When I write I count syllables. I must look
ridiculous sitting outside near a cup
of coffee, cigarette in my left hand, pen
scribbling furiously some of the time.
These verses of rhyme serve almost no purpose.
Most of the time I wonder if Bob Dylan
has read any of the hundreds of lines of
words I’ve written him in the past year or two.
I wonder if Taylor Momsen listens to
Bach or Mozart. I’d like to speak with them and
ask them simple questions, such as: “How are you?
What do you think about this place? and Do you
ever feel sincere when you’re around people?”
I respect the two of them for their music
and the weight they carry around on their back.
They’re integral parts of sonic tradition,
turned from mere flesh and blood into rock icons
who have given up the ability to
be normal – to walk down the street in private
without having to worry about how they
might be perceived if they zig instead of zag.
Still, losing your humanity is worth it
if you believe strongly enough in something,
whether that’s your guitar or your stage presence.
“I don’t believe in Beatles…,” said John Lennon.
Now there’s someone who hated being human.
David Bowie decided he was from Mars
and no one ever bothered to correct him.
Why not? Because, dude … he was David Bowie.
Fair enough. Rest in Peace, Ziggy. Connecting
with an artist as a fan is dangerous.
You run the risk of falling too deep down the
rabbit hole until you hear your life being
narrated by singer/songwriters you have
never met and will likely never meet,
but somehow they know you inside and out. Yikes.
At that point you start looking around to see
if anyone else sees it happening and
it feels like you’re surrounded by dead people.
There’s a line I love that talks about needing
a steamshovel to keep them away. Damned right.
That brings me back to the song and dance man from
Hibbing, Minnesota I’ve been trying to
speak with for longer than I’d care to mention.
He’s what, 75 years old now? So what?
I’m sure he and I could have an excellent
conversation over cold Mellow Yellows.
You know the first question I would ask him? “So…
who is this Donovan?” I wonder if he’d
laugh. I wonder if he’d think I was funny.
I wonder if Ms. Momsen could overlook
the plain fact I’m not famous and say hello.
If I never get to shake Bob’s wrinkled hand
and thank him for his decades of toil or
hug that rocker chick near a lake of fire,
they’ve affected my life in a massive way.
How sad is that? Pathetic, indeed. Oh well.
Will someone call Van Gogh up here with his knife?