By Gary Sohmers, 2017 copyright, All Rights Reserved
Chapter Eight – Dinosaur Rock
After that trippy experience, I take a second to regroup myself and band to get back to the set list. Not realizing what could happen next, I believe I am again leader of this show, totally aware that what just happened was real to me. Every day, something weird happens to me, often unexplainable cosmic coincidences that make me think, wonder and often act accordingly to the constant changes and obstacles.
Having taken a lot of LSD back in the day, I am used to my recurring hallucinations, including my beasties, accepting a mystical fantasy world that lives on top of my reality. My augmented reality. And I may have been dosed prior to this show. But if I had, my experience would kick in since it would not have been the first time that happened. Go with the flow, not against it.
Terra and Gra are still standing by the easels. On the second easel where there had been the interlocking hearts, next to Terra’s representation of planet Earth, Gra adds a poster board with an image of what appears to be a meteor streaking towards Terra’s easel. I thought maybe he was just messing with us as I cue Sid to start the kick drum opening of our next song, “Dinosaur Rock”, a heavy piece about the fading of fame to the point of human extinction.
Vibe and Radar join in the thunderous beat. The audience knows this song well, and they cheer when the entire band kicks into the riff. Like Godzilla crushing Tokyo in a 1950s movie, the song’s sound was meant to shake people up. The lyrics are my humorous way of comparing the destruction of humanity on the planet as it happened to the dinosaurs, in our case because of greed and bad music, in an attempt to correlate the past with the present to protect the future.
Sure, everything has its “time” on the planet, and what happens during that time becomes “history,” so why not relate the time prior to the last planetary destruction to the current crisis with my poetry and music? And it appears I may have just experienced our “time” stopping in a mass mind-altering way, or I just imagined it. Either way, I often use comedy as a defense against irrational behavior.
The thundering beat and crunching guitars signal a unified movement in the audience, up and down, emulating the ponderousness of the prehistoric beasts that roamed the earth millions of earth years ago. The beasties surrounding everyone are solidly enjoying the rhythms.
Now next to the stage in front of us all, at least visually in our minds, stood a full size, prehistoric Tyrannosaurus Rex with its own beasties, straight out of the science books. It was manifesting into a blood lusting, partial human being, spurred on by those who have no concern for humankind if it does not fit their beliefs exclusively or profits them. A monster of the ages, imagined in Terra’s gut and grown from Terra Firma’s core, like an expedition to a lost world in some science fiction novel written in the 19th century. Here we are witnessing something very unbelievable … or imaginary.
Stepping up to the microphone, I sing as the audience of beasties seems to be singing along, “He’s a big Tyrannosaurus, about eighty feet long, big and ugly and awful strong, got a roar that rings like a gong, just leaving destruction as he moves along.”
During the verse, minions of T.Raitor resurface scurrying about on the platform, raising their banners, somewhat emulating the motions of an uncoordinated ravaging beastie raptor grown inordinately in size. More hallucinations I figure, but when they gather in a certain way, they appear aggregated as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, as in the song. Weird, right?
Continuing the song which was written originally as a warning of impending doom, I sing to the audience while alluding to Terra at her easel with the image of the Earth, “Jenny Lou sittin’ on the steps, doesn’t know that he’s loose yet, a big dinosaur from another age, about to crush her porch in a rage.” Then emphatically I sing to Terra to “Run Jenny Lou, he’s coming after you, he’s got no sense of humor and he plans on eating you, there’s nothing you can do, there’s nothing you can say, turn up the radio and hope he’ll dance away.”
As I am singing to Terra, T.Raitor appears upon the riser erected with his sycophants tossing handfuls of cash towards the dancing crowd. As the familiar chorus comes around, he again rudely shouts his new rallying cry for his manipulated followers into a microphone attached to our PA system. “Dinosaur!” he bellows, to which his followers react with, “Dinosaur Rock!”
T.Raitor responds with, “We’re making lots of money and we like it a lot.” Jokingly, while waving my middle finger, I add, “He does the Dinosaur,” to which his minions shout, “Dinosaur Rock,” again. I conclude the stanza with my reference to ‘bad is bad no matter what kind of bad it is’, “It’s the same old sound it’s the same old shlock.”
DT, as he was known to his followers, always seemed to believe that if the lie was good enough, the innocent and ignorant would buy into it, and that was all he needed to overthrow rule of law and common sense. His past history has shown this action has seriously affected many people previously, and somehow most of the ignorant folks forgot, or are too naive to want to remember because it does not suit them.
As the representative corporate and political tool of greed and corruption, him appearing here at this park during our concert, I am not sure if this is really a cosmic coincidence or a disaster. A despicable person, he along with his cronies and allies, want to control all of Earth’s physical resources, and sell what is needed for life, to people for profit and funding to accomplish this catastrophe. I need to stand against the monster for Terra and for all of us.
DT and his trolls are upon his platform as if it’s his own campaign rally, and in his delusional mind he considers our fans as his own followers, who he believes are embracing his calling. His supporters among the crowd, are minimal. They are gathered to the front of his riser, with the rest of the audience gesturing in a demeaning manner against them.
