By Gary Sohmers, 2017 copyright, All Rights Reserved
Chapter Five – Even The Cool Succumb
The audience is ready for more music, and as EarthaMum leaves the stage, Vibe steps up front to begin the next song. Guitar strings blazing in the sunlight being stroked by his intensely moving hand, Vibe creates another powerhouse wave of musical energy. The band picks up the beat and begins a driving rhythm that has the punks and fans nodding in unison as the volume rises.
For this next song, I wrote it so the key, tone, volume, effects and masterful musical skill enable Vibe to trigger a dose of adrenaline into the audience. They became excited and motivated as he builds up the tension and momentum. He stands out front egging on the fist pumpers, eliciting cheers of excited anticipation. This song works well in bars and other rowdy environments.
I am truly amazed at the size of the audience at this point. I marvel at the view, distracted a bit by Terra and the divisive groups, and feel for the musical arrangements that await my cues. I hardly notice that next to our stage, another smaller platform is being erected by an unknown-to-me group of people.
Being in the song, and in the moment, I pay it little attention, as I assume that the producer or promoter or someone in charge knows what it is and it is nothing to be concerned about.
Standing next to Terra at the easel with my guitar playing in unison with Vibe, Gra joins me, and as we walk to the front of the stage I now assume he is security crew. This song has been rehearsed with another guest singer, and another reason the punks wanted to be up front. A good friend and popular singer of this generation actually released my song as a single and we decided to do his version with him singing.
Since someone else is going to be lead singer here, I look over to the platform being erected and now notice banners and patriotic flags with people moving about. The audience came to our concert, a venue scheduled and prepared only for our band to entertain the thousands of our fans, and something is going on that I am unaware of, which makes me a bit uneasy. Another surprise? All the while the band is raising the energy level.
But Gra is paying close attention to the other platform, possibly in his security role, and has alerted other crew pointing to the newly erected encampment. I notice his attention drawn there, and a flurry of our people to that side of the stage with what appear to be heated discussions between “them” and “us”. There are men in black suits with dark glasses, stern looks on their faces, escorting a large man in an ill-fitting suit onto the platform. They do not appear to be involved with our event, and there appears to be confusion about how they got here.
Before I can decide whether to go find out what is going on or to cue the band to start the next part of the song, I notice them quickly erecting a big sign above the new platform proclaiming, “Dick T. Raitor”. Gaining some fans’ notice away from the guitar slinging Vibe at the front of the stage, only the punks react to the banner, throwing food and bottles at the people on the platform.
The punks are protesting for another, completely different, earth-shattering cause than saving the planet from climate destruction like Terra. They protest the mistreatment of all humans by the ultra rich humans currently led by Dick T. Raitor and his cohorts. The punks want change at any cost, even violence against those who stand in the way of progress, which is something I do not endorse. But they have embraced my music, and now my audience also believes in similar, but more moderate, direction.
I can now sense the divide growing stronger in the audience as some fans are angry about the presence of this platform, these signs, these people at our concert, possibly thinking that we have sold out to corporate control and are supporting this political cause. Their fearful irrational-belief beasties begin to appear to me, with confusion, misinformation and overreaction beasties coming out as well. Other fans appear sheepishly accepting of infringement of their time and space as long as they are distracted or entertained.
Even among those who understand my songs and my messages about the planet’s needs for sustainability, who have massively assembled here today, many choose to remain clueless so they do not have to confront, be confronted or engage outside their comfort zones. My input may matter or may not. I may just be mindless entertainment.
The band reaches the point where the lyrics begin, and another good old friend of the band, PunkHead leaps onto the stage full of energy, grabs the microphone from my mic stand and begins to sing my lyrics as rehearsed.
“I’ve got too many irons in the fire, a heart filled with genuine desire, my brain’s not fried, and I never lie. I’ve got a soul full of true compassion, though it never really seems to be in fashion, I can’t deny, that the time is right,” he sings with screaming intensity and conviction.
Driving the audience to react, as Vibe and the band grind the musical bed, he sings my words of encouragement to let loose to the crowd of punks and fans, “Gonna move ya, gonna groove ya, gonna really cut ya loose, gonna rock ya, gonna roll ya, gonna really lose control, gonna be so hot that even the cool succumb.”
When I wrote these lyrics, I was seriously concerned about the temperature of the earth rising, the melting of the polar ice and the hierarchy being created by the wealthy in an attempt to divide and control the masses. Earth may be losing its battle for survival as currently more people are less educated, making less people part of solving problems.
