A Quick One While I Was Away

While on vacation this week I had managed to avoid most forms of electronic information and only glanced at a newspaper for a couple of minutes so all in all I stuck to my rule of family first, everything else second (although I did drag the July issue of Uncut with me to the beach on a couple of occasions, great article on Neil Young). Ironically enough, while making a campfire one evening, the paper that I was using to start the fire happened to be a copy of the Toronto Sun from a few weeks past and within that issue I noticed the headline “Does Pearl Jam Matter Anymore?” in reference to their upcoming gig (at the time) in Toronto. This is the kind of hack navel gazing I can’t stand. Kinda like “Is Rock Dead” or “Altamont: The Death of the Sixties.” Does Pearl Jam matter? To whom? To the musicians? I would certainly think so. To the 16,000 fans expected at the concert? Most definitely. To the millions that buy Pearl Jam albums? Of course. The point about rock and roll in my opinion has always been that it’s not about social revolution. It’s not about being “the voice of a generation” or the “sounds of rebellion.” Those are all byproducts of the music, not the reasons for making it. It’s all about the moment. The moment that you spend with headphones on in your room listening to a great tune that always sends chills up your spine. The moment when you are screaming your lungs out at a concert to your favourite song with a bunch of your friends, oblivious to anything but that moment in time. The moment when you finally figure out the chords to a song you’ve always wanted to play or finding that rare single by “The Haunted” that you had been searching for for years at a record swap meet. Good rock and roll is fun. Great rock and roll can transport you to another place, if only for a moment but hopefully time and time again. That’s what it’s all about. You and the moment. Nothing else should matter. At least for that moment.