Only Rock N Roll pt. 2


The first person to go down for the count from alcohol consumption was James. He propped himself on a couch in the most awkward position and then stayed there, frozen and passed out. I supposed we should have checked on him a bit more thorough; these are the kind of scenarios you read about where some college student dies from alcohol poisoning and doesn’t get discovered for some time, but now everyone was down for the music and if James drank himself to death there wasn’t much we could do about it now.
My message here isn’t to go out and drink yourself into oblivion. I’m a firm believer in handle your high. I’ve witnessed firsthand too many young amateurs taking too much liquor or too many drugs who fall victim to the Icarus Syndrome. The point I’m trying to make is that the ephemeral delight one experiences from listening to music, that magical electricity which courses through you and gets people of all ages to get on their feet and dance (or at least bob to the beat in a hypnotic state) is best obtained under the conditions created from a gathering of souls. You can get close to the euphoria of music by just listening to good stuff; I get really close to that feeling when I jack in my headphones and plant myself in front of a canvas to paint. The best hoodoo comes from a live band in a staunch locale-it could be a music club, it could be someone’s house (like Jax’s place), but when some promotion company contrives a night of hard rock, most times it falls short. Those venues do still exist (my personal experience recently watching Alice in Chains perform live was certainly a show to remember) but shows like that cost big bucks and not everyone has the bread to spread around anymore. Concerts used to be affordable but they, like so many platforms of art and culture, have bent to the mighty dollar.
I think what happened was, people fell victim to the beast of simplicity, greed and technology. Great live performances decided to make purchasing tickets and managing the money easier for them so online ticket sales became the norm for concerts, which placed a hefty price on top of the ticket cost. Merch tables, security and costly problems from both sides of the aisle (promoter and attendee) sent prices spiraling to the point where now a good band can run you well over a hundred dollars to get a decent seat. The good news is, good music still exists out there on the hungry streets and can be witnessed for fractions on the dollar, pretty much free, which in turn supports local artisans.
The evening went on that night until around four in the morning and we only suffered one more casualty to liquor-the birthday girl finally fell victim to all the Jim Beam she had swilled down. After the bands finished up for the night it was their turn to get drunk and everyone appreciated the fact that they held off drinking until after their performances. We all went outside around 3AM and sat by a bonfire in the back yard and slowly the adrenaline rush of rock n roll seeped away into the night. We talked for a while and one inebriated fellow fell into the fire but managed to get out before turning into a human torch. So in closing I should say to the guy complaining that the radio station bleeped out the word faggot on the radio, don’t rely on conventional airwaves to bring about the magic because I believe there is a definite recipe to experience it. Support your local establishments who my only charge you $5 cover. If you’re brave enough, do like Jax and have your own party-although most people wont be as fortunate as her when it comes to neighbor tolerance of such affairs, but you never know. The talent that is out there will amaze and move you but you have to find it. Its like hunting for mushrooms in the forest in the regards of having to search out the true gems. Rock still lives, but not on the radio.


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