How metal \m/ can a crib be? How rebellious can a crib be? How “I wanna rock!” can a crib be?
Imagine the most metal \m/, rebellious, and “I wanna rock!” baby crib you can and then go track down down the new Metallica album cover and see how you did.
Obviously Rock Gods can do no wrong. So I have no fear of them putting out bad music. Remember, I even own and enjoy Lulu.
But I’m sitting here in my home studio/office where I have a Master of Puppets T-Shirt draped over a lamp to get the lighting right. Hands holding puppet strings over a cemetery just feels right. Every time.
I like that they’re actually going with what they feel like doing. They’re old and they have time to reflect on why they have done what they’ve done. Childhood is a tremendous influence. I get it. But I want to record here that there are elements that must be there for rock to be rock.
Hammer? Blood? Cemetery? Electric chair? Lady Justice? Blackness? Auto-body shops?Random fluids? Fists? Coffins? Life-like, damaged prostitute torsos? Glitchy photos?
All these seem pretty darn uniform to me. My inner scholar labels them as within the same semantic domain.
I’m just glad we’re all mature enough to not be dissuaded by a “miss”.
Well, technically we’ll be on the road to the Sprint Center in three hours-ish. (We drove here from Denver yesterday–8 hours.)
Here’s a conversation that will set the scene.
I asked a lady I work with, “So everyone keeps responding, ‘You are taking your daughter to Metallica?!’ I cannot tell if they are questioning my taking a near-nine year old to Metallica, or if they are in disbelief that I, Pete, would enjoy Metallica. Which do you think they mean?”
She laughed hard and said, “I think they’re surprised that you like Metallica.”
I’m kinda embarrassed by that fact. I don’t just like them, I love them. And tonight I get to share them with my progeny. From the moment H- was born, if not the moment she was conceived, I plotted the course that would have to happen for this night to occur. I knew they’d be in their fifties. I was hoping she’d be ten. But we’re close enough.
This past Saturday my own little future-Joan-of-Arc said, “So tomorrow we have church and then packing for Metallica?”
Yes indeed. \m/
Playfully hopping around the kitchen, H- didn’t miss the opportunity to stop and look at her reflection in the back door’s glass. She then bounced, no, danced her way over to her father.
“Oh. My. Goodness,” he said, import coming from his staccato. He did not look up as he walked the butter wrapper to the trash can.
“What?” she asked, curiously.
“Can you calm down just for one minute?” he returned.
The laptop monitor had an image of James and Lars as they sat in the studio. The “making of” documentary H-‘s father had been showing her during dinner was now paused as he mixed the cookie dough.
Still attempting to solve the present energy riddle, he shook his head and mused, “It’s not even like you had any sugar.”
Her expectant eyes quietly suggested that no solution was in sight.
Looking down at her, he again noticed the screen as he returned his attention to the mixing bowl.
Proud of his ability and with a subtle cock of his head to the left, he concluded, “I guess Metallica is kind of like sugar for your ears.”
I am slowly working on the new novel, the one filled with all the sex and violence you can handle (and desire)–and probably more–but I haven’t been writing it that often.
And obviously I haven’t been blogging much.
And I still don’t have a post for you.
But I do finally have the desire to share this video of a speech I gave at one of my beloved toastmasters competitions back in 2012 and in doing so finally pull back the curtain on my never-requested-but-just-the-same-deliberately-hidden appearance. I don’t have the hair or beard these days, but yes, the rumors are true, I am still that good looking. 😉 (for the ladies.) (Fellas: sorry, but you shouldn’t need an emoticon to calm you down.)
Oh. And Happy Birthday…Djyaa-nit.
Dear Stereo Makers,
How many times have you ever broken a nail with a hammer? Or how many times have you sat on a chair and had the chair just simply break? I know! I know! How many times have you turned on a faucet and the water came out so fast that it put a hole in the sink? No, better yet, how many times have you read a book so fast that it broke?
Then why, for the love, do you sell a product which allows me to turn up the volume so loud that it breaks my speakers? Why? Surely there’s a way you can prevent this. Surely you can put a line on the knob that lets me know “any louder now, Bub, and you might break your speakers”. I would obey. Promise.
Thank you for reading. Just do better.
PS – If you’re interested, I ended the affair. The End.
Is it wrong to admit that the real reason I don’t max out my credit cards is because I want to be able to buy tickets to Metallica–no matter what–the next time they come to town?
“I don’t think you understand. My living room came to life. I can only interpret this to mean that my will, my hopes, my desires–that I–manifest the future,” Pete told his friend.
Given that Pete, like any man, has an impressive streak of riding high on life at times, we should note that his claim isn’t quite unfounded. Before explaining his claim’s seeming impossibility, we must first denote 2012’s sublime specimen of synchronicity. Back in 1989, as a mere child of eight our hero saw the film Top Gun. You know, the movie starring Tom Cruise that pretty much did recruiter’s jobs for them ever since? Yeah, that Top Gun. He then went on to become a military pilot. While serving as a pilot, he was a member of a squadron which had an unofficial theme song. The theme song was Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive. Here’s the kicker. In 2012, Tom Cruise starred in a film called Rock of Ages (which unlike Top Gun did not inspire anyone) in which he (TC) sings Wanted Dead or Alive. Think about that for a second. Coincidence or not, that’s some seriously Mufasa C-O-L shit.
Back to our story…
“No Pete, I do understand. I just don’t think it’s more than a coincidence. I don’t think there is any hidden meaning. I can’t believe I’m even acknowledging the idea that you control the future, but I am, and you don’t,” the Debbie-downer replied.
