Feeling the first surge of energy run through me after a meal, I sit down to write. This is a gift not to be squandered, this deafening smashing beat that flows through me, the writing coming off my fingers, sparks in my mind, swinging on vines through lush forests, kicking over clanging trash cans, rolling up in fast cars, jumping off a highway overpass from a full speed car, knowing you’ve gotta die, certain you’ll live. Where does this come from?
Sugar, the rush of corn tortillas dancing in my veins, the pulse of blood in my arms, the feel of music in my head, the weird and wild and muse feeling of being possessed by the gods of writing, flashing black and white lights, screaming Yeah, here comes the story, knowing that all along.
The idea of telling the truth no matter what, always being rewarded for doing the right thing, whether people are looking or not. What do you want? Tell me the truth. Always tell the truth, why is that so important? White marble The swelling curve of a knife blade, the dark and grey swirls in metal, a thousand folds, crafted through ten thousand years of working metal in fire, combining basic elements into a utilitarian tool of beauty not only in the use, but simply the looking. True form and function.
I can barely take it, that heavy ripping rough sounds. The story she tells, the way each of us can feel that same story in our own history. You know the name of the bar, you remember the look of the jukebox, the smell of the place, the way the door in the bathroom creaked, the cheap plastic flags, the glasses you used to steal, even the beer you used to order. It’s all there, in your mind and Joan Jett’s. I love Joan for the writing, for the passion and feeling and fight in her voice. That’s a mouth that spits the truth, she does rock and roll, as much as I do along with Willie Nelson and a few others.
Pure and clean, just your voice, that’s all I want to hear. Add some drums, give it a beat, then slide those deep bass notes up and down the neck of the guitar, choking it and at the the same time grinding out the beauty of vibrations on metal strings.
Then there’s the simple sound of a Spanish guitar. Del Castillo covering Willie, the ting of a metal triangle, the left ear starts to feel the beat, to get it, to sync up with the song just in time for the voice to come through, that nasally voice that is always in my dreams when I think of cowboys and fishing trips and my Dad in an old car, McDonald’s on a Saturday morning, the smell of a lumberyard, the sawdust, projects in the workshop, dissecting a frog, the smell of the formaldehyde.
The rush of water over gravel, I use a spin rod, Dad fly fishes. I remember every Willie song I’ve ever heard, even this one I haven’t heard before. Every time I hear that voice, I feel all that history come back up again. I can feel the cold dark morning of West Hartford, I can feel the chilly windows as the sun comes up over the horizon. That’s where my love of getting up early comes from, from the wayward dance of guitar notes, from the love of my Dad, from those moments we shared out there on the Connecticut river, when it was just us, and the world was simple and clean and pure. I don’t remember the rest of the day I don’t remember the nights, I don’t care, just the the mornings where we drove and listened to music together, when life was so clean and pure, and the aching and pulling of heart strings wasn’t yet part of my conscious experience, where I only felt the emotion in this music and asked those simple question that encompassed so much more than the words. I just enjoy the glimmering trill of the music, the voice of Willie, and a simple guitar riff.
You know, hard hittin’.