These next two songs are the reason for the season… OH wait! I got my gods, and holidays mixed up…
Since I was a very young boy, I did things differently than what my parents, siblings, and even friends expected. If everyone was cardboard sliding on their asses, I would go head first. If we had to play baseball on the blacktop, because the fields were muddy, I would still steal 2nd and actually slide (on the black top) to avoid the obvious high tag, leaving a lot of skin behind. Maybe because I was the Last Child of 9, my parents stopped trying to protect me so much… You know; 9 kids, they’ve already done all that shit so much. It probably gets a bit tiring trying to tell another one to just “stay in line”. But then, maybe it was just the age and time, maybe it’s just my god given character.
My dad would often get upset with me because I did something “stupid”. He’d say; “You don’t see your brothers and sisters doing that!”… Sometimes I felt like saying maybe something like; “That’s because nobody else in the family has a sense of adventure like I do”…
Later, around the age of 12, 13, & 14 he’d say; “Mike you are so egotistical!”. I’m thinking he said these things to me, because I always felt I could do whatever I wanted to do. When others were busy saying; “Why would you want to do something like that?” I was saying; “Why not?”, and of course, I’d often respond to my dad; “Dad it’s not ego… it’s confidence.” These types of responses by the way, never really seemed to go over well. Maybe that’s why I never really had the favor from my dad that many of my siblings did, I don’t really know. Then again maybe he was just a dick. That probably sounds more harsh than it should be. I was never abused, just never really paid attention to, and then later just left alone. Very alone! Not sure that makes someone a “dick”, it may just mean they were done being a dad.
Whether I was a young child of 9 or 10, taking on the bigger waves in Oahu, and Kauai alone, rather than with my siblings on the smaller waves, or standing on the edge of the cliff at the Halona Blow Holes in Oahu, or swimming across the lagoon, just because someone said I couldn’t, or taking on the face of Homewood my first time on skis, and even “Gun Barrell” at Heavenly Valley my first visit, or any number of “stupid” things someone might dare me to do in my life, I did. Not always successful, but I would usually give it a shot.
What this did for me as a child, was to create a character trait of, not necessarily a “can do” attitude, but damn if I wouldn’t give something a try! However, like most young kids, and teenagers, we often find out the hard way what we can, and can’t do. Those lessons for me though, especially as a kid, without much supervision, and then none as a high school teenager, gave me a sense of knowing myself. While others were slowly turning into their parents, I was becoming the exact opposite. I was also realizing that I had my own ideas, my own thoughts that were often not the status quo. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of “peer pressure”, well maybe not “pressure”, as much as “peer, sure why not?”, but If I really didn’t want to just fall in line, I didn’t, and there wasn’t anyone around to tell me I should.
I’m not sure if I’ve always been this way, but I can remember as a kid, just doing what “I” wanted to do. And often times I got branded as arrogant, or a dick, or an asshole, or stuck-up, or “whatever” description fit the age I was, at the time. But really I think I was just busy being me. Not that any of those adjectives and descriptions are wrong, I own them all, but I also own the good ones.
I paved my own road, often without signs to show the way. I learned to question… I learned to look at things in different ways than others do. “Through a Different Pair of Sunglasses”, so to speak, and I found later in life that I don’t fit into most of the status quo, whether it’s politics, or social. I started to turn into the guy that will tell you the truth if you ask for it, and sometimes even if you don’t. The guy who will call you out if you’re fakin’ it, and the guy that will simply ask you to look at it from another view, whatever it is you’re looking at.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that; I often see the gray, in a black and white world. I look beyond the typical. I don’t buy into the guy on the radio. I ask questions of the various religions. I want to know the why’s, the where’s, the when’s. I’m not saying I need proof, or that I necessarily want to prove anything, I just want to have the discussion.
When I became a father, I made a decision as most men do, to always protect my kids. However, I decided to do it out of education and respect, not just for me and my wife, but humanity in general, but more than just that… I wanted them to have the same respect and appreciation for nature, and people. I don’t mean just the fuzzy animals, but the cliffs, gravity, water, etc. I did this because I believe, without respect and appreciation; you can not have a relationship with any of them. I never want my kids to fear me, or my neighbors, or the river, or the mountains, but rather explore each of them. And with that, to always have a sense of adventure with responsibility. I also never, ever, ever wanted to lose my memory and memories of being a kid. If there’s one thing I’ve mastered in life it’s that!
