Watching Them Cry and Sing
Bad ass music legends shedding tears over being honored, then playing their signature songs. That’s how I’d describe the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame special I’ve been watching on HBO for the last two hours. It reminds me why I love music, all music, all forms of music.
Rock and roll is an umbrella term that encompasses an incredibly wide range of sounds and messages. I’ve been mostly listening to Country and Blues for the past decade but I grew up on everything from the Beatles and the Stones to Motown to doo-wop to classical to jazz to Frank Sinatra. Along the way I added Sting, U2, Madonna, Maroon 5, Van Halen and a lot more to my mental playlist as well as the collection on my iPhone.Miley Cyrus inducting Joan Jett, Stevie Wonder inducting Bill Withers, Fall Out Boys inducting Green Day. Zac Brown playing Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Stevie singing Withers with Bill sitting next to him.
Joan effing Jett! She made the most passionate acceptance speech. “It’s about the music.” I had dinner with her once, with some other people, backstage the night before a multi-artist festival in Dallas. She was quiet, unassuming, watching a boxing match on a big screen TV and having a friendly conversation with me, the anonymous promotion director of a local rock radio station.Stevie Ray Vaughn! John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr and other contemporary blues artists jamming with the remaining members of SRV’s band on “Pride and Joy” and “Texas Flood.” I saw Stevie play at a bar in my Dallas neighborhood in 1982. He’s the reason I fell in love with Blues. Saw him again as the opening act for B. B. King on a river boat during New Orleans Jazzfest week a few years later.
Green Day. I thought I knew nothing about their music yet I recognized every song they played on this show. Hmmm.Paul Butterfield Blues Band. I’ve known their name for decades but never heard their songs till this show today. I’m about to download some music.
If you hit shuffle on my iPhone, you could possibly hear Keith Urban, Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Mozart, U2, Miranda Lambert, Pitbull, George Strait, Maroon 5, Shinedown and the Temptations, all in a row. It’s all music. It’s all part of my life. And yours.Twelve freakin’ notes. A, B, C, D, E, F, G and some sharps and flats. That’s it. Yet is it an integral part of every culture on the planet. It makes us laugh, cry, think. Happy, sad, love, anger, addiction, redemption, family, friends, sex, love of country.
And now I’m watching drummers and Paul McCartney talking about Ringo; and that’s making me cry. Geez. And laughing because Ringo is doing a Shirelles song with Green Day. That’s what I’m talking about … it’s about the music! All of it.
Some blues from some of the people I mentioned. This is not from the show, but it’s good. This is the kind of music I’m studying a little during my guitar lessons.