Vibe strikes more power chords that shake the foundation of the flimsily built platform. I can see the good beasties trying to dissuade their “sheeple,” those righteous citizens who have equal good and bad beasties but feel they have no free will, from encouraging the monster.
The music moves the people and their beasties, as they all dance to the music and start to get the message from the words, music and humor within the hypocrisy that stands before them. Some of the citizens abandon their leader and placards and dance to the infectious beat. DT is surrounded by his minions. They’re throwing money and looking as green as greed. DT appears to all as an extinct beastie with a mind the size of a peanut within the body of a giant eating machine.
I step up to my mic to again take control of the song. DT remains at the edge of his platform continuing to throw handfuls of one dollar bills to his citizens. They are clamoring to grab the flying money, pushing and shoving bad beasties one and all, just to grab such minimal rewards. As a songwriter, I wrote this catchy little hard rockin’ number to make fun of the state of the music business, where everything was being rehashed for new generations of revenue, diluting the music I love. Corporate control of the creative process was destroying the music business, just as corporate pollution was destroying the planet.
DT was busy waving and glad-handing his trolls, as I sang my next verse, “There’s always been a music that sounds like this, it’s a heavy kind dance and it goes like this, put one foot forward and shake-a your hips, then jump up and down till the record skips.” The crowd mimics the movements choreographed for our music video, jumping up and down.
Gra jumps in front of me to deliver the next line directly to Terra, like he wrote it from experiencing it, without my tongue in cheek intent, “There’s prehistoric passion in the rhythm of the drums, hearts beating in the tar pits everybody’s overcome.” He then turns to me and the crowd concluding his factual dispersion of my words, singing, “You thought they were extinct, then you were surely fooled, even tho their brains are small they really had a groove.”
Together, Gra and I conclude the second verse as a way to humorously tell the listeners how to find the truth amongst the clatter of corporate messaging, even though all media is owned by the offending parties. “So listen on your radio, and tune in on your video, really big sound of the days gone by, there’s nothing you can do, there’s nothing you can say, turn up the radio and hope he’ll dance away to the …”
Of course DT still believes that the joke is not on him, and doesn’t realize that the audience sees him as a monster. He bellows into his microphone, “Dinosaur!” to which now only his devoted deviants respond, “Dinosaur Rock!” DT follows their response again by throwing more money offstage and singing, “We’re making lots of money and I like it a lot.”
Again, I get to snidely add my line, “He does the,” to which DT again monstrously evokes, “Dinosaur!” with his lackeys again responding in an equally dynamic manner shouting, “Dinosaur Rock!” Again, I conclude the chorus with my opinion of the music industry, singing, “It’s the same old game, it’s the same old schlock.”
“Dinosaur!” shouts DT several times, looking more and more like an ugly giant lizard. Each time his bellows are followed by an emphatic, “Dinosaur Rock!” from the entire audience, falsely reinforcing DT’s irrational belief that he is winning over the crowd.
My prehistoric message, told with my music to my audience was about them getting the picture, or hallucination. Whatever it takes. We are hoping we can make people aware enough about history and current reality so that Earth is not destroyed by modern corporate dinosaurs like DT, who we also hope will eventually be extinct. To save a planet dying of neglect, first she must be saved from the activities and beliefs of irrational people who have little time to exist.
The crowd seems to be enjoying their mass hallucination, as Vibe and band solidify the beat, and lead in the unified audience dance routine, basic easy steps they do at every show that mimic the song lyrics. Everyone jumps up and down in unison, clapping their hands on the beat, creating a thundering sound reminiscent of the sound of dinosaur’s feet shaking the earth. Joy is created by the unified mass, all mentally aligned, all appreciating the visual anomaly, adrenaline rush and aural incursion.
Several of the citizens and their corresponding beasties, dancing with their new friends, seem to have seen the vision and have decided that DT is not the person they were led to believe. They have tossed away those placards proclaiming their loyalty. The beasties surrounding them suddenly seem to change right in front of our eyes from bad to good.
Vibe rips the audience into a frenzy with his guitar, the band supporting him with churning backup as the song builds to a conclusion. Our fans have had enough of the political imposition, and good beasties begin to react against those trying to impose on their concert. The worst fate for an attention-demanding narcissistic beastie is to be ignored. All have joined in the fun, avoiding the drama.
Seeing the crowd abandoning his ploy, even after throwing money to them, DT and his supporters choose to quietly back away from what may turn into a confrontation spurred by our escalating raucous rock ‘n roll.
Terra picks up a couple of political posters, that have been discarded by citizens and have been blown by a gust of wind onto the stage, to keep them from becoming more neglected trash. Maybe the citizens were changing their opinion, but they may still be wasteful and disrespectful of the planet’s needs, and could use some more education.
Terra places the placards on the easels, with the blank sides facing the audience, and smoothly and quickly draws the familiar shape of Earth viewed from the universal perspective. As the music throbs, the audience pulses. Gra dances his way towards the easels, and in time with the music, writes one word on each poster.
“Stand” boldly markered on one, and “Up” on the other. Sure, it may have been listed next on the set list, but as the saying goes, the proverbial tide may be turning.
Gary RockOpera Producer
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