They say rock & roll is dead. But that’s only if you’re listening to the radio, the critics, the prognosticators crunching data. But music isn’t data. Music is alive, it breathes, it’s something that gets inside and possesses you.
I won’t forget the first time I heard “Rock & Roll”. On “Loaded”.
But have you ever heard the take on “Rock N Roll Animal”? WHEW!
And we may be missing Dick Wagner and Steven Hunter’s interplay, that seventies magic, but last time I checked it was 2010, 2011! And these young ‘uns in Phish are taking that nugget and making it their own. Paying tribute and bringing it forward all at the same time. It’s about the ENERGY!
Come on, you know what it’s like to go to the show. You don’t sit there passively, you’re energized, you’re alive, every other show and moment in your life is just a synapse away. This is the essence of the experience, not nitwits dancing to click tracks.
Stop swinging for the fences. Contrary to what the old wavers tell you, technology is your friend. It allows you to get ever closer to your fans, to know who each and every one is. It allows them to interconnect and bond with each other and create a family even when you’re asleep…because music never sleeps, it’s playable always, now everywhere!
The old model has been destroyed. But don’t cry, we’re rebuilding right this very second! And we don’t know how or where it’s gonna go. There’s no formula. It’s 1968 all over again. There’s no kingpin, no programmer at MTV, no one telling you what you can or cannot do, unless you’re tied up with the old fogies.
So don’t watch Phish live at Madison Square Garden tonight.
But know that many are paying $19.99 for the privilege. And lovin’ it.
And unlike Justin Timberlake, Phish didn’t have to sell its soul to Mickey D’s, whore itself out to a corporation to be lovin’ it. They just followed the yellow brick road of music all the way to Madison Square Garden, three nights in a row, with no hit singles, no ubiquitous television coverage, none of the things the rulemakers tell you you need in order to make it.
There are no rules. Except for the ones you make yourself.
Live for the music. Each and every day. It will absolve you of your sins, it will save you, it will elate you, if you just respect it, if you don’t sully it, if you don’t bring it down to the gutter but exalt it.
And where there’s music there’s money. Always. Maybe not in the old ways, but in brand new ways, which are being invented right this very second.