What I’d envisioned for myself when I was a child back in the late 60’s and early 70’s (before I knew any better) was that I would be a rock musician. It never crossed my mind to be anything else. I always saw myself as the lead singer of some famous rock group where I’d sing and play guitar. It was a wonderful vision then and it still is. And in some alternate reality, that’s what I’m doing right now.
Alas, in this reality, it was in church when I was eight or nine years old, when my friend Jill broke the news: I couldn’t sing. Period. She sat beside me frowning and then complaining that I wasn’t staying in tune as we sang hymns. Not long after that bad news, I also discovered that I had difficulty keeping in time with songs, and I was left with the sad and horrific conclusion that I had no musical talent whatsoever. My desire was there, more than there, but you do have to be born with something with which to work.
With that said, on occasion, something strange will happen. My Muse gets confused and thinks that she is inspiring a real musician, when in actuality, I’m anything but. I just go with it, anyway, and write down the damn songs that insist on being written. Actually, that’s not quite true. I write the lyrics, only the words, to songs that have absolutely no melody. Therefore, I write lyrics to rock songs that aren’t songs at all. They probably never will be. I know. It’s a weird thing. Some people have suggested that my words would simply be poems, then. Isn’t that what songs are: poems set to music? And, yeah, I can sort of seeee…
No. No, I can’t. What I’ve written are lyrics. To rock songs. That don’t exist. Pure and simple. I write a poem or two on occasion. My poems are different from these offerings.
It always seems that several songs at once want to be given life, NOW! I’ll spend an entire afternoon and well into the wee hours trying to birth them. This last batch of songs, for better or worse, were written in December 2015 and January 2016, though I’ve given them all a January 2016 date for the purposes of my blog. They were inspired by Scott Weiland of: Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and most recently, The Wildabouts. Apparently, Weiland’s death in early December 2015 hit me harder than I’d realized. The songs I’ve written in response are: Circles, Ripped Jeans, The Madhatter, Between the Sheets, The Fool, Flash in the Pan, Dead of Night and Tunnels. (If you click on the song title, it will pull up the lyrics. BTW, this would probably be a good place to let you know that some of these lyrics are explicit … read into that … offensive to those who don’t like things that are either sexual in nature or that contain naughty language or are disturbing in other ways. But isn’t that the point of rock and roll? Anyway, consider yourself warned before you start clicking and reading. )
Lately, I’ve been playing more Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver than is probably healthy, and reading and watching anything on YouTube about Scott Weiland. I’m a bit obsessed at the moment.
The bizarre thought occurred to me that, perhaps, I’m somehow channeling Scott Weiland’s musical muse in a very weird and, again, a very confused way – a muse who must be in utter shock that her slave is no more and who is now seeking anyone open to receiving inspiration. (That’s a big-assed maybe, by the way! If I were channeling Weiland’s former muse, I expect that it wouldn’t take long before his muse realized that I am not Scott Weiland or anything like Scott Weiland, and would abruptly disappear.)
More likely, I haven’t been channeling anything more than my own Muse, who is still processing Scott Weiland’s tragic drug overdose and death. That’s what grieving a senseless death will get you – music-less lyrics. Anyway, RIP, Scott Weiland. Thank you for giving – everything!
January 9, 2016
P.S.: Happy Birthday, Jimmy Page!