One night at the What Club? in LA, a noted post punk icon (I shall honor his desire for privacy) had made it known that he would be visiting our party that night. The gentleman from London (you will never guess who he is so stop trying) was heavily into the occult, in particular white witchcraft and, most probably totally unaware that he would be attending a little ‘Church in a bar event’ in LA that evening.
On arriving, halfway through our performance, he stood at the wine bar near James Langteaux, though at the time, because of the (mostly) candle lit room, and the stage lights, I could not really distinguish anyone in the ‘audience’.
At some point I had a strong sense that I had to perform the song “Unconditional Love’ for someone in the room… and that this person was to my left (in the direction of the wine bar). And so I did that, as if I had an audience of one, I directed my little love story of brokenness and acceptance to this invisible person to my left. And, as is typical of me and my band, the song developed into a bit of a jam and I began to sing ‘new songs’ and, when most musicians would feel that it was time to end the song and do another… we lingered and rested in this peaceful atmosphere that was developing around us… something that our ‘fans’ tend to appreciate.
I discovered later, that during the long peaceful jam… the ‘visitor’ leaned across the bar to ask James “why do I keep hearing the word eternity in this music?” At which James began to share what the song was about, who we were and what we trying to do in this hard to find, brown stone industrial building in LA. And this information was of so much interest to the ‘visitor’ that, after many more days and weeks of chats he, in his own way, joined our tribe.
I have lots of experiences like this one, so much so that I have come to the conclusion that, despite stoic facial expressions and staunch verbal denials, everyone in all actuality is a seeker… hungering for spiritual meaning and thirsting for love and acceptance.
As a musician and story teller, I don’t have to try to be what I am not or could never be, I don’t have to be clever or ‘amazing’, be the fastest guitarist in the west or attempt any crystal shattering vocal riffs… I just have to share my life stories, honestly, not hiding behind any perceived wisdom or pretense that I am better or worse than the next guy/gal.
And I can rest in this. I don’t have to make the sun come up, or make it rain, or make things grow. That’s someone else’s job.
Here is a live performance of Unconditional Love at the Stravinsky Auditorium in Montreaux, Switzerland.