Sunday, March 31, 2019

Be there

What was it all for??  That wasn't a question I ever asked myself.  It's been thirteen years and we all just kept at it.  There wasn't any kind of existential questioning.  We just kept going... And I can remember it all....   I was hungry and enthusiastic, I was sleepless and zealous; I lived fully in the madness of the present and yet always had an eye toward getting back in line for the swirly slide the next night, and the next; I was surrounded by artists who were all creating variations of my drug of choice: music.  I never asked what it was all for...., it was never a question at the forefront of my mind.  It was filed in an unlabeled folder in the back of the bottom drawer of the cabinet in the back corner of my mind. I just kept going... But...

I remember Justin Walker jumping up onto the mantle of the fireplace where I lived, the co-op in East Lansing, the wild pique of a house party, kegs drained and amps precariously surrounded by dancing youths.  
I remember Steve Beggars picking up DJ Millionaire like a sack of potatoes and carrying him around the Belmont.  
I remember Drew Bardo singing poetic fire into a bullhorn in front of Wildcatting (which you know, now, as Bars of Gold), on a makeshift lumber stage in the backyard of the now bygone (and pre-raided) Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. 
I remember John Sinclair doing something similar, poetically speaking, with a no-wave free-jazz orchestra of comrades, in a repurposed elementary school. 
I remember the first Caveman Woodman performance, on the streets, with a portable amp.  
I remember Child Bite and their giant eyeball costumes creating the most surreal of mosh pits.  
I remember Marco Polio & the New Vaccines doing a parade down Joseph Campau in the middle of the night.  
I remember Duende's first set, upstairs in Jacoby's.
I remember moderating an interview between Champions of Breakfast and Kommie Kilpatrick. 
I remember Silverghost playing in a mudfloor basement in Milford.  
I remember Prussia playing to me and six other people in the Northern Lights Lounge on a Wednesday somewhere in 2007.  
I remember Deastro.  
I remember my first backyard Fairgrounds encounter with Theatre Bizarre. 
I remember the Demolition Doll-Rods coming to Lansing.  
I remember the Oscillating Fan Club making a love mix for me.  I remember so many cups of coffee shared with Oblisk, with Passalacqua, with Audra Kubat & Chris Bathgate, with Misty Lyn & Matt Jones, with Johnny Headband..., with Mick Collins.
I remember interviewing the High Strung in a sports bar in the middle of March Madness. 
I remember interviewing Troy Gregory inside Jim Diamond's studio in 2003. 
I remember every single Carjack set... 
I remember always wanting to write. 

I have so many memories, and they all came flooding back last night.  I think I've shared an unforgettable, intimate, or long conversation with each and every person in the Ant Hall complex last night, likely for an article that I eventually wrote.  But it was under circumstances none of us would have wished for, that brought us together; one of us, Justin Walker, had suffered a serious stroke eight weeks' prior--we were here to raise funds to help cover those medical costs, as well as just see our friend in person, hug him, and bring those positive energies to him, to encourage him, to heal him, to let him know how much he meant to us...

And then I realized..., that's what it's all for... So that we can come together. We weren't in this to show off, we weren't in this to realistically get famous beyond our state's borders, we weren't in this to make the scene, to be seen... We were here to come together. So that we can come together again. So that we can come together when it's needed.  You transcend the scene, then, and you become a music community; you become a family.  Memories are always there; sure we were crazier in the past.  Now we have something, though. We have more than moments.  We have each other.  To be there.  To be there for each other.  I've never felt so enthused... And that's saying something.