The citizens who supported T.Raitor wanted change too, back to an era when power and wealth controlled others’ thoughts and actions. And somehow without my knowledge and consent, someone has infringed on our event bringing a reprehensible political candidate in an unauthorized attempt to communicate to our audience.
Gra is over on the stage side, and points to some black-suited thugs distracting the monitor mix guy and plugging in some wires into our sound system. The long cables stretch to the other platform, where now that fat-cat businessman, sloppily overdressed, and taller than his sidekicks standing aside him, is holding a microphone at the other end of the wire.
A booming voice disrupts our speaker stacks in time and tune with the music, as the man with the mic proceeds to sing my words as if the song was written for him to sing, spouting, “I had a hard time finding my direction, when I looked at my reflection with tired eyes, and it’s no surprise.”
On his Wikipedia page you can find that, as a child, little Dick T. Raitor was abused by his family, which has really screwed up his ego and sense of importance. He continues to sing his version of my words with sincere feeling, “I make the most of life with what I’m given, though it’s hard to believe I could be driven by greed and pride, and not guiding light.”
T.Raitor’s trolls have tapped into our sound system and are now infringing on our audience, yet I do not signal the relentless rhythm and driving guitars to stop, and DT sings his version of my chorus in response to PunkHead that he is, “Gonna take it to the limit, better watch me every minute, gonna learn it as I live it, gonna burn it if I wish it, gonna be so hot that even the cool succumb.”
He uses a variation of my words to convey his ability to do as he wishes to force the changes he wants, and we will succumb. Now DT is part of our concert, singing my song.
Without the benefit of mystical pronouncements such as stopping time, or practical correction by removing his microphone access to our PA, T.Raitor continues to sing about his life, corrupting my words, “I can’t really show you by example, cuz I don’t really seem to have a handle on winning ways, just financial praise.” As he sings, he throws money off the platform to his scrambling followers.
PunkHead replies vociferously, “Some people’s future is well written, other people’s destiny’s well hidden,” to put him on notice. T.Raitor shrugs a simple, “Do what you know,” and PunkHead snidely quips in return, “Go with the flow.”
I’m thinking to myself, have I lost control of the show, or can I continue to believe in “the flow” as written in the song?
“I’m your fearless leader,” T.Raitor proclaims to his followers, as Punkhead retorts, “Rock and roll’s your teacher, if you let it reach you.”
Each trying to outbellow the other, the two sing, “You can be so hot that even the cool succumb,” with PunkHead overwhelming the audience with his bombastic vocals and a stage dive that has the crowd cheering. Vibe has moved to the front of the stage, where I join him, strumming guitar in tow, as the crowd starts rocking and moving cohesively again.
The crew gives me a thumbs up that the wiring has been corrected, the infringement is eliminated, and all is well. Gra moves to join us, also with guitar strapped. We three stand up front and the crowd reacts with positive energy. This musical interlude gives me a few minutes to process all of this new information, and take a look at everything currently affecting the rest of the show. As with all songs, I cue the band so Vibe goes into another guitar onslaught that whips the crowd into another frenzy.
Getting into the sound of the guitars, I drift off to think about T.Raitor’s narcissistic business of hate, greed and fear accepted by his trolls and those self-righteous citizens as they all hope to benefit from an association with him.
And apparently irrationally attempting to benefit by an association with us.
Deep into the music, I can visualize that all of their beasties seem to be mostly fearful, yet when grouped in numbers of supporters, they become fearless. Their beasties are also made up of judgments of other humans, society and science, whereby they can choose to be close-minded because it suits them. They are encircled by disgust, hate, greed and narcissism. These beasties define them, just as birds of a feather flock together, a common irrational belief system can be an attraction to a like-minded being.
I feel that I can now see the beasties occupying the fans, citizens and the punks pretty clearly dancing alongside, each one acting in its own manner driving, and often conflicting, their humans’ best interests. I look at Terra and nod with agreement that we are having a common vision, or hallucination, of good and bad beasties dancing with mad abandon to the exciting music that Vibe and the band are producing.
The song speeds up as Vibe rips the guitar, notes pummeling the audience and concluding with a long crash cymbal build, the band powerfully concluding their onslaught. The citizens and the punks have separated.
As the song wraps up, somehow T.Raitor appears with Punkhead shouting “Hot” and then “Cool” before being swept away by his minions.
Being the leader, I choose to use my own sheer brute will to make it go well for the fans and the planet … the show goes on.