Monday, August 30, 2010

Sex (Deleted), Drugs (Deleted) and Rock and Roll

I was going to write a post about the Rush show that was rife with sex, drugs and rock and roll. Then I remembered: My kids have access to this blog. My kids' friends have access to this blog. Relatives who speak to my mother on a regular basis have access to this blog. Steven Tyler once said, after a stint in rehab, "It used to be about sex, drugs and rock and roll. When you eliminate the drugs, you have a lot more time for sex and rock and roll." (gist rather than a direct quote - I didn't look it up - but I clearly remember reading it...) Well, that's great for his life and all - but if I eliminate sex and drugs from this particular post, we have me talking about concerts in the 70's with no mention of marijuana and - well - that's just plumb weird - not to mention vaguely revisionist. So here's what I did: I wrote the post as I wanted it to read, then I took out all the sex and drug references and replaced them with sexual reference deleted or drug reference deleted. Now. If you were born of my loins, or hang out with someone who was born of my loins, or regularly speak to one of the 'rents, sexual references refer to kissing and drug references refer to nicotine. Clearly. If you do NOT fall into one of those groups, you will have to use what I'm sure are the considerable powers of your imagination to fill in the gaps. I have faith in you that it will lose nothing (and perhaps gain something, ya perv) in the translation.

I was introduced to Rush like I was introduced to so many cool things in my life: by a boy with long curly hair. He invited me to a concert - they were touring A Farewell to Kings (or maybe - Hemispheres - I don't actually remember) and I bought Fly by Night to listen to to gear up for the show. I liked it ok, but I was really more interested in making an impression on this boy than I was in this music. It must have worked, because my drug reference deleted addled memories of the show involve a lot of sexual reference deleted.

It was ok. I wasn't ready.

A few years later, my cousin's drug reference deleted boyfriend became obsessed with 2112. He would expound upon the themes of non-conformity and futuristic societies like he knew what he was talking about. (In retrospect, I'm pretty sure he didn't.) It was all good, though, because he always had drug reference deleted. I was starting to dig the music.

When I went to college, I dated a music major and most of my roommates and friends were music majors or otherwise heavily involved in music. I learned a little bit through them by osmosis. I started to understand musical composition and I learned to appreciate the complexities set forth by this band. My freshman year coincided with the release of Moving Pictures and that went into heavy rotation in the soundtrack of my life. I didn't see that tour, but the boyfriend did - and my favorite nightshirt all through my college career was his T-shirt from said tour.

I got a chance to see them live again when they were touring Power Windows. This was significant, in that it was the first show that ever literally knocked me on my ass. I was standing on my seat (as I was wont to do in the days when I was younger, thinner, and inconsiderate towards anyone who wasn't me) when I felt my knees begin to weaken. I stepped down off of the seat, but found that I couldn't even stand on terra firma. I sunk back into my seat, my head reeling. I really couldn't stand up. I was so overwhelmed by the power of these three men - by the unthinkable talent with which I was sharing the room that I found it hard to even breathe.

I was ready now, kids.

I didn't get another opportunity to see them until last night. While they are promoting a soon to be released album - Clockwork Angels - this tour was really touted as the Time Machine tour. They played a couple songs from the new release - they had a much harder edge to them, which I absolutely dug - but concentrated more heavily on showcasing the old stuff. Their second set, for example, was a song for song replay of Moving Pictures.

Yep. The Time Machine tour. And let's face it: no-one rocks a theme like a nerd. Everything about the stage set was a nod to the time machine theme. There were little movies and even a little live action drama (and pyrotechnics!). Total multi-media experience. I'm not going to give away any secrets, twists, surprises or jokes, because I know some of you will be going to see them yourselves - I certainly hope so, for your sake, anyway. Let me just say, though, that once or twice I could almost feel the elbows of three of the most talented musicians in the world in my ribs while saying, "get it? get it?"

When they opened with Spirit of the Radio, I don't mind telling you, my friends - I wept just a little bit.

One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
but glittering prizes and endless compromises,
shatter the illusion of integrity.

Sexual reference deleted - A.

Tom says that's why there aren't many girls at Rush shows. There's no crying in rock and roll. Tom can sexual reference deleted.

Speaking of the men::women ratio - my girls came back from the restroom at intermission saying, "Mom! You've got to go out there! You're not going to believe it!"


"There was a line at the mens' room and NO line at the ladies' room! We just went in and out!"

Yep. It's a pretty male heavy crowd. Women were underrepresented, but we were there. Swooning. That's right, I said swooning. Not because Geddy, Alex and Neil are so incredibly nice to look at (because, seriously - let's call a spade a spade, here...) but because they are masters of their craft - individually and as a group. It is humbling to be in the presence of that much raw talent. It is astounding to think that so much power comes from three men. In several songs, Geddy played keyboards - he kept his bass strapped on and returned to it when he needed to - going back and forth between the two. I don't think anyone would've judged them if they'd brought a keyboard player in for a couple songs (Tom said he would've judged them...), but they didn't. All three were playing with both hands and both feet. Literally. It's quite the amazing little set up, but you don't hear a sound that one of the three of them isn't responsible for. They are what they are.

And can I talk for five seconds about Neil Peart? Nope - turns out I can't. The man leaves me speechless. I will say this, though: I was awfully glad that my little drummer had a chance to see him live.

Was it good parenting, to take our children to a concert the night before their first day of school? It was a choice.

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

I don't regret it. As aspiring musicians, they saw the absolute pinnacle of musicianship firsthand. As writers and readers they were exposed to some of the most intense lyrics ever written. As kids who live on the fringes of the social dynamics of the suburban high school, they were exposed to the ultimate success of the ultimate nerds. That's an education, my friends, and something they'll remember forever.


Eva Gallant said...

I do not have the youth and sophistication that you possess. I do not know this groupk nor have I ever been nor do I desire to attend a concert. (See how old I am????)

mzbehavin said...

your children are going to need therapy from the being "Born of your loins" thing....... :-) I know this because I made the mistake of having some of my kids on my facebook.... I casually mentioned my uterus one or two ( hundered) times.... and everybody was icked out....... go figure......

also....... my imaginatioon worked just fine with the Tom can ......... I might as well as been right there beside you... some things are just universal....... :-) Did I mention you're sending me to work laughing my * Sexual Reference Deleted* off????

Thanks for the usual awesomeness, Tammy!!!! :-)

blueviolet said...

That made me laugh how you did this! But I *sexual reference deleted* hate Rush!

Gibby said...

You are so darn creative, Tammy! Love this post, love you, but I must admit, I like all types of music but I have never been able to get into Rush. I have tried, because Hubs LOVES Rush (and would have killed to have been at that concert with you), but I just don't get them. Tom Sawyer and I just don't mesh. Maybe I need to go to one of their concerts with you to understand.

Cheryl said...

YOU DIDN'T GO TO AFTK? Were you nuts? Oh Em Gee!

My brother is by far the biggest Rush fan I know. He's been to so many concerts I think his circuitry is fried. My all time favorite lyrics come from "The Trees" but everything they do knocks my socks off!

Your kids just experienced a moment in history. The rumors are constantly spreading that this one is the last, every single time another this one comes along.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You are so cleaver Tammy. Love all the "deleted" references. Since I've been to a few concerts in my day, I'm pretty sure I know exactly what you were referring to.

Hope all's well with you and your family! xo jj