Mythos & Marginalia

life notes; flaws and all

j.g. lewis

original content and images ©j.g. lewis

a daily breath...

A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .

Mondays are just young Fridays

It wasn’t about age; it is still about the music.
   I, and an almost-full arena, took in a spectacular concert last night as The Who played Toronto.
   Augmented by a full orchestra, the timeless British band gave us two hours of absolute magic; full of the sonic glory you expect from guys who have, at several points in history, proved that rock and roll is what it is.
   The Who could have spent the evening simply trotting out a career’s worth of hits, but instead opened with a string of compositions from the rock opera Tommy. Later in the night we were treated to a solid set from Quadrophenia. Both albums go well back into the ‘70s.
   Of course they played, and played well, the songs that many people know more from the CSI television series, but several of the big hits where left out (they did not play I Can See For Miles my absolute favourite song ever), but that was okay. Last night was all about the music.
   I’ve long considered The Who to be mostly about Pete Townshend, the guitarist who wrote much of the band’s catalogue. Now, at 77 years of age, Townshend is still in fine form. But so is lead singer and front man Roger Daltry, 78, singing and screaming in a manner that defies age.
   I’ve seen the band a couple of times in my lifetime, and chances are I will not have the opportunity to see them again. This may be The Who’s last tour, but then Townshend said he would quit touring in 1982.
   So there is hope, and there is still the music.

10/03/2022                                                                     j.g.l.

 

Giving Into Time

Gardens across the city are looking tired.

The flowers and foliage have for months been growing, blooming, celebrating the glorious sunshine and making our days on this big, beautiful planet ever more enjoyable.

But, come October, even the most curated gardens and manicured lawns are showing signs of wear and tear from the dipping nocturnal temperatures, lack of rain, care, or even neglect.

The cycle from spring, through summer, and now autumn, becomes more obvious each day. Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, once-boastful geraniums and hydrangeas are giving into time.

I can’t even find a dahlia anywhere.

Our landscape is getting darker.

The colours of flowers we count on to fill our lives will soon only be available in photographs, florist shops, or bouquets of the day at the market. We take it wherever we can, whenever we can, but we will wait patiently for next year’s gardens to bring back the everyday joy as the cycle will begin once again.

10/02/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

Truth and Reconciliation

truth
comes at a cost

honour
those who have already paid

respect
the process

healing
takes time

forgiveness
takes even longer

 

In Canada, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the Survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter- generational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

09/30/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
well-rounded,
other times
dull or
occasionally
broken.
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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Age And Experience

Posted on May 23, 2018 by j.g.lewis // 1 Comment

“I say get off your ass and get working while you can…
we’re still in our element and will go on for as long as
possible. We enjoy what we do and so do our fans.”
-Ronnie Wood firing back at internet trolls who say
The Rolling Stones are too old to rock and roll.

Age means longevity.

Ry Cooder just released a new album, his first in seven years. John Prine also has a new offering, after 13 years. Like The Rolling Stones, both of the American musicians are still in their element and, obviously, enjoy what they do.

I know I’m going to buy Cooder’s release this weekend, maybe Prine’s as well. I’ve got this thing for artists who continue making valid, substantial music. Both of these musicians have been around for a while; Cooder even played with The Rolling Stones before Ronnie Wood even joined the band.

Far from resting on their laurels, these musicians get off their ass and did what they love to do. They are working while they can. The Stones are touring the UK this year, Cooder is also back on the road (he’s even playing Toronto next month).

All of these musicians are all in their seventies. Who, really, is going to say that’s too old?

I haven’t bought the last couple of Stone’s releases. I don’t own all of Cooder’s albums either, but I’ve got many of the 17 studio albums the guitarist’s catalogue (1979’s Bop Till You Drop remains my favorite).

We’ve all got our favourite bands and artists. At some point in our lives a song, or an album, found its way into our heart, and we continued listening. As they aged, so did we. Some of those musicians have since left this planet, but their music lives on.

Isn’t it wonderful that some of those players who managed to capture our imagination still do? The same spirit that keeps the players playing, keeps us listening to the music.

Talent, creativity, or musicianship, has nothing to do with age. In fact, in so many cases, it improves with age and experience. Five years ago I watched Paul McCartney live, at age 70, and without even using the phrase ‘for his age’, he was amazing.

McCartney is a senior citizen, and surely lives through many of the ailments that come with age, but it doesn’t stop him. He still has a rock and roll attitude, like The Stones and many of his contemporaries.

Pete Townsend has not let his hearing problems stop him. Bob Dylan has all but stopped playing guitar because of arthritis, and Eric Clapton, who suffers from nerve damage, admits he has slowed down and has had to adjust his style. But he hasn’t stopped playing. His most recent take on the blues (2016’s I Still Do), sounds dirty and gritty, and oh-so-sweet. No, it is not the playing as it was decades earlier, but it is strong and identifiable as pure Clapton.

What it comes down to is, the musicians we admire, or worship, are just regular human beings, like the rest of us. They too get old.

Yes, there are scads of younger musicians who continue to introduce new styles and sounds, but rock and roll is no longer about youth, but about proof. Talent always wins out, and over time that talent needs to be appreciated.

Ageism has no place in music, or art, or theatre. . . or society for that matter.

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One reply on “Age And Experience”

Ry’s new album is among my favorites so far this year. He is my all-time favorite guitar player, and that he continues to put out new music of this caliber is so incredible. Few have a career as long as Ry, much less a career where they continue to put out excellent new records. To think that he was recording with Rising Sons at 17, and now has released a new record at 71? That is a truly impressive career.

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