There are many, many parents in life who strive to be their kid’s best friend, and then struggle with the responsibilities that come with being a parent. I say to those people; “try trust first.” Mary has taught me more than anyone else in this department, and for that I’m so grateful. It took awhile. While I was busy trusting the neighborhood, I didn’t start off trusting my own kids. I’m so happy that she has had the patience, and forethought that I lacked in the early years. Now, I couldn’t imagine not trusting them. And although I think my daughters are my friends, and I truly have a great time with them, I am not so naive or arrogant, to want, or even think that I am their best friend. I am their dad, pure and simple. But more than any of that gibberish, I found that it’s more important to just be “family” rather than friends.
I’ve taken a long way around, to tell you about my number 2, number 1 song. This song goes all the way back to my Step Brother, Ronnie’s apartment. This is one of the original 5, and it stays with me today at the top. This song is me, every verse! Although it may be written about a relationship gone bad, I see it as my relationship with society, main stream religion, and many other things in general. I’m not saying this is a good thing, I’m just sayin’ it is. I’m not sayin’ I’m a rebel. I’m saying I’m naturally rebellious. I’m just sayin, it’s hard for me to just “do” as others do. And with that comes so much social confusion in today’s age. Conversations, whether they be political, or religious, people often expect me to fit in one box or another… it just doesn’t work that way, ever! And believe me, sometimes I wish I could. Sure seems like it would be easier than pissing so many people off as I do, because of their frustration in difference.
Change the term “lady” to society, or politics, or organized religion, or education, or rules, etc. take your pick, even pick another, and you’ll see my point. It’s about how people will turn on you for a dime. I met a friend Frank about a year ago, while visiting some ancient High School buddies, and something he said to me made this just as clear as the 1st day that I realized it. I’m paraphrasing here; “people will give you to the dogs, just to save their own skin”. I have a saying in life; “I didn’t throw you under the bus, you crawled under there yourself, and the bus has to go!”
However, if we’re both under there, when the bus is leaving… we should at least try to help each other out, rather than using each other as a kick off point.
“There’s nothin’ over here I never showed ya…”; This is me, what you see is what you get, don’t go lookin’ for something else! It’s funny to me, that it’s often the guy who speaks up; who is said to have a bad attitude, but it usually comes from somewhere, or someone else in my experience. Maybe that’s what they mean by the “meek’ will inherit the earth. Because I ain’t inheriting nothin’!
The song is about attitude, but its attitude from experience… It’s a chip on a shoulder, not to be knocked off, but to be carried around as a souvenir to remind him of getting out from under the rock. It’s an attitude that says; “I can see you, and your type comin’ a mile away… Do whatever the F*** you want, nobody gives a shit anyway! And if they do, they’re lyin’, Just don’t expect me to lap it up!”
One of my closest friends in life, Kevin Douglas often jokes around with me and says; they name streets after me, in every city in the country “One Way”. I know it’s a joke, he’s said this since we were teenagers, but damned if I don’t resemble that remark. It’s not that I’m the One Way Street though, it’s that I have an incessant desire to go the other way… life of a contrarian, maybe… I don’t know. But I’m thinking it’s more of a desire to just be me.
Love Brad’s solo on this one, but this is one of those dueling “Lead Guitar” songs, that Joe was looking for from the moment he was good with two guitarists in the band. The song is only played once or twice per tour, it’s that much of a gem. It’s truly something special. I’ve been lucky enough to see it once in my life, and it was worth living for, maybe lightning can strike twice, but I won’t hold my breath.
This one is close people… Look at it from the other side of the title, sometimes you just gotta go the other way…
“Hey look a yonder what’s that I see
Ain’t that old bogus honey comin’ after me
I thought’cha told her I was outta town
I wonder how she knowed I was hangin’ around
Say listen baby don’t go wastin’ yo time
You keep a comin’ round you’ll hear the same old line
You got a thousand boys you say you need’em
You take what’s good for you and I’ll take my freedom…”
“Uuhh… there’s nothin’ over here I never showed ya
I made it pretty clear I’m glad to know ya
You know your brother spike he’s on the level
But’choo always lookin’ like your mad at the devil
Don’t say I cop a ‘tude it’s all forgotten
It’s just you’re much too rude your fruits are rotten…”
This is; “One way Street”