width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Winter / Spring 2013


 

Joseph Mayo Wristen

 

Ode to Rock and Roll

ďI want to be JohnĒ 
ďNo I want to be him this time
let's just play manĒ 
imagine a world without strawberry fields a white horse 
riding against the four horseman of the Apocalypse, listening 
to a Beautiful Day, Mary taking their buildings of commerce 
with one song down walking route 66 to nowhere. 
Kids hanging out in garages beating their drums 
plucking electric cords singing words that will shake the 
foundation of societies madness until the end of time; It is 
the early 60ís and Rock & Roll has hit the chart board with 
bands forming from around the world looking to take part in 
what is to become the theme behind an ideology of a counter 
culture that still fuels the protestors of today. Itís 50 years 
later and the minds and spirits of those who look to a world where 
there are no boundaries and men and women can walk freely 
across any orchard field onto any mountain top without fear 
without having to show a printed number in order to enter 
Heavenís Gate. We live in a world that is falling into chaos 
made out of a darkness blacken by the scent of greed, steel oil 
revenues of war, and evil doings that have allowed an industrial 
elite to build without opposition to where no one is safe. Simple 
because there are not enough people willing to take a Stand 
against the oppressors of civilization. This is why my friend 
that the music of Rock & Roll can never die why those Who 
stood on the stage of life looking to change the world forever 
with their words of love and peace taking us on journeys to 
places that could only be found between Keseyís and Learyís 
dreams or riding on a Magical Mystery Tour. Rock & Roll 
survives because there is something in the music that brings us 
closer to one another closer to the truth with words sung by 
men and woman about all that must be done if we are to survive 
the plague that lies waiting behind natureís nest - inside mans 
chemicals of mass destruction. Rock & Roll has stood the test of 
time and the crowds grow larger each time a band like Mathews 
hits the stage to share something new with us or a old man like 
Dylan shows up out of nowhere for no reason but to sing a song 
under a dark moonís light reviving what was once consider preposterous. 
Now the theme song to dogs running free inside a box screen a 
bit of Mama Thorntonís southern homemade Blues. The world upside 
down everyone looking to live inside Cohenís Secret Life, watching 
Pearl Jam on Capitol Hill or Pink, Floyd taking us to other side of 
the moon to dance a jig with Jethroís flute take a walk across wonderland. 
Flying with Grace each of us taking a bit of one anotherís heart as we 
look back at all of those who lost their lifeís on the battle fields for 
freedom the wars of our brothers and sisters in both sin an absolution. 
Rock & Roll is about the people who come to dance to the notes of 
a new truth the with songs of protest celebrating artist who played 
its notes both high and low, and that is why Rock & Roll has with 
stood the storms of suppression Weathered the shootings at Kent 
State, the assignation of more leaders than any other political movement 
in History. With lyrics calling out to the soul to take a Stand against 
an ill establishment of elite people who have made their fortunes sucking 
the essences out of our world destroying everything sacred under Godís 
eye replacing it with trinkets of capitalism for the purpose of justifying  
their hi-tech surveillance satellites and street corner cameras. Looking 
to protect their interest - to safeguard their banks of interest. Looking 
to assure their status as the leaders of a world that lies dying without 
hope or love. So my friend for me anyway Rock & Roll is about more 
than just getting high sitting around a campfire telling stories of where 
you were when. It has taken to places like Aliciaís Restaurant the California 
Hotel even Woodstock, made the words of defiance written by the poets 
of the Beat Generation apart of our culture as new searcherís of the 
Age of Aquarius keep popping up on psychedelic posters promoting the 
next Victoria Battle of the Bands. And yes neighborhoods have changed 
since the flower children of the post world war era could be found 
sitting at every major off ramp at every major city around the world 
with their backpacks and rolled up sleeping bags headed to Big Sur 
Haight-Ashbury or the next Folk festival following the demonstrations 
being held across our country not by the hundreds but by the hundreds 
of thousands. Playing their guitars, smoking their pipes of peace beating 
the drums of decent singing songs that brought a white rabbit alive even  
made a Magic Bus all the while turning politicianís heads with protest 
that stretched across America like locus spreading across an open corn 
field with Stardust falling out of a Purple spring Rain sky, while Rolling 
Stoneís pounded societies dying machine with red lip stick and songs of 
rebelliousness that keep us up dancing throughout the night. Rock & Roll 
gave us Tommy, Morrison and Jimmy, Janice and all the other martyrs 
whoís names will remain immortal till we either we find ourselves or our 
world goes mad with the pesticides of Silent Spring. Like any other force 
of reckoning it has lost too many people of its gathering; Bobby, Abby, 
John, Rubin, so many names listed on its wall of fame their spirits lie 
waiting for us as a nation to realize what the words of what one Manís 
Dream could mean, if we would just reached up to the sky and Let it Rain. 
Feel the rays of the Sun run naked through our veins let Nature flow through 
Us. Lifeís forest ever shade of green there is no color or religion here only a 
realization of what peace before death could mean. And even though the 
struggle goes on even now people Weather the storms of suppression on 
the same streets of America that the Hippies did protesting against the 
destruction of civilization, and so  Rock & Roll like a Journey into the Night 
brings us the story of V, the words of Ulysses taking us beyond our imagination 
giving us something to believe in the songs of Madonna letting us dance 
artist giving us something to hold onto during our times of celebration as well 
as our times of despair. Like a stormy sea Rock & Roll just keeps rolling 
on and on like an ode to love blowing in the wind or a wild flower blooming 
on a salt sand hillside overlooking earthís oceans it will be a part of our soul 
forever. Thinking back to the first time I saw Hendrix play the Star Spangle 
Banner with his teeth at Rainier Park, or going to the Gorge along the cliffs 
of the Columbia River to the listen to the music of the Lilac Festival. Dressing 
up to listen to Shirley Chisholm speak at Mills College the time in Paris when 
the rioting went on for weeks after they announced Morrison had been found 
dead. Watching Traffic record High heel Boys, being in Seattle for the WTO 
protest. Thinking back to times we would sit around and listen to the Incredible 
String Band or the time I got to work back stage at the Round House, all the 
people you meet between the different places the Tarot Cards take you to when 
youíre searching for that place Don Juan Matus tells you, you will find when 
you have found the universe waiting for you. Yes my friend I believe Rock & 
Roll; is here to stay until the truth is reveled and men like dogs can run free 
Or till our freedom is no longer a right but what we once had and let slip away. 

 
© 2013 Joseph Mayo Wristen

 
 



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