I discovered music in 1982. I was ten years old, and "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix came on the stereo.
It stopped me in my tracks.
I walked over and sat down on the floor right in front of the speakers. I was in love. The song was courtesy of my dad's reel to reel player. Years before, he had recorded a "top 100 rock-n-roll songs" type of show while he was in the military. There was no radio station to speak of in the little town I grew up in, and my parent's music collection, and the music I heard in church, were the only music I ever heard. Usually, my parents would play things like Ann Murray, or the Carpenters.
He was unlike anything I had ever experienced (pun intended). He was vital. Alive. Dripping with emotion.
I am thankful:
1- for this day... November 27th. Why? Because Jimi Hendrix was born on this day in 1942.
2- that both of my sons took a nap, freeing me up to go for a ride.
3- for the two old guys sitting in the shade next to the skate park watching their grandsons. They offered me a beer within 30 seconds of my pulling up to take a rest.
4- for the clerk at the Circle K in the sketchy neighborhood that let me bring my bike inside while I bought another beer.
5- for six inch travel forks and healthy wrists.
6- for 12 year old bikes that are as fun to ride now as they were the first day they were built.
7- for short steep climbs that lead to big desert views.
8- for 83 degree Thanksgiving days.
9- for jerseys with full length zippers.
10- that the only thing "black" about my Friday will be my buddy Mike when he comes over to eat leftovers.
PS- Yeah, I'm a little late in posting this. You think this place is run by professionals or something?
"On-stage Strummer wires himself up into an inhuman dynamo of sweaty, trembling flesh, fearful enough to have one wondering when the ambulance brigade will rush to his rescue with a straight-jacket. While he tilts his bullet head at acute angles, his agonising face screwed into an open wound, he wields his Telecaster like a chain saw. His magnetism is totally original – more like an Olympic strong man imploding all his energy into a final record-breaking lift than anything seen on a rock'n'roll stage before.
Off-stage, he's the Clash member with the lowest profile." ~Carolyn Coon
Joe was the definition of someone that lived life to the fullest. Would he have changed his life had he known about his heart? Would he have sat at home calmly? In fear? I don't think so. I think he would have lived... burned... the exact same way?.
Does his death diminish what he did with his life? Did the the flicker of his flame... the slow fade away from public life make his art any less valuable? No.
Joe Strummer fully embodied what I hope to say with this blog. I hope that if nothing else, I am able to honor his memory. I will be posting here on a semi-irregular basis. I will talk about music, art, artisans, products, people and events that I think are worth shining a light on. I am fully aware that very few, if any people will ever read it. I'm OK with that. Joe didn't give up strumming when it looked like no one would ever listen.
Copyright Burn Flicker Die 2021
Don't steal my shit.
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