Robb’s post, man... Scroll down, read his blog post and if you want, come back to hear me ramble.
Wow, I wish I had a “Tony” to tell me stories about Sabbath and life during those days. I want to BE Tony!! Well okay no… I want to be Red but I want a Tony. I want to talk to Tony!!!! TONY, TELL ME FUCKIN’ STORIES MAN!!! The stories when rock actually mattered … yeah, those ones
The end of Robb’s post just keeps repeating over and over in my head…
"I feel lost. I feel alone."
“I feel alone” should be my middle name. It’s how I feel each and every time I try to talk to people my age about music, life and dreams now a days. Hi, my name is Red and no, I won’t live by society’s standards. Nothing makes me feel more lost than when I tell someone that I spent my Saturday night laying on the floor of my incensed filled basement with the lights and all of my electronics turned off and listened to Led Zeppelin IV and in return I get a blank stare or a response like "Who is Led Zeppelin?"
Led Zeppelin, my friend. You know that logo that’s on your cute crop top that you bought at Forever 21? The one you wear with your cut up, fringed jorts? Yep, that is a band - a very,very good band. A band that changed music and a lot of lives including my own. Their shirts aren’t supposed to be worn as a fashion statement so that you can look cute at your summer festivals.
Maybe I lay in my dark basement listening to my favorite albums because deep down inside I wish that once I walk back upstairs it turns out I time traveled back to 1971 and everything in the last 40+ years was just a just little daydream … or a nightmare? I don’t know. Whatever it was, it was damn crazy and now I’m gonna go meet my friends at our favorite hang out spot. When I get there I'll tell them all about my dream and guess what? They will all make eye contact and listen to my story because there are no damn cell phones yet! No one will be "checking in" where we're at because we're probably being motherfuckin’ badasses and are some place where we're not supposed to be! Now leave us the alone.
How wild is it that these scenarios reoccur in my head so dang much? I am so glad I met my best friend Kat, who understands all of this, and together we can make up stories together because we only dream of days like that. At our ages we obviously never got to experience any of the excitement of those times. When people went to record stores. When people lined up to get concert tickets. When concerts were only $4.80. When people actually cared about the music and not how many “likes” a band has or any of the other crap that it’s turned into.
Seriously like not even back in the 90’s or early 00's was I able to experience the madness of a real rock scene. I still haven't been able to see most of the bands that changed my life. Shit, most of them I will never be able to. I wasn’t a thought in my mama's head until the damn 90's!!! YES, THE NINETIES. Meaning that when I was born, I was lucky enough to be alive when a lot of my favorite bands were at their prime tearin’ shit up around the world. Ohh, but wait - at that same time I was also learning to not shit my pants anymore. Then again it’s not like I was gonna be aware of good music until I was older. I’m 100% Mexican so learning good music from my parents was outta the question here unless you think The Northern Tigers are rad!
Here’s the twist - The Northern Tigers weren’t some cool, rad underground rock n’ roll band… The Northern Tigers translates to Los Tigres Del Norte and they are a Spanish band that I would probably still be listening to if I didn’t move out of the hood.
**Side note: nothing against Los Tigres Del Norte – they are a very successful band but clearly they weren’t the coolest band to listen to for the rest of my life. I am glad I found my rock n roll but hey guys, I will not lie and say I did not enjoy it growing up. I still do - I blast my latin music all the time. It’s my culture, baby. Arriba los Mexicanos! AYYYY! **
Honestly, I don't even know where I want to go with this post because I'm just a ramblin' man right now. I've just been thinking about Robb’s post and I thought I’d write about this because it truly makes me wonder if people understand why I do this. Why I NEED this. Why I'm okay with getting in the car and driving hours and hours away just to see a live show. Robb says in his post…
"I miss live shows being important ... I miss feeling a part of something that was so high on my list I’d crawl through broken glass to get it."
This gives me goose bumps because it's how I've always felt about the things I will do to get to a show. That feeling he talks about is real for me. I will do anything for music and a live show. If that means driving 5 hours away on a Tuesday, living off of gas station sandwiches and after the show staying a Motel 6 that smell likes dick and doo doo or a parking lot and making sure I make it to work at 10 AM the next day – I will do it.
Why? Because I'm addicted to that at the moment when the lights turn down, the band takes the stage and hits that first note. Ever since I first experienced the natural high and thrill of a live show and being a part of something so powerful and beautiful I was hooked and at this point why would I ever want to not feel that way?
It’s a place where I first truly understood what it meant to feed my soul of something that I've never felt before. Where else can you go and let go of any of your worries or stuff going on around the world? It’s where I go and only focus all of my energy on the music and the musicians pouring their hearts into their set and into my soul.
But why don’t some people get it?
Why doesn’t it feel as important anymore?
Why did I go see a really amazing band play to 30 people when they could have easily played to a fuckin’ arena with the kick ass set they put on?
Why the fuck have people stopped caring about live music?
Why have people stopped caring about rock music?
It feels like it has become harder and harder for me to find someone to go check out a rock n’ roll or metal band with me. Or find someone who can argue with me about what the best Metallica album is. As alone as I do feel at times all I know is that rock matters to me and it always will be there for me. It has changed my life, it has saved my life and now it’s become my life. If some of my blog posts can shine a light on the power of music then I’m happy to help anyone out there who are trying to find themselves through it. I’ve been there before and it took me a LONG time to realize it’s okay to be who you are as long as you stay true to yourself and the things you love.
I was that confused girl in school whose notes were overflowing with doodles of band logos. That girl that wore band shirts all the time. That girl that went to too many concerts and listened to “weird” loud music but you know what? If I kept trying to be like the "cool" kids, listened to their top 40 music and dress the way they did I wouldn’t be the unique, happy, redheaded fireball that I am now.
Since Robb Flynn wrote this post here are some live photos I took of him at the Jan 22, 2012 show at House of Blues Chicago. These photos were taken when I was still using a kit lens and was very new to photography. I don’t think anyone understands how happy and excited I was to even be able to shoot the show. My boss even set up an interview with Dave McClain before the show which was pretty rad – he’s a great dude!
My favorite moment of that night was hearing “Darkness Within” live for the first time…
I just got chills thinking about it. That entire night was so special to me. It was the first time I got to shoot one of my favorite bands at one of my favorite venues and my favorite band was about to play one of my new favorite songs. I can still close my eyes and bring myself back to experience everything from hearing it live. How the air felt in the room, how Robb looked behind that acoustic guitar, spotlights shining on him ready to take us on a rollercoaster of emotions. I remember the 2 random dudes standing next to me that put their arms up with me and together we all sang every lyric out at the top of our lungs. The whole room just singing their fuckin’ hearts out – everything about it will never leave my mind.
That’s what a show and music is about - that’s real emotion. That’s the power of music. So thank you, Robb... because you are doing something right. You’re giving us something to believe in. You’re letting us be a part of something bigger and that’s more than I can ever ask for as a fan.