“You can’t tell me it’s just coincidence. When people walk into this place what do they see first? Metallica hanging on the wall. Then they notice the beautifully 670lb Steinway and Sons grand piano,” Pete said, taking a breath that signaled that he was not going down without a fight. “And last night, for all the world to see, Metallica and a Steinway and Sons piano performed together on the same stage! How many people have Steinway and Metallica in the same room?” he asked, using hand motions to bolster his claim. “How many? Maybe 3. Maybe 20. But I’m one of them,” he said, his crescendo one self-assessment away from its peak. “Man, I feel good right now!”
“Yes Pete. And did you notice that you have a globe of Earth in the room too? And the performance happened on Earth!” his friend mocked. Continuing, he said, “And there are lights in this room! And the concert had lights!” Pete was no longer smiling. “And we’re in a room. And they performed in a room!”
“Go to hell.”
“And there are people in this room…”
Rock Gods Metallica just became the first band to perform live on all seven continents last week. Adding icing to the cake, they accomplished this enormous feat within the last calendar year. However, the news isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Without stating its intentions, a private polling organization released survey results which strain credulity, and frankly, are depressing.
736 randomly selected participants, ages 13-25, were given the following information and question: “Metallica just performed on on Antarctica. This means they have performed on all seven continents in 2013. What is a continent?”
- 13% answered “I don’t know”
- 36% answered “Something in space; like an asteroid, I think. Metallica sure is crazy”
- 19% answered “It’s another word for country”
- 32% answered “One of the main landmasses on the globe, usually reckoned as seven in number (Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Australia and Antarctica).
More surprising than the fact that more participants thought a continent was an off-earth body is that these young people never learned that the longest answer is usually the right one.
Nevertheless, “you can’t keep a good dog down” as they say, and the older Metallica fans are lifting themselves out of these findings’ mild depression by reminding themselves that over the last 22 years Metallica’s Black Album is the “highest-selling record in the U.S., period.”
(If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for numbered instructions.)
According to Malcolm X’s autobiography, he constantly scribbled little idea-notes on any and everything all the time. While I found that part of his personality fascinating, it wasn’t enough to convince me that I should follow suit. Later, I watched Some Kind of Monster where I saw Metallica using a white board to capture creative impulses before they escape. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that a white board was hanging on my wall within days.
I immediately put it to good use. Any idea accompanied by a, “This is brilliant! I need to make sure I don’t forget it!” feeling was recorded on my white board. I was rather vain about it. Scratch that, I am rather vain about my white board.
Thinking about Malcolm X’s little notes and Metallica’s colorful white board is always inspiring to me. Seeing my own white board covered in ideas makes me feel good about myself. Over the last several years of recording my ideas, however, I’ve come to realize that I like something even more than looking at a white board teeming with my ideas. Erasing those ideas.
Yes, erasing my ideas. I would have never guessed this, but in retrospect it makes sense. Reflect on this for a moment. What is the point of capturing ideas in writing anyhow? The point is not to simply write them down. Nothing magical happens because a good idea is recorded. Something magical happens, though, when a good idea is acted upon. I’ll go further and also argue that the same magical something happens when what appeared to be a good idea is permanently discarded.
And whether you’ve acted on a good idea or decided it wasn’t that great, regarding the white board, the end result is the same. It is erased.
Everything begins as an idea. *Begins* If you use a white board to record ideas for later use, when is the last time you erased it? When is the last time you made decisions about the ideas? If it’s been a while, you may be misunderstanding how to use a white board. No worries, that’s why I’m here. Simply follow the below instructions, and you’ll be in back on track in no time.
Instructions for How to Use a White Board:
Step 1 – Write possibly brilliant idea on it.
Step 2 – Act on idea or Discard idea.
Step 3 (Most Important) – Erase idea.
It turns out James Hetfield with his rhythm guitar, not Lars Ulrich with his drums, is really the one who keeps Metallica in time. Okay, truthfully this is probably debatable. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity for a great metaphor here. Who among us would dispute music’s inherent power?
Aside from what some noble, lofty lyrics of poets and dreamers say about finding music in nature and what not, in order to create music someone must keep time. If no one is keeping time, no amount of effort can transform noise into one of humanity’s most powerful expressions of itself. Music.
What about life? Cannot life itself be interpreted in a similar manner? In the end, noise and music are probably not perfectly distinct. There is likely a continuum with one end being noise; the other being music. What would it hurt to place human potential along a similar continuum? One end being not reaching potential, possibly not even seeing the potential; the other being maximum potential realization.
And if somewhere on the noise to music continuum there appears a time keeper, would not the human-potential continuum also need a time keeper? Need people who actively prescribe the standard of measure? Not some ultimate quality control dictating to all whether the music is good or not, no. These people would simply be keeping time. Might these human-potential metronomes even borrow similar tactics from mechanical metronomes and repeat themselves steadily with regularity? Asking, “How are you today?” (Click) “How’s your goal coming along?” (Click) “What’s the next step?” (Click) “I care about you reaching your potential and am here to help in any way you think I can.” (Click)
And just like the wind-up metronomes, might even these human-potential metronomes occasionally need to be re-energized every once in a while? Remember then, it is the same fingers that make the music which are the ones that have to take a break to reset the metronome. Wouldn’t it be the same people busily reaching their potential that need to take a break and reset these human-potential time keepers? Notice even that winding up a metronome still requires purposeful effort.
Thank you Cherry Creek Toastmasters.
Yes. We need time keepers.