You don't. That's how. You give it your heart and The Rock eats it, spits it out and laughs in your face. Unless you're in the lucky top one percent who "make it". Me? I've missed the boat. The rock'n'roll boat. It left the dock about ten years ago methinks. I shoulda been a rock chick. GodDAMN but I shoulda been a rock chick! I shoulda learned to really LISTEN to music before it was too late. I shoulda channeled my anger/frustration/passion into music. Because music moves me. More than most anything else besides books, music moves me. Not shit music. Not music that makes me tap my toe - because the fucking television jingle to order a mattress makes me tap my toe and wag my head stupidly. I'm talking about the kind of music that gloms onto you like a leech. It traps you in it's melodic web, rips your chest open, holds your heart aloft and howls like a banshee as you shed tears of pain, of joy.
What is it about the rock that makes us roll? It's the soundtrack to our lives, that's what. Take a shite romantic comedy, add a killer soundtrack and you just might have a hit on your hands.. It ain't about the picture.. it's about the way the music makes us feel about life and ourselves while viewing the picture. Music is mood, ambience, adrenaline, personality... LIFE.
There was a time when I'd stand before the mirror, hair shellacked into a glorious poof of bang and beautiful wings around my ears, blue eye shadow blazing in the afternoon sunlight, hair brush in lieu of microphone clutched in my hand as I belted out "We built this city.... We built this city on ROCK AND ROLL!" Which incidentally was voted the the WORST single ever recorded placing before Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby even. Regardless, I rocked the shit outta Starship in my yellow and white checked bedroom while Sasha the dog cringed in fear. If M-TV could only see me, I'd think.
I was too young for Pat Benatar and Joan Jett. I started to care about music while wearing plaid flannel shirts to school so you can imagine my favorite bands. Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Chick rockers? Didn't know any. And then there was Gwen. No Doubt exploded and I wanted to be Gwen Stefani. I wanted to walk in the spiderwebs dammit! But I sighed, applied for colleges like all the other good girls and satisfied myself with bleaching my hair platinum. Then promptly forgot about my rock'n'roll aspirations. Besides, I can't sing for shit. That doesn't stop a lot of folks I know, but still.. my rock dreams died along with my good taste and I began to listen to Coldplay, Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews. Until a good friend of mine gave me a talking to. What? There is cool music out there that's not on the radio? Wilco? Who? Is there a sexy lead singer? Do they have a video on M-TV, I wanted to know.
After he slapped me my friend sat me down and made me listen to Wilco, Son Volt, The Replacements and so forth. The only reason he agreed to continue communicating with me was my immense love for the oldies and the sorta oldies... The Temptations, The Supremes, Elvis, Lou Reed, The Ramones. He nearly ended the friendship when he found a Missy Elliot album in my collection. But this musical revelation occurred in my mid-twenties. I'd already blown all my chances at rock chick stardom, was deeply entrenched in my journalism career.
I've come to terms with my fringe rock'n'roll status. Whenever someone can play a tune on a guitar that I can recognize, I am thrilled to the gills. "You can play Stairway To Heaven!" I grin. Doesn't matter what song they play. Zeppelin or Britney Spears... I'm just ecstatic they can bring a familiar ditty to life with their very own magical hands.
The Surge tried to teach me how to play the guitar once. I was super dedicated! "I'm going to be playing shit before you know it!" I boldly announced. Five minutes later I declared the lesson over. Who knew those tiny fucking strings were so hard to manipulate? Strong bastards.
So I'm resigned to audience participation when it comes to rock'n'roll. The Surge... he lives to play music. Most of the world - well, they laud lawyers, doctors, bankers. I say that's a safe bet. A safe career choice. Sure, it ain't easy. But it's a safe choice, THE thing to say when you wanna impress Grandma. "I'm in Med School." You know what takes watermelon sized balls? To throw everything into being a musician when you know your shit ain't got a chance in hell at mainstream success. To eschew all the safe bet careers and doggedly tour the world playing music to medium-sized crowds because you Must. Play. Music.
Sometimes The Surge bitches, says he can't take another tour, wants to kill his brother. But really he loves it - the touring, his brother. He wouldn't be who he is without one or the other. He was born to stand on a stage and play music in front of a crowd. I was born to stand in the audience. And I'm cool with that. We wouldn't work as well as we do if it were any other way.