Sunday, March 16, 2008
You Know, Her Life Was Saved By Rock 'N' Roll
If you'll pardon the Velvet Underground reference on a Beatles blog, I find this to be true in my case. I think that's why I feel such a connection with Patti Smith. Every time I hear her speak or read an interview with her, I find myself elated--"She knows exactly how I feel! She's a woman, and she feels the same way as I do!" She finds the words to express it in such an uplifting manner, as if one's soul could soar to unheralded heights listening to Little Richard. And I believe it can, too. There is a great power in all music, a power that plugs into the basis of our being, something primal yet something transcendent. All in all, rock 'n' roll = joy.
I've been thinking of Tom Hanks' intense speech concerning the DC5 at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony last Sunday. Some have criticized it as being a bit over the top; I didn't perceive it that way. I felt chills run up and down my arms and tears form in my eyes during his speech. Of course, I was not alive during those bleak days after President Kennedy's assassination. I did not witness the British Invasion first hand. Yet, I can still relate to what Mr. Hanks was illustrating--this music is pure, unadulterated joy. It captures the joy of being alive; there's always hope, there's always love, there's always something to believe in. When the world is bleak, when everything seems grim--your life can be saved by rock 'n' roll because in that music, in those lyrics, there is a celebration of all aspects of life. The sacred and profane meet in the human experience, and it's all there in this music. It's rapturous to the converted, and Mr. Hanks, like a rural preacher, allowed the spirit to overtake him last week. Hallelujah, indeed!
The above photos were taken as the Beatles recorded their second single (and first number one), "Please Please Me"/"Ask Me Why" on November 26, 1962.