Friday, March 4, 2011

Just say you're with the band

The Rolling Stones, 1964, l. to r. Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman.

Soon after the start of the year, Ms. Moon wrote about reading Keith Richards' biography, LIFE. She made it clear that Richards is not who many of us have, uninformedly, thought him to be over the decades in which we have certainly known his name. Her enjoyment of the book was enough recommendation for me.

I have only reached the point at which the band is forming, there are gigs, there is time divided between coming up with money to survive and total immersion in the music they want to understand and bring, one club date at a time, to England. But in Richards' description of their process - listening to records they've obtained of American blues, teaching themselves how to recreate the sound, planning and practice, I was able to feel what it must be like, being part of a band.

From that awareness, of the work that emerges in a highly collaborative environment, the energy, the shared vision and anticipation, came a reflection on what is the - if such a thing exists - normal act of writing. It is, as I know it from experience and observation, a solitary business. My fantasy constructed a band of writers, not a very likely gathering, yet not unimaginable.

Some thirty years ago I worked for a multi-disciplinary, publicly-funded arts organization. Outreach was one of the mandates and performance was one arm of that. There was a group, active then, called the The Watts Prophets , poets and musicians who had that band thing going with the added emphasis of spoken word, a writing workshop, publishing AND performance. I see they are still together, still performing; they have a presence on Facebook.

Considering my demographic, I wonder what might be formed, or if any shared effort is possible as I make my singular way through blogging to whatever is next. Yet there is a message that shouts at me, words about the sum being greater than the parts, that says, as in so many things, we may be more together than apart. I don't know what that would look like; I don't know how it would work. Still I feel the threads that run from heart to heart; we extend our words, our affection to one another as we each sit, a pair of hands on the keyboard.

Perhaps our group, our troup of wordsters, is not meant to gather in one place, tune up together, adding and deleting communal phrases, preliminary to checking our makeup and the metaphoric seams of our stockings before we face the spotlight. What we have in this community may be our band. We read on-line the results of intense creative bursts or see with our minds' eyes the dry furrows of occasional drought. Notebooks, chapters, drafts in hand, we are, in our fashion, together for those last quickened steps to the stage. If our phones are smart enough, we can be in each others' pockets in real time, to share the fright overcome, to hear the emotion and applause. With the curtain down, we sigh as one and share a moment in which we, and all things, are complete. We're with the band.

33 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This might be the best thing I have ever read about blogging. I am so glad to have found you.

Vespersparrow said...

Marylinn--you get it completely, and by the bye, I'm with the band--whatever that will end up meaning. You are the best. xoMelissa

Antares Cryptos said...

*Applause*

Marylinn, we are with the band. Love it. Separated by space and timezones, yet somehow in tune.

As to demographics, I view blogging as taking down that imaginary barrier.

Thank you, Marylinn. Again.

Claire Beynon said...

You have expressed this collaboration - this community, this communion of souls - perfectly, dear Marylinn. 'We're with the band' and the special miracle of it all is that we get to participate as instrumentalist, solo voice, chorus, groupie and audience all at once - no hierarchy, not pecking order, no 'this way or that'; instead, a great, inclusive, roomy space. Wonder of wonders <3.

grrl + dog said...

Maybe, as we move more and more into the age of Aquarius,

the band becomes more ethereal, more airy,

like the internet. Existing everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Thank you, and thank you. I am so glad you're here.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - Thank you...the curious prompts that take us from one place to another. I was counting on the fact that you're with the band. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - You are right - blogging has erased age and other means of separating ourselves from our tribe. Thank you, A-C, bright star, band mate.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - It certainly is the age of what we expected Aquarius to be, isn't it? Are we approaching the border between how it used to be and dream manifestation? That will suit me fine.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - It is such an inclusive and roomy space, the possibilities so unlimited, the "everywhere and nowhere" experience. Getting to define what being in tune means, then living and embracing it. Thank you. It is a time of wonders. xo

Lisa Hoffman said...

