I’ve been watching a lot of Rush and Styx videos lately and it made me realize one thing- that there seems to be a lot of folks who have went to sleep when in comes to individualism,making a creative mark in the world,and marching to a different drummer. And in this social sedation those who carry the banner of totalitarianism when it comes to how we should act at a certain age,when it comes to our beliefs,etc. to be socially acceptable has increased dramatically.

          A lot of this I see rooted in the aftermath of 911. As a nation we were scared,and thru fear we surrendered a lot of our rights to privacy. Along with that the economy has played a huge role. The media and big money has dictated that to have food on our tables and a roof over our heads,ie to be gainfully employed,we must now dress,act,and be a certain way. Employers have wormed their way into looking over your Facebook and Twitter feeds to ensure that you adhere to a certain social code or you’ll either be fired or not hired at all. (and in saying that,I do personally believe anything you text,post,etc should be G rated…..always.) Not to mention the recent uprising of Christian Communism…which must be countered with moderates speaking up. We’re a nation of religious freedom-our founding fathers made that perfectly clear. And before I get any backlash from any Christian reading this,I want you to know I am a Unitarian Universalist Christian (currently observing Lent at the time of this writing)

         Hiding our rock n roll selves,our artistic souls now seems mandatory in this recent age…..especially if you’re past your 30’s. And it’s been highly successful. Threaten a population with either you act or be a certain way or else you won’t be making a living usually works. And that’s understandable. If you’re one of those souls who have to work 2-3 part time jobs just to pay the bills,your pursuing music will go into into your past.  

For the younger generation,this has meant not playing a musical instrument at all much less even dreaming of making a musical mark in the world….and in this way,especially where rock music is concerned,if it doesn’t exist for the youth and has no place in their lives,it will die. Right now I see rock & progressive rock as being placed into hibernation. That has to stop. 

Women have more of a struggle with being a rebel than men do. Media has trained us as a whole to be more critiquing of how women act,dress,and behave. Men are given a wider lane and are often given excuses for their behavior,whether it’s correct or not. Paradoxically enough,merely being male gives one all sorts of advantages and excuses like “being one of the boys” “guys will be guys”.and so on. 

Ladies,it’s time for change. I was under the spell of “act your age” for a while too. However,I find it too confining. It’s not “me”.  Playing bass along with my learning rock violin gives me a certain positive energy and feeds my soul. It’s time to rise up and keep playing our drums,guitars,keyboards,etc and show it to the world regardless of occupation or what spiritual path we follow. Coming out of the musical closet is an absolute necessity now. Post pics of you with your instrument of choice online. Start wearing t shirts or buttons of your favorite bands again. Nurture others in being independent thinkers and not mindlessly “going along with the herd”. Encourage the younger generation to take up playing rock music….and to blaze their own trail. Our creative and personal freedoms rely on it.