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    Rock Your Boat Baby

    “Rock ’n’ rollers are....the noise makers, the law breakers, the bottom-bashing fornicators.” 
                     - from Pirate Radio
    “And we make no apologies for it.”
                     - from SuperFly Clint


    A while ago, I caught Van Halen perform on the Jimmy Kimbal show. The band shut down Hollywood Boulevard and performed live, in the street, on a huge stage. A true rock n roll event. The song aired was “Hot For Teacher”. 

    Crowd shots showed 6000 people, none of whom were shaking, head banging, dancing, or otherwise moving. They were all standing still, smart phones held with both hands overhead. Not even their heads were moving, lest the vibration shake their camera and ruin their footage.

    I get it. Those 25 and under have grown up in a culture where virtually everything is video recorded; where the message is that it's more important to digitally capture what’s happening than to viscerally experience it. And, truth be told, if us fifty-somethings had access to smartphones when we were young, I’m sure we would have responded similarly. 

    But at the same time, I know that we are missing something when, in the midst of the magic of music, we, by conditioned default, choose physical immobility over movement, focusing our attention on the recording of an experience rather than the living of it. When we choose the more primal choice of throwing our bodies and our hearts into an experience, we create opportunities to profoundly shift ourselves. When we instead placate ourselves and become little more than a glorified witness, we take ourselves one more step out of it, and lots of us are more than a few steps out of it even before we hit the “record” button, because we have become desensitized, guarded, and otherwise disconnected from our hearts, virtual strangers to our deeper selves.

    I’m not admonishing or criticizing video recording. Personally, I love being in front of a camera, and I love capturing footage. I’m simply sharing an observation, opening a path, and questioning normalized behavior.

    Maybe it’s a question of balance, of mindfulness, and of passion. Capture a little footage, but never forget that we’re here to throw ourselves - body, heart, and soul - into an event. Into Our Life. The phone as video recorder has become another distraction, maybe even an experiential replacement, for our minds; instead of being in our heads, per usual, we can be in our phones. Maybe that even offers some real time relief from being upstairs so much. 

    I’m offering another way to live beyond being talking heads. Drop into your heart. Way down. Allow yourself to Feel The Music. Connect to a full body, full heart, full being response. Maybe you can do that while you’re recording, but the footage is gonna be damn shaky. Can you live with that? What’s more important? A stable recording, or having a booty-shaking-heart-quaking-physio-emotional experience?

    Even though we drummers are sitting down, we move our bodies as much as or more than anyone else on stage. Maybe that’s one reason I am so physically and emotionally connected to music, why I can’t sit still when I hear a song I love. Maybe that’s why I often sing, regardless of where I am, when the music talks to me. I’m just talking back. I’m having a conversation with my lover. I’m making love, fully clothed, in my car, in CVS, wherever, with Mistress Music. 

    And I don’t even have to change my underwear when I’m done.


    ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved. 

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