Friday, October 31, 2008

Simon Said What?

Think of the last time you came face-to-face with a real, live rock star.

If that's happened to you, its an experience you never forget; the words shared in that fleeting moment, deposited and frozen in your memory banks forever.

"It's all part ... of my Rock and Roll Fantasy. It's all part ... of my Rock and Roll Dream" .

My barber was mentioning the other day, how he vividly remembers working backstage as a caterer at the Moncton Coliseum, hanging out with Roger Hodgson of Supertramp. My amigo JD still shakes his head and utters "jeepers" every time he recalls the time he and my son snuck into the Van Halen soundcheck at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

This past August in New York City, legendary rock drummer Simon Kirke (Bad Company, Free) was a featured panelist at 2008 convention of the National Speakers Association when he spilled what may have been one of the unusually candid motivational lines ever heard at that annual gathering. Keep in mind that NSA is as conservative as it gets as an organization with its roots in the charismatic Christian movement. After confessing that addressing a group of 2,000professional speakers made him feel like a "hemophiliac in a razor blade factory", Kirke summarized his outlook on life this way:

"Respect your parents, don't do drugs, have the odd drink now and again ... You know, we've all got to work together to save the planet, because it's the only one we've got. And besides that... don't be an asshole"

Don't be an asshole?

Audience gasps, nervously laughs and starts murmering, "Did he just say what I think he said?"

That's right folks.

"Don't be an asshole".

Simple, yet profound.

But, is it possible the power of a message could be amplified by the level of respect one has for the messenger?

If you grew up as a die hard Bad Company fan you would know how Simon's words would pack a little more punch. Considered one of the 70s' first supergroups, Bad Company consisted of two former members of Free, singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke; former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs; and King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell. The debut album hit #1 on the Billboard charts and the group consistently sold out stadiums around the world on the power of hit singles such as "Can't Get Enough", "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Rock and Roll Fantasy".

If, for whatever reason, you missed out on the brilliance of Bad Co. back in the 1970's, here is the bands autobiographical number Kirke co-wrote with Paul Rodgers in about 25 minutes. The way he explained it, this is the track that helped put three of his kids through college and paid for five re-habs.

Thanks for the inspiration Simon.


Words to live by.

What about your "rock star" moment?

Was anything said or talked about when your paths crossed that you can recall worth passing along to your fellow TSB readers?

"All these towns, they all know our name. Six gun sound, is our claim to fame. That's why they call me Bad Company" PAUL RODGERS/SIMON KIRKE


Mike Shanks said...

Gair you threw me off early in this one. My focus was off and found it hard to concentrate. I actually had to re-read part of it.

YOU go to a barber?


Gair Maxwell said...

In some respects I think it's one of those "kind of had to be there" moments....

Two things ....

1. What do you make of Simon's message (D.B.B.A.)?

2. Which "rock star" have you crossed paths with and what did you take away?

Rick Nicholson said...

What Simon is saying to me is this, "Crap happens to us all the time. We have no control over what happens to us. We only control ourselves - our emotions, reactions, etc". So when crap does happen, it always comes from the oriface down south. Don't mimick THAT oriface, rise above it. DBAA. Letters to live by. Sometimes hard, especially when the person you're dealing with is being an asshole.