I found this note I wrote to a friend last February after he sent me a video of the Rolling Stones performing Sympathy for the Devil for Rock-n-Roll Circus:
I don’t think I have seen anything like Sympathy for the Devil via Rock-n-Roll Circus in a long long time.
I miss abandon. I miss abandon in music. Everything is wrapped so tight these days, so much a feeling of being on edge and bound up in the world, even in music.
I realize the satisfaction I was feeling – was watching these guys really let go and still sound amazing. No syncopated moves, no stiffness, just release.
They really did tap into something that was beyond themselves (and it wasn’t cocaine or heroin or acid – whatever – it was beyond any drugs they may have been on). I really miss that. I really miss that wildness, that rawness in music and art and literature – in everything that is vital. It is vitality – It underlies everything – and yet – we deny it, repress it, suppress it, are afraid to look at it.
I mean, I guess, I don’t know when I pushed it all down in myself – maybe “we” is unfair, but I don’t think so. (I think the crazy Q stuff and the violence in the world is a product of that wild creativity being squashed, and so it comes out perverted and destructive).
I hope the pendulum of the collective is swinging the other way now, but for me, I think I need jump off the freakin’ pendulum. I’m tired of responding, shaping myself around other people’s hangups. And I guess that’s been my hangup.
Back to vitality – back to wild nature!
I wish that I hadn’t given up making music for 14 years – and – yet – maybe I needed the silence to realize how fundamental music is for me. Getting back to it, I think I have knocked off the rust, and I’m now sanding down and lubricating the gears – I’m feeling a surge of creativity start to move – and it is bigger than me.
I’m in the process of remembering how to write, how to play, how to draw, how to paint, how to perform – it’s all coming back. It’s feels like a mystery I’ve been circling around, spiraling in on – every now and then, I dip in and then come up for air. Music is supposed to be freeing, not binding – but you have to coax that freedom by giving it some attention and care.
And though performing takes some ego – there is a balance and a dance and a consideration of all involved. We are supposed to bring out the best in each other when we play – and the performance transcends the day-to-day bullshit. And if you’re really good, that transcendence happens for the audience, too.
Anyway, back to the Rolling Stones – I didn’t sleep much that night after watching Sympathy for the Devil. I kept waking up seeing and hearing them on the edge of my waking – they disturbed my consciousness in the best way.
Something deep and good is happening. Thank you!
Feb 4, 2021