The Reluctant Champion

This post was drafted a while back in January! Yeah I’ve let this blog slide a little for one reason or another, I’m not going beat myself up over it, I blog when I can and feel like it, so I’m going to be rolling out some old drafts over the next few weeks, now I have a little time to blog again on here again.

You may remember my post the Curse of Henry Rollins, well the curse appears to have been lifted, the night went without incident and my cat Frank who had been missing for a week returned, a lot skinnier, a little dirtier but generally in good spirits and health (looks like my suspicions were right about being trapped in a shed).

When Rollins hits the stage he hits it running and does not stop for three hours solid, telling you story after story, to me he is the ultimate story teller, funny, sometimes has a point, sometimes not, but always worth listening to. Though three hours never feels like three hours, it feels like half an hour, one minute it 7.30 and the next the next its 10.30 he’s say bye and you’re all buzzed from excitement and you’re brain is trying to process all that information he has giving you at warp speed. You know like in the film Johnny Mnemonic when Johnny downloads all the data into his head, it’s a little bit like that but in a good way and no brain seepage or relying on dolphins to try and help you sort out the mess!
He talked about a lot of things, he talked about having lunch with Bowie, his friendship with Lemmy, watching this guy geeking out over meeting his idols, just like I would geek out if I met him or he walked past, yeah I’d be peering round from behind the tree like he would. He’s not name dropping, it never actually feels like he’s name dropping, they’re just experience and interactions but none the less remind that musicians, actors etc are just people to. Society puts on the pedestal and makes them out to be almost godlike but they’re not immortal, they get sick and they die just like the rest of us.
He’s also an intrepid adventurer he wants to change the world through passion and compassion, and wants us all to to do the same. He does things not to be the good guy but because he can instead of sitting round pissed him off and feeling helpless. He’s also a workaholic who can’t say no, this has had it’s good points and bad points, I was always a fan of he’s cop character in The Chase.
Whenever I see Rollins spoken word I’m always fired up afterwards, I want to write again, I want to do everything. This year I made list to do everything, not from fear of missing out, but fear of wasting my time doing nothing, though this is okay, if our happy with that but for me I may procrastinate a lot but I also procrastinate by getting other shit done. Everything gets done eventually just not in it’s intended order plus with some stuff I tend to work better under pressure. But after last year stuck a my desk, getting the ball rolling on business a lot of things got put on the back burner, mostly personal projects.  I always keep my projects listed so I don’t forget them, the drawback of having so many ideas and things you want to do. So this year I decided I want to tackle that list and get as much done as possible and the list is big. I have the same problem as Rollins, maybe it’s a form of AHAD or whatever but I’m not the sort of person who likes to sit a round doing nothing, I have to be doing something, I’m by nature a workaholic, I’m always working on something which is why this blog has been neglected for a bit, also I’m a perfectionist and proud, so it’s gotta be done right. I’m not to proud to take a job as long as I’m working, money isn’t a issue for me (apart from that I’m really bad with it) but I’ve never longed to be rich or famous. I long to have a life where I feel satisfied that I’ve done all that I can and I’ve never failed myself for not doing it or at the very least trying. And part of this I attribute to Rollins.
I first picked up a Rollins when I was 13 or 14, Black Coffee Blues, it was the second book that had a profound impact on me for a number of reasons. By that stage I had already decided that I wanted to be a writer, professional I wasn’t quite sure about but I loved to write, short stories mainly but then I read Black Coffee Blues and it changed what I wanted to write about and it wasn’t just short stories, I wanted to be an essayist as well. The very nature and style of this book was so different from any other book I had read up to that point, and I had read a lot of books. This also led me to go and hunt out more of his books. I raided all the books store, independent, second hand and chain that I could find and managed to pick a fair few along the way. Some thanks to the Internet I’ve only managed to get hold of recently but my OCD side is determined to complete the collection.
I said I didn’t want this blog to be about rants anymore and I still don’t but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to write about stuff that interests me or for want of a better phrase gets me fired up, so that may mean a rant for time to time, take for instance the Massive Attack gig! Writing this has reminded me why I wanted to start writing in the first place, why I started blogging, not for people to read (though that is always a bonus) but for a place for me to put down my opinion/feelings/thoughts etc.
The Internet has given everyone a megaphone to voice their opinion/thoughts to an audience, some use it for good, some use it for bad. The rise of the keyboard warrior has not always had it’s good days. The shield of anonymity and ease of access has given a lot of confidence to people to be abusive and this has caused some of us to be more cautious when we post so as not to trigger these attacks. Sometimes I write stuff and then don’t post it because I’m worried someone might be offended because I haven’t explained myself well enough and then I remember that it doesn’t matter. Someone is always going to be offended or tell you work is rubbish, I’ve had it all my life but I’m still here proving the them wrong.
When Rollins spoke about Dionne Warwick raising him through her music, I understand what he saying as I feel the same way about his books. He taught me it is okay to be angry because the world is a really shitty place, people are shitty, life is full of injustices and we have to try not to let them wear us down into being them. Rollins is the reluctant champion of the awkward angry kid, he says he finds heroes in the people he meets everyday and this is the very reason we find the hero in him because when it boils down to it, heroes are the people we aspire to be, strong, brave and get up no matter how many times life knocks them down. I also feel the same away about music, it’s a constant, there is a song to soundtrack every moment, it can be inspirational, comforting, motivating, calming, uplifting and even annoying and that is what I want to write about, how much music means to me and that is why I’m going to.

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