Day jobs are a problem for night owls. The problem with working is the way it cuts into your passion when you finally rediscover your groove.
There’s the need to sleep for work the next day on those moonlit nights; the need to be functional the next day when you’d love to stay up all night.
There’s a giant park 15 minutes away from where I live, featuring 2 miles of paved walking trails that circle around soccer and baseball fields.
Lots of greenspace, expansive rolling hills, trees line the perimeter and giant lamps cast florescent light down over the sports fields at night. Smaller streetlamps hover above the paved walking path.
It’s glorious in the setting sun and even better at night under the electric lights in the evening.
Tonight I rushed along this path, feet hitting the ground – pat pat pat – staring down at the glittering pavement while listening to my circus of music.
It’s autumn and the yellow moon emerged, framed by wispy clouds right as the sun sank below the horizon. I listened and wrote in my head, trying to catch those thoughts and cement them for later usage, but of course it’s a lost cause.
Smart people keep notebooks in their car.
I rushed along for three miles and what a glorious night for a concert.
The delicious cocktail of exercise endorphins and good music.
Here comes the madness of divine inspiration.
First, we wade through the swamp lands and tidal waves of Tool, the dark spiritual psychedelia of Reflection, perfect under the streetlamp shadows that pass my feet as I rush along.
Now here’s late period Hendrix. I adore his late-period purple funk, and I could stay inside those songs forever.
Fantastic songs for Autumn somehow; those elusive guitar tones, the general feel of having one foot standing in the Christian church and one nostril snorting up cocaine in a lavish whore house.
But, couldn’t that describe much of the blues? Perhaps, but there’s something extra here, that holy ingredient dropping down from those beautiful long fingers.
Nothing compares to the pink ocean swirl of “Drifting” – Jimi’s angel woman he was always singing about. Waiting in the sky, waiting on the other side of the ocean, always there in his music and in the secret heart of many.
Next we have my beloved Pumpkins, here’s “Thru the Eyes of Ruby” and how could I fucking forget how perfect this song is in darkness under a full moon? Holy shit, it’s a surprise all over again, I had completely forgotten.
Oh, here comes the Bending Mirrors of Perception! The bending mirrors in the intro. That first BLAST of indescribable tone and guitar pedal glory still gets me on nights like this. Like it’s the first time I’m hearing it.
The swirling mirrors in the clouds, the gothic vampire sound, the epic movements, the layers and layers building, the drums crashing as the tension builds, the controlled screaming refrain, the laser guitars shooting everywhere, now they crash down into the ground.
Finally, the storm clouds part at the end and here comes that yellow moon over water just like the album art. That acoustic moon rises as the electric storm falls away and that shit never gets old.
Here comes Jefferson Airplane. This is a live, screaming electric version of “You, Me, and Pooneil” featuring Jack Cassidy’s wild bass solo.
You can see young Grace Slick on stage in your mind dancing around near the bass amp. The most beautiful woman, in her youth, who ever walked planet earth. Jet black hair, crazy blue eyes cast down in concentration, staring at the floor near Jack’s bass amp, her wicked stage presence and dark beauty.
Now the drums pick up speed, the bass solo crests and BOOM – here’s Jorma Kaukonen’s lead guitar taking over like a lightning bolt.
That mean-ass guitar drops down and says, “I’m the fucking boss now”. The singers harmonize in a groove, then suddenly they all soar up and bellow out a high note together and the lead guitar comes back and twists around, that evil fucking snake twisting around on the stage! Oh my god! It goes on forever and all the instruments go in different directions and I’m walking.
My mind tries to follow all the musical ideas, but I can’t decide which way to go. Colors flash; fireworks, an intellectual orgasm in my mind and it always conjures wooden floorboards in my imagination, a little blues shack in the woods, jazz and blues central, walls vibrating, organic things mixed with neon flowers.
Finally, we have my other beloved, Radiohead, and here is “Motion Picture Soundtrack”, crazy mashup of “Everything in it’s right Place”. This particular version of this song is a perfect reflection of what happens in the brain of someone messed up on anxiety or other mental illness; reverse kaleidoscopes melting into each other, refracted light, two colors in your head, I see grey and yellow. Now we’re in the netherworlds with the gremlins and the strobe light sound machines.
I don’t allow myself to listen to this kind of music in my living room at night, because if I catch the inspiration, I’ll stay up all night, speakers blasting, walking around in circles when I get excited about guitar solos and various things.
I listen to ambient electronica instead.
So, I walked and wrote in my head, knowing I wouldn’t get it all down. Glittering pavement, ideas flying around. I had an idea to write a post every night featuring one song. 500-700 words max. I had an idea to type up a passage from my favorite books and other writings every weekend. I opened up my skull beneath the harvest moon and the universe flew inside. When passion is underway for me, it’s all consuming.
Master the energies.
Smart people would designate a half hour to get it all out every day, then move on to something else in their routine. But for some of us, it’s not that simple. If it’s there, it wants to flow.
You can’t put a harness on that wild horse.
So, if I want to sleep I can’t ride that horse the way I want. As it is, I should have gone to bed and read some George Eliot tonight. But, here I am.