These days I have I have been reading Stories We Could Tell by Tony Parsons over and over again. I would like to own this book but I can’t seem to find it in bookstores around the area. (Not even at “Book Mark” where I got my copy of The Inheritance of Loss.
But “Stories We Could Tell is a novel about believing you’ll be young forever, about sex and love and rock and roll, about the dreams of youth colliding head-on with the grown-world.” (That’s what the abstract reads on its back cover.)
And true enough, the trip with Terry, Leon and Ray—the three music journalists and their assignments and acquaintances takes you through your own wannabe-rockstar aspirations. I have always had this pressing belief that EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A ROCKSTAR –including yours truly. But my musically challenged existence has me wanting to be a music writer perhaps?
But again, music and writing (plus reading) are such beautiful collisions that it takes us to avenues and moments that never before existed.
“He was lost in the music, consumed by his writing, surrounded by a forest of dead cigarettes that he had half smoked and then carefully stood on their filter tips, allowing them to burn down to a bendy cone of ash…”
Sometimes we also think that our music and our writing might just change the world. We might just strive for that as well. But in a crude awakening to one of these music writers, an older colleague says, “The music isn’t there to save the world. It’s there to save your life.”
The reading also takes me back to Philadelphia times when a bunch of us would sit and talk as if we would take over the world any moment. We had our times of blasting the Bush administration, despising the Messiah system, and walking off from a community gathering to be intentional about making friends of different races.
Great discourses and we told them aloud how we felt. Nothing could obstruct us… no one could stop us. While some of us were in your face… some of us were the silent revolutionaries…
“I’m not somebody who wants to burn the Mona Lisa. That’s the great difference between some revolutionaries and me. They think you have to burn the establishment. I’m not. I’m saying make the Mona Lisa into something like a shirt. Change the value of it.”
We all wanted to do something. We all wanted to be someone…
“It felt as if everyone was a musician, writer, photographer, band manager, fashion designer –or at least, that’s what they were trying to be, as they all searched for an escape route from their old lives and stifling normality.”
It was yesterday. Things have changed today. Some of us are back in school and some of us have the corporate jobs—as we find ourselves dispersed all over the world. At times it feels like it felt a lot easier to change the world five years ago…