Jed – Jed

Back in 90 I was quite the spitfire. I had more red blood cells churning in my veins than just about anybody else in the world I think. They’ve gotten over that trip. Heroin use has been replaced by other things. You don’t read much about it anymore, thank God. It nearly killed me. Took me away from the love of my life more than once. Being almost eighty I’ve got a lot of time to reminisce. My wife Helen lays beside me. I think she’s asleep. Yeah, she’s asleep. So I’ve taken to writing in this journal to try to explain my life to myself. It’s not an easy thing to do. After my career as a rock and roll star in the late 80s and early 90s of the last century I did a lot of things that can’t quite constitute living in the way that most people constitute living. I spent a lot of time running from my demons. There are a lot of reasons for these demons, one in particular that I’m sure that I’ll get to by the time this journal is finished, maybe in the next one, but I’m in no hurry. I’ve got a lifetime to remember a lifetime.
I just got in a little discussion with my wife over which was the best show we ever played. I was telling her that it had to be Memphis Tennessee because of this dream I had on stage just before this ghost of my past attacked me on stage. This is a long story that I’d rather not go into right here, but it has to do with that thing I was talking about that I ‘m sure I’ll get to, the reason for my demons. I was telling Moxy that this Memphis show was the best one and she couldn’t stomach it because of what that kid did to me on stage to me. She rescued me on that one. She put her stiletto heal through that kid’s neck. Almost killed him. She didn’t like thinking about that so I didn’t push it. I don’t push bad things on my Helen to think about anymore. She’s earned the right not to have to think about the bad in this world. She prefers to think about the good, the way the grandkids come over and help her can and make pies on Sundays. The bike rides, one of which we’re going on tomorrow with Minnie, Bob and the kids. Albert and Gia might even come along. I’ll call them in the morning. Albert’s my brother. Gia is his wife. I forgot what I was going to write about. I’m getting old…fell asleep. Times up for this project. Sleep.

There is no telling about the mountains. There is no poetry for the explanation that I can think of, any poetry that I learned came to me in the form of music. Explanations were musical explanations. Words were for direction, music was for understanding. That’s because my daddy was a musician. He never made it, but he played around. Bluegrass mostly, Dylan, the Stones, anything that rocked. He always wore his cowboy hat when he played. People looked at him and wondered what he was. Everybody around Millsville where I grew u listened to country music, and my daddy did too, but he was changing in front of everybody’s eyes, introducing the town to folk, Dylan, anybody who was getting plugged in. He had little patience with people who didn’t recognize the validity of the new music coming out of the world of the late sixties; Hendrix, The Who. My father rocked.

But my father realized that rock and roll is for the elect and the few to prosper from. He became a plumber and I believe he was a happy man. He always seemed to be smiling. He loved me a lot and my brother Albert. He loved our mother a lot, was always grabbing her, playing with her, making her squeel and run away from him in playful ways. It was a good thing to grow up seeing, how my parents were in love with each other. You didn’t see that a lot back then, not now either. It was a good thing.
I remember the mountains. The last day of my life with my father was spent in the mountains of tennessee. We’d spent a week fishing and camping together. My father was teaching me how to play the guitar. That week was filled with fishing and campfires filled with song and guitar playing. He was teaching me rock, too. He was teaching me chords and how to hold the thing and all that, but he was teaching me that it was an instrument that liked to be handled, liked to be controlled. He held it like a man would handle a wrench, but when he tweeked it it would always be with a manly gentleness that I saw was a victory of something like soul over mechanism. I learned that a lot even when I had giant Marshall amps around me, it wasn’t necessarily how loud I could get, but what I could do to people’s souls during the manipulation of that power. If I couldn’t imagine myself playing there at the trickling stream then there was little point in playing. Everybody out there in that audience was looking for something like soul that maybe had been lost to them somehow, maybe that day, maybe that week, maybe forever. I needed to find the soul that music reaches to reel it in for them. When I found it in myself I then had a responsiblity to sculpt it so that people realize it’s not a rought stone, but a beautiful, cool, clear diamond with all of the answers to everything soulless in their lives.
That was my job. All I had to do was go through the moment, follow the contours of the light which was really sound and make it all the way through. Like running through a wall of fire or jumping through a rainbow, that’s pretty poetic to describe the way that I always felt I should play my guitar. I not only had a vision, I had a purpose in pursuing that vision. My purpose was to reunite others with their souls. What I was really trying to do was reunite myself with my own soul. Turns out I could only do that on stage. The less I was on stage and the more I got into heroin the less I was able to do it in a real way for myself. Eventually I fell off the face of the earth. My world had fallen apart. I’d lost Moxy to the drug. I almost lost my life, but something saved me. It was just like my daddy told me could happen when I was a kid, the day before we went back into town and before going home went in for some pie where my daddy got into an argument defending a woman and got shot. He said that when you think that you’ve lost your soul that maybe that’s when you have the best chance of getting it back. It’s then that Jesus watches over you the most. He said that maybe a bird will come down and sit on my shoulder and tell me what to do. Well, frankly, that came true to some degree. I actually found a hawk that allowed me to look into my own soul across many lonely campfire nights when I was running to something, well, running to a magic chair, but I’m getting ahead of myself. What I’m trying to say is that I almost lost my soul and my daddy had warned me that there was always hope for the man who had lost his soul. Came a point in my life where I started searching again for my soul, after losing everything in the world dear to me. I had no choice. And you know what? I found it.

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Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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