Count on me to sew the costumes and wrangle the caterers. I can also throw my body across the stage door and distract the press while you all slip out the side door. Yes. Count on me.

Jayne said...

Marylinn- I wrote about camaraderie in the blogging community not long ago. And I agree - we are a band of sorts. With our assorted instruments, we nudge one another and make each other better. We sound better together. A 21st Century Cafe Society (I didn't coin that).
Bravo! :)

Marta said...

I like Ms Moons' commentary..I'm a hot mess! there are those days for certain...lucking ..the heat can cool and the show must go on...great post...those early rockers..love 'em!

Angella Lister said...

We're with the band. It says everything. Thank you for this incisive post, for rallying the voices, for giving what we do here a frame. We're with the band. Yes. Amen.

RachelVB said...

I've always wanted to be in a punk band, but I'm more of a folk singer. Of course when I dream about it, all my back-up musicians are men - I wonder what that means? =)
This made me smile and feel cozy.
Thanks.
xoxo
I wonder what the name would be?

T. Clear said...

We are The Band of Bloggers.

It feels good.

:)

susan t. landry said...

having lived for what i refer to as "my formative years" from age 30 to 43, raising my son, across the street from the infamous CBGBs, where the punk rock scene unfolded like a miracle play outside my bedroom window, night after night; all i can say is: finally i am no longer watching from the shadowlands; i am with the band.
fabulous post, marylinn. you are def the lead guitar!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - Welcome to the band. Backstage passes being readied as we speak. Hope the Colorado office is ready to take this on. And in our perfect band world, red licorice will have no sugar. Tubs of red vines, okay? xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - I think this must be 21st Century Cafe Society and aren't we fortunate to be part of it? We are so much more together. Thank you.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Marta - When we let go of thinking what it needs to look like, voila! we have a band.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - Am I a complete nerd for wanting us to have "I'm with the band" buttons? Nothing gaudy, just the small, 1" kind. We could wear them in our virtual clubhouse. Thank you. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - I have no problem with men as the back-up musicians. Punk would have been my choice because of the clothes, not the music, or that Cyndi Lauper/Betsey Johnson look...in my dreams. Too bad Cowboy Junkies is taken. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

T - So glad to hear it feels good...further proof, I suppose, that we do get to make it all up as we go along. <3

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Thank you. What cool formative years those must have been. Yes, we are out of the shadows. Lead guitar...wow.

susan t. landry said...

punk for the clothes, absolutely; (and the names of the bands).
but, gotta admit i've always had a soft spot for the "girl" groups, like the Shangri-Las.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Some people think blogging is a waste of time, but I tell them that it is the 'new canvas' for many. I feel like a part of a community where there are so many kindred spirits and a collective consciousness prevails. I love the analogy of the 'band'...In tune for sure and always looking for the next great gig!

RachelVB said...

Well we certainly aren't one for labels. I saw we dress however we want, sing whatever we want and do whatever we want. Picasso reinvented himself like 5 times. A little bit of everything sounds wonderful. Hell, throw a cello in there for good measure. I always love a good cello.
xo
I say the best WV wins for the name
(redigh) not so keen on that, but that's what I got.

Antares Cryptos said...

Marylinn, thank you for the multiple comments, I feel blessed.
Responded, reading and enjoying everyone's voice. :)

Antares Cryptos said...

Thank you, of course. Fellow band mate and muse:)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - For a girl group, I might need a wig. Not sure that this hair hasn't become too thin to be teased. I'm hearing, "Baby, It's You," but that was The Shirelles.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kerry - Hi, good to see you here. Yes, to all you said about blogging. What a vehicle for expression and exchange. It continues to pry me open and push me along. And we are in tune, sometimes extraordinarily so.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - Of course the cello is welcome. And reinventing...isn't it another word for evolution, the continual state of becoming? I veer off in 14 directions, at least in my mind, every day. No dress code, no name (as yet), no admission fee. How can we go wrong?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - You are very welcome. I may arrive a bit late but I do get there.