Yesterday I was reading the liner notes of a music CD. The band had risen quickly, toured relentlessly, and then imploded after the tensions caused from too much Holiday Inn food boiled over. Have you ever noticed this pattern with bands? Happens all the time.
I think I know why. The musicians think it’s mostly about them. But what they create isn’t for them, it’s for the rest of us. That’s The Secret. Sure, the musicians get artistic satisfaction, fame, and buckaroos for a bit. But we get the music forever. In 2014 I was able to listen to a concert from 1969 precisely because these guys drove themselves ragged like Fed Ex deliverymen. The musicians were simply vessels delivering gifts.
The Three Wise Men. Crosby, Stills & Nash. Kingston Trio. See how it works?
It’s the same with writing. Right now I get to think “Man, this is a really interesting post. Someone will be dazzled by it.” And you get to say “Oh well, reading this is better than filing reports.”
As I read through the liner notes I came across a story about how Pete Seeger came up with the song Turn! Turn! Turn!, which the band covered. You know that song:
“There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)”
“And a time to every purpose, under Heaven”
“A time to be born, a time to die…”
Here’s the origin of that song: Pete was driving in upstate New York with his wife and they got lost. His wife said “Why don’t you pull over and ask for directions?” But Pete was all like ‘I can figure it out myself’. So he ignored his wife, who was getting really irked, and kept driving. Pete was about to miss their road but the wife saw it and shouted Turn..Turn!…Turn!!!!!! This startled Pete, who swerved at the last minute but ended up crossing the road and hitting a tree.
Pete sat there seething, staring at his crumpled hood and thinking “I could just kill this woman. We coulda died.” But then he was like “Wait, I’m not a seether, I’m a Seeger. I’m chill. I don’t think that way.” So later he wrote a great song for the rest of us.
Okay, that’s not true. But I hope you enjoyed reading this. Now get back to your filing.