15 May 2010

day 309- Salute to Walt Whitman
Some years ago, on my last trip to Brasil, my mother gave me what was undoubtedly one of her most treasured possessions: The Complete Works of Fernando Pessoa, which had, for as far as I can remember, sat neatly next to her bedside table, like a modernist bible for the profoundly restless.
It's a small leather-bound book, where her favourite poems and writings had been carefully marked by a gentle fold of the page, on god knows how many sleepless and wandering nights. It's now one of my most precious objects, and I occasionally find myself looking for it, whenever troubled, homesick or at a loss.
Yesterday, out of nowhere, a passage from Alvaro de Campos, one of Fernando Pessoa's heteronyms, came to mind, just as I was starting to write a post-gig report, with a detailed and absurdly funny account of the recent show at the ICA, its chaotic preparations, the drama, the beauty of sharing music; Instead, I'll just transcribe this passage, for it says more than my heart could ever dream of expressing:
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'Salutation to Walt Whitman' (extract)
Open all the doors! Because I have to go in!
My Password? Walt Whitman!
But I don't give any password... I go in without explaining...
If I must, I'll knock the doors down...
Yes, slight and civilised though I am, I'll knock the doors down,
Because at this moment I'm not slight or civilised at all,
I'm ME, a thinking universe of flesh and bone, wanting to get in
And who will get in, if by force, because when I want in I am God!
Take this rubbish out of my way! Put those feelings in drawers away!
Get out of the way, you politicians, literati,
You peaceful businessmen, policemen, whores and souteneurs,
All of it is the letter that kills, not the spirit giving life,
The spirit giving life at this moment is ME!
Let no son of a bitch get in my way!
My path goes through Infinity until its end!
And whether or not I reach the end, it's not up to you,
it's up to me, up to God, up to the me in the word Infinite...
Onwards! I spur ahead! I feel the spurs, I am the very horse I mount,
Because I, since I want to be consubstancial with God, can be everything, or I can be nothing, or anything,
Just as I please, it's nobody's business...
Raging madness! wanting to yell, jump, scream,
bray, do handsprings and somersaults,
my body yelling, tie myself to the car wheels and to go under,
Get inside the whirling whiplash that's about to strike,
Be the bitch to all dogs, and they not enough for me,
Be the steering wheel of all machines and their speed too slow for me,
Be the one who's crushed, abandoned, pulled apart or done for,
Come dance this fury with me, Walt, you there in that other world,
Swing this hoedown with me, knocking at the stars,
Fall exhausted to the ground with me,
Through everything, in everything, around everything, without anything,
In an abstract body rage that stirs up maelstroms in the soul...
Damn it, get going, I said!
Even if God himself stops us, let's keep going... it makes no difference,
Let's keep going and get nowhere...
Infinity! Universe! End without End!
What's the difference?
(Let me take off my tie, unbutton my collar.
You can't let off steam with civilisation looped around your neck...)
Better now, and off we go!
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ps- gig at the ICA was great, now busy getting ready for Glastonbury Fest., then record next single.
happy crazy days.
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3 May 2010

day 297- From zero to hero - Back in the saddle again
Two and a 1/2months, 20 odd rehearsals, dozens of dunkin donuts and a few beers later:
'I've got a little something for ya'.
I could go on about the effort made, the achievement, how lucky I've been to have found these guys, how awesome the new songs are sounding, but instead, I'm just gonna tell you this:
I never wanted a bunch of non-descript 'yes, mam sailors' onboard, I wanted a great band, a real band, with volcanic activity within, cutting right into Drugstore's music.
That the 3 musketeers have slotted beautifully into the slightly weird shape of Drugstore, and that rehearsals, although at times, not without some pressure, were filled with joy and laughters, it's something that I could not have envisaged even in my most optimistic predictions.
I loved every minute of it.
If my mother was still alive she would probably be saying- 'Musketeers?! You cannot be serious! these guys are living-proof that angels exist - Nobel peace prix winners every single one of them.'
Yes, I can be a pain, dear, I know.
That we managed to get there in the end without a single argument is an achievement in itself. For, believe me, these guys could not have chosen to work alongside a more demanding little missy, who never settles for 2nd best, who never measures my comments, and drives the spaceship forward, battle-mode, like a madman on lifetime mission to save some precious little beast.
A tough call indeed.
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