The Underground

I wanted to think about something. The roots of everything pretty are underground. I said this 8 or so years ago on my 2nd CD:

…deep underneath that crust of the earth
are animals that really have some girth to their worth
you’re growin up the flowers of commercialization
forever will the roots remain UNDER the nation…

This speaks the legitimacy of the underground.

But what of the underground? How long can a seed stay under the soil? Is it not the seed’s destiny to grow into a mighty oak or a beautimous bloom?

I could easily quote Howl now and make my point – I’ve seen the best minds of my generation – blah blah blah. Which is to say, we, the counter culture, we, the underground, are destroying ourselves. Sure, I imagine there are some that shall and should always be under, down, deep deep deep, feeding the rest, and some that never know the power of the earth, and that never realize that who THEY are, what THEY see, what THEY know to be “normal”, is always and necessarily the child of the underground.

The seed becomes the seed first, then it becomes the oak. Not the other way around. These places here, the Helios bar in Houston, the Nuyorican Cafe in New York, the Blue Dragon in Albuquerque, these are the places where we come from, where we cut our teeth, and where we owe our undying allegiance.

But a man child doesn’t stay at home with mommy when there’s a battle to be fought. Disregarding for a moment my notion that battle may not be the answer, I would say to those of us with fire in our bones, why are we still here, cowering in the underground, smoking weed and methamphetemines, drinking ourselves into obvlivion, when so many of us have grown into might oaken warriors and have always known it is our task to take these amazing new things that were born in the underground out into the overground and into the sky?

Why, if we are unsatisfied with our leaders in government, are we not running for offices? Why, if we are unsatisfied with our pop icons and movie stars, are we not replacing them?

We spend far too much time speaking harsh words against our brothers in the sky, when in truth, they are merely humans like us, only they have chosen to sprout. Sure, too many of them have sprouted, forgotten where they come from, and begun to choke the very nutrients out from under themselves. No, I do not think it is alright for George W. Bush to run around smiling and laughing taking golf vacations when some of us have three jobs and 11 grand of debt, and still others are begging for change under bridges. No, I am not surprised. This has always been the way it is. It’s not even necessarily wrong. But TOO MANY people are disatisfied and DOING NOTHING.

I’m not a politician. I’m an artist. I’m a performer. So what should I do? I was reminded last night of the concept of my circle of influence. Yes. I shall operate within my circle of influence. I shall perform. I shall create. And when someone who has been languishing underground for 2 or 5 or 15 years, a choking struggling oak tree pretending to be a seed, I will hand that mother fucker a shrink wrapped package with his name on it.

This is what I can do. Next, I will do more.

I’m not going to Baghdad to do nothing for no one. I’m not going to Taos to hide in the fucking mountains like a coward. I’m not going to hole up in Thailand making records, as if making random recordings for no one to hear had anything to do with anything. I’ll see you in L.A., the fray, New York, Washington, Houston, London. I’ll see you on the streets of Bangkok or on the front page of the Times. I’ll see you on Jay Leno and Windows Media Player. I’ll see you in the Helios throwing bags of cocaine into the street. I’ll see you SOMEWHERE, is the point.

Now I say, here’s the test, here’s where most people fail, where G.W. is failing, where Capital Records is failing, where all of us at the Helios are failing: Is this about me? Is this is a contest? Will I be preaching to the democrats and left wing whiskey drinking poets to stand up, fight for yourself, and win the battle? Fuck ’em all? You’re nothin if you don’t take care of number one? Wouldn’t I just be a conservative then? When will I flip over and become what I hate? Do I have to? Or can I dig myself out from under the earth, fly into the big pretty clouds and BACK again, and never become bitter, mean, cold and heartless? I’ve proven to all that I can win a damn contest. You don’t believe me, come throw a punch at me, see what happens. But what is the POINT of that? What is the point of being ALONE on Mount Olympus? I’m not here to take everyone out, for God’s sake. That would just be BORING.

This week I will be handing one of those packages out to somebody that said three times last night, “I will battle compassionate conservatism with compassion.”

Understand what that package is, my man. That’s the dirt coming off. That’s the seed pushing through the thawing ground, that’s the oak, that’s the bloom. Could be a new nation or a simple CD. Still an oak, still a bloom, still worth showing someone sometime.

See you in the fray.

Speaking of the fray – go get some free music from me before I change my mind! CLICK HERE FOR THAT.

Scroll to Top