ALL I KNEW

ALL I KNEW ABOUT MUSIC AS A YOUNG PERSON WAS THAT IT MADE ME "FEEL" THINGS WHEN I HEARD IT.  WHEN I HEARD CERTAIN MELODIC PASSAGES I WAS OVERCOME WITH EMOTIONS. AS A LITTLE BOY, LISTENING TO MY FATHER PLAY THE PIANO, I WAS ENRAPTURED BY THE SOUND. LIVING IN AN EMOTIONLESS HOUSE AND WHAT FELT LIKE AN EMOTIONLESS WORLD, LISTENING TO MUSIC CONNECTED ME WITH MY HUMANITY. IT WAS BECAUSE OF THAT CONNECTION THAT LURED ME INTO WANTING TO SPEND ALL OF MY TIME LIVING IN THAT RAPTURE. IF THAT WAS THE ONLY THING THAT MADE ME FEEL ALIVE, THEN I WANTED AS MUCH OF IT AS I COULD GET; AND IT WAS FOR THIS REASON ALONE THAT DROVE ME TO PICK UP A GUITAR, THROW MY HEAD BACK AND WAIL LIKE WOLF..

I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT SONGWRITING AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY EXCEPT THAT I KNEW I WANTED TO DO IT, AND SO WHEN I DID, I NEVER STOPED. I LEARNED FAIRLY EARLY THAT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT SONGWRITING IS NOT WHAT IT REALLY IS, AND THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO TELL A PERSON HOW TO DO IT. YOU CANNOT EXPLAIN MYSTERIES, YOU CAN ONLY EXPERIENCE THEM. ANYTHING YOU SAY ABOUT SONGWRITING EXCEPT WHAT IT IS NOT IS IRRELEVANT. A MORE ADVANCED REALIZATION ABOUT WRITING SONGS IS THAT IN ESSENCE ONE REALLY DOESN’T WRITE ANYTHING. GREAT SONGS COME THROUGH YOU, THEY REALLY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! YOUNG WRITERS THINK THAT THEY DO JUST AS I DID. IN MY TEENS, I ACTUALLY BELIEVED I CREATED THE SONGS. IT WAS ONLY SOMETIME LATER THAT I REALIZED I WASN’T SMART ENOUGH TO WRITE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT FELL OFF MY PEN. THAT REALIZATION ALONE BROUGHT ME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT SOMETHING ELSE WAS AT PLAY IN THE PROCESS, SOMETHING THAT I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH. THESE WERE MY FIRST INCITES INTO THE JOURNEY OF THE MYSTICAL ART OF THE SONG. AS TIME WENT ON, EVERYTHING I EVER THOUGHT I KNEW ABOUT SONGWRITING FELL AWAY, THE MORE I TAPPED INTO THE MYSTICAL SOURCE, THE FREER I BECAME. NOW WHEN I WRITE, I DON’T WRITE, IF THAT MAKES ANY SENCE BECAUSE “I” AM NOT IN THE PICTURE.

MY EARLY SONGS WERE ABOUT THINGS THAT I KNEW, AND AS ALL YOUNG SONGWRITERS DO, I STRUGGLED WITH LINES, HOW TO RHYME THEM AND HOW THEY WERE PUT TOGETHER.  IT TOOK YEARS BEFORE I LEARNED THAT WRITING SONGS SHOULD NOT INVOLVE A STRUGGLE. SONGWRITING AND STRUGGLING ARE TWO EXTREME OPPOSITES. STRUGGLING IS ARTISTIC CAPTIVITY, AND SONGWRITING IS A NIGHT OF FREE DANCING FIREFLIES. PEOPLE WHO ARE ENDOWED WITH A POETIC NATURE AND WRITE SONGS USUALLY PAINT BEAUTIFUL PICTURES. SONGWRITING AND PAINTING ARE SISTERS, SAME EXPRESSION, DIFFERENT MEDIUM.

ALL THESE THINGS ARE BUT A MERE THIMBLE FULL OF REVELATIONS THAT I EITHER BROUGHT WITH ME FROM NEW YORK, OR DAWNED ON ME AS I TOOK MY FIRST SACRED STEPS ONTO THE HOLY GROUND OF MUSIC ROW IN 1963...