Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why I Won't Quit Doing Whatever it is I'm Doing

Yeah...yesterday was just a reality check.

While in Chicago, we stayed with Owen's god-mother. Her husband happens to be a sound engineer, educator at Tribeca Flashpoint in Chicago, and a huge Rush fan. He introduced me to Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (a documentary).

Yes, the band Rush. Even though we've had our share of splits, I've had a long-term relationship with Rush. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're a great band, amazing muscians, and some of the most thoughtful lyrics in hard rock/metal you'll find. Okay, so the most thoughtful lyrics.

What the hell does this have to do with me and not quitting? After Rush's third album, the clunky Caress of Steel, the musical world was ready to say bye-bye. They were at a crossroads. Make commerically comfortable radio rock or do what they believed in?

What they did was fire back with 2112. Yes, the whole first side of the album is a 20+ minute composition (impossible for radio airplay...). They chose to follow their musical hearts, even at the risk of (in their own words on the documentary) losing everything they'd built. The result? Fans loved it. Hell yeah.

Lesson here: Follow your heart. Do the right thing.

I can't help but find this tune a little inspirational, too (think "fiction" in place of "music" if you must...the message is the same).


Barry Napier said...

Wow, music posts must be in the air this week. (see my lengthy fanboy plea from yesterday).

While I tend to not like most rock from the Rush era, I have to say that Limelight is one of my favorite songs ever.

Fox Lee said...

I used to worry that stories about Hong Kong would be a hard sell. I still wrote them, but braced myself for a lot of rejections. Turned out that people like those stories just fine. It's the "safe" stories that end up being retired.

Bobbie Metevier said...

There should be revolutions in writing just like in music. When the economy isn't working. When everything seems rehashed--every decade or so--punk or something like it comes from below ground and takes the front seat. Blandness and same-same can't find many ears, etc. I have felt for the last few years that fiction is on the precipice of this type of thing, too. Readers need change--weird settings, exotic settings and escapism. Stories that entertain but also leave something behind, something memorable. A reader can point to that story, several years after the fact, and remember what they were doing and the state-of-the-state the first time they read it.

Good for Rush. Good for anyone who sticks to their vision.

I loved this post. It made me think about some things . . .

Cate Gardner said...

True, we must do our own thing and deal with wherever it takes us.

"The God-mother" said...

I'm very excited to make the blog! I took your advice and "googled" you. Keep doing what you're doing. We're proud!

Aaron Polson said...

Barry - Not a plea at all...more of a fan letter.

Natalie - I love Hong Kong!

Bobbie - It's hard to stick to the vision; hard, but important.

Cate - What a ride, eh?

GM - Funny how "google" became a verb, huh? (at least we didn't "goggle" anything...)

Jamie Eyberg said...

Playing it safe is a good way to become forgettable if you ask me. (You know, that guy who wrote that book that that was about that thing that everyone else wrote about a couple of years ago.) Keep on. Keep on.

Katey said...

Hell, I was talking about music, too. Or one of my head people was. Same thing.

(Or is it?!)

But yeah, do the right thing. That's just one of the many cool things about you. :D

Chadwicked said...

See, Rush is a good band.

Interesting spot to find some inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that our new family turtle is named Rush. She was given to us by a drummer, who thought Rush had the BEST DRUMMER EVER.

Just sayin'. ;)