Tag Archives: music

“It’s all part of my rock ‘n’ roll fantasy”

tired drives through thunderstorms on slick
and narrow roads.
van spinning out on wet leaves, rolling backwards
down a mountain driveway at 4 AM,
heavy with gear, guilt, dreams, fear,
and lack of sleep.

from temporary home to temporary home,
couch to couch,
floor to floor,
doing everything at convenience stores
from sea to shining sea.

pining for things you shouldn’t miss,
don’t deserve to miss,
while people age around you and
bright-eyed hope turns to bleary-eyed desperation.

hundreds of miles away,
she’s too drunk to text me back.

sitting in a chair I’ll sleep on
in a house that isn’t mine,
quiet enough to hear myself from fifteen years ago
tell my mom things like,
“If I never try, how will I ever know?”

now we call our kids to say goodnight
from other kids’ empty beds
in the homes of two-weekends-a-month fathers we call friends.

and you don’t want to be the last to fall asleep
’cause that’s when the silence sneaks in,
broken by the sound of you fifteen years from now
screaming in your head,
“What the fuck are you thinking?
Who lives like that?
By the time you hear this, you’ll be dead.”

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My response to four questions posed by Gene Simmons in his “Rock is dead” interview

On September 4th, 2014, Esquire Magazine published an interview with Gene Simmons (interviewed by his son, Nick), during which the elder Simmons declared, “Rock is finally dead.”

Upon reading the interview, I did what any passive-aggressive American would do: I posted a lengthy rant/reaction as a Facebook status update.

Specifically, I replied to four questions posed by Simmons during the interview:

“Where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators?”

For posterity, or rather so it doesn’t get buried in the mass grave where all Facebook status updates are eventually buried, here is my answer in its entirety:

“Where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators?”

They’re traveling the country in vans held together by duct tape, falling asleep on the floors of good-hearted fans/friends, crossing their fingers no one breaks into their shitty vans overnight to steal the very expensive tools of their trade. Tools they bought without endorsement deals.

And, for the most part, they’re doing this without tour support or record labels with any substantial money or distribution at all. They’re doing this on a whim, by the seat of their pants, on a hope and a prayer, with boxes of records and t-shirts they paid for crammed into the back of the van alongside the instruments, passion, desperation.

THAT’S rock ‘n’ roll, Mr. Simmons. Naïve, adolescent, stubborn. Willing to fight for what you believe in, no matter the odds. And not even necessarily because you want to, but because you genuinely feel like you HAVE to. A force greater than yourself puts your stupid ass in that van and says, “Go.” And you go.

The road to rock stardom isn’t paved in gold anymore, or glitter, or ridiculous make-up, because the people making true rock ‘n’ roll these days don’t give a Flying V about “rock stardom.” Most that I know would be happy making the equivalent of a policeman’s salary doing what they love, writing from their hearts, connecting with fellow human beings.

But I imagine these concepts are foreign to you, and rightfully so. You came up in a different time on a different landscape. And now you’re so out of the loop, the loop itself looks like a tiny, twinkling star in a galaxy far, far away that you’d need more than moon boots to get back to.

So, let’s make a deal, shall we? You don’t talk to us or make assumptions about the vital signs of rock ‘n’ roll and I won’t pretend to know anything about teasing my hair or pyrotechnics. Cool? Cool.