I didn’t have a lot of friends at school so I used my music as an escape, While they were playing kickball, I was in the corner listening to Bob Marley for the first time, way before those ever kids knew about him. Every time I hear that music, it brings back to that feeling of peacefulness during a chaotic time in my life, and my heart warms and I smile, it brings back some good memories; discovering music for the first time is magical at that age. 🎵 🎸
I listened to the Unplugged in New York album over and over again, a last gasp, a funeral with flowers layed out, I searched for clues,,, all these years, I still don’t have an answer. 😥
I didn’t know her well but she was cool and she was older and very grown up in my eyes, she was just beautiful to me, she had this exotic look with jet black hair, she had this confidence that older kids always have, when you’re 12 everyone older seems wiser. We used to talk about grunge bands like STP and Pearl Jam; I could talk about music for hours. But I had always Stone Temple Pilots rattling in my head at the time and when I ever hear some of those songs; that feeling and memory is sure to come back; even though those days are long gone. The past is just a faded memory… 1994 🎵
My friends called me up and said do you want go down to this farm for a few days, I hear they’ll be playing music. I said “Far out, I can dig it” So we got our gear and packed up our Bug and drove through the NY through-way to see what the fuss was all about, the roads were jam packed, my friend stated that the roads were closed “Isn’t that far out?” he quipped.
But we were determined so we sat in traffic for hours until we were close to the farm, we could hear the music from miles away, helicopters in the sky, bringing our rock and roll heroes, as we walked toward the festival, the rains fell from the sky furiously but we trudged on, getting rained was worth to be it to be with all these beautiful people with flowers in their hair and a dazed looked in their eyes, the days of innocence and revolution.
We passed by a Volkswagen bus with the words ” Even God loves America” plastered on the side. A nun smiled at me and gave me the peace sign, I returned the favor, I was with my people.
The farm was a sea of people, laying on the ground, totally gone, full of mud and listening to music in a daze. A black man with a red bandana was on the stage making his guitar scream, his eyes closed; lost in a world of guitar notes, I recognized it and said to my buddy ” That’s the star-spangled banner” And all he could reply with was “yeah!” as he closed in eyes and soaked in the music
As the man churned out another guitar solo, people slowly left the festival, a shame since we just got there. I looked around all I saw was garbage, used tents, beer cans, abandoned cars, food everywhere but in that mess was beauty, a beauty I can imagine if I just close my eyes.
But sadly, I wasn’t there, I couldn’t of been, I was 13 years too late but that was me in a past life, easy rider living, hitching a ride to anywhere to but here, living with the flower children and being free to be me completely.
I miss my friend John. We never actually met but I feel like I knew him, he seemed like a smart man, witty; full of sarcasm wit; with his snide remarks and those not smart enough to understand sarcasm.
I appreciate his beautiful creativity and how he always pushed the boundaries of art unapologetically He was outspoken, a little broken but aren’t we all. I understand his anger, anger at a system that touts conformity and punishes anyone who is different the rebellious who stand out, someone who was tired of pigheaded politicians and just wanted some truth, just like I do, someone who thought peace and love wasn’t a novel concept and that war was never the answer, war is over if you want it.
The irony is that such a man who was about love and peace died from gun wounds created by a violent culture in a violent city from a sick deranged man who America raised, it makes me sad.
But what I most miss is John’s music and am angry that was taken away from all us by gun violence. All I know is that I miss my friend John.
I was just watching a video where Anderson Cooper is interviewing Howard Stern last night and I’ve always liked Anderson Cooper, he has a calm demeanor and he just seems like a really nice guy, really intelligent and caring and passionate about journalism.
But it just hit me, there’s another reason that I like him so much is that I found that his brother committed suicide just like mine. And what I like is that is that he is open about it; just like I am. I admire the fact that he moves forward with his life and usies that tragedy as a way of educating people about mental health.
In this interview on CNN with Howard Stern, they both recount when Anderson was Howard Stern’s show and Anderson was talking about the suicide of his brother and Howard Stern mentions how he used that the story to learn about the issue of suicide..
That’s what it is about; using our stories to educate the public about an issue that has so much stigma. And if a public figure like Anderson Cooper can be so open about the suicide of his brother, so can I and without shame. I just thought I’d share this with you. Thanks for listening and for caring ❤
I just want to share two status I made on Facebook related to gender roles and masculinity and femininity
I think men who are more interested in traditionally female traits like the arts like writing and music and who are expressive with their feelings and able to relate better to women than men are seen as different in a bad way. A lot of men will wonder why this man can’t make friends with other guys. And they make assumptions about this guy’s masculinity or lack thereof. Because femininity in men is seen as a weakness and I think some women believe this as well, depending on how they were brought up. There is so much stigma about men and sensitivity, The patriarchy hurts us all. it is a constant battle but I do my best to talk about these things openly because I know there are men out there like me who feel the way. And as a man who is sensitive and expressive and hates toxic masculinity, I want to lead by example
I stand up for women because they have been always been my biggest supporters, the ones who accepted my sensitivity, the ones who have been there for me when I struggle with mental health, the ones that help me advocate and who inspire me with their writing and support my writing as well.
I hate how society treats women, it’s unfair and they deserve better. I try to be a man who speaks up when I see things are wrong and am facing my fears by speaking my truth.
I say this often but thank you, women, for all you do, for putting up with how some men treat you and for continuing to overcome obstacles and break barriers. You always have my support ❤