Posts Tagged With: THE WHO

Desert Trip – Round Two

I returned to Desert Trip in Indio, CA, for a second time on the final night of the event, October 16, 2016. I was extremely lucky and picked up a wristband and a shuttle pass at a deep discounted price four hours prior to showtime.

The primary reason was, of course, to watch The Who perform their last show of The Who Hits 50/51 Tour, which I have seen four times over the course of the last 18 months.

It was such an incredible show!!  Pete Townsend was shredding up his guitar like I have never seen him do. And Roger Daltrey also was in form, swinging his mike around in smaller rotations than the past, and adjusted his high notes into shorter wails and/or into an octave lower wailing, but still with a certain rock god-like authority.

In all honesty, I hope that I have the panache in my old self as these two do at 71 and 72.

The music is, as I have said before, a reflection of the angst of my adolescence and young adulthood…and listening to it live just makes me feel that, as Pete sings: I Am One.

The Setlist:

I Can’t Explain
The Seeker
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See for Miles
My Generation
Behind Blue Eyes
Bargain
Join Together
You Better You Bet
5:15
I’m One
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me
Eminence Front
Amazing Journey
Sparks
The Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
See Me, Feel Me
Baba O’Riley
Won’t Get Fooled Again

As is always the case, I let the music just takes me; dancing and singing along to every song, doing my best Jimmy Cooper head bob impression during “My Generation” marching in time with “Join Together”, letting the tears just fall during “I Am One” and completely letting loose with arms flailing, body jerks, spasms and convulsions during the final moments of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Always searching for connectedness, I find it every time I hear this band’s music and to witness it live and watch it unfold before me is always such a rush!

 

Some  iphone imagery:

 

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Desert Trip

 

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This past weekend was the first weekend of Desert Trip, a music festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio CA. Three nights of classic rock ‘n roll with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones opening the event on Friday night; Neil Young & the Promise of the Real and Paul McCartney on Saturday night and closing the weekend Sunday night was The Who and Roger Waters.

This was my primary reason to migrate to So CA from Minneapolis three weeks ago.  Through my media connections in Minnesota, I was referred to a media company out of New York, who then applied for a media pass for me for the event. I was denied clearance, but still had a ticket for the event.

I learned from this experience that I need to get a camera that is between my cellphone and my Nikon D-90s. There were a ton of people with various cameras and I stuck up conversation with a few regarding what they were shooting and why. Interesting to hear there perspectives. And this is what I love so about photography…alot of folks experiencing the craft.

Although it would have been an incredible opportunity to photograph the event, it was a great opportunity for me to just go and groove on the music and not have the responsibility of my gear between acts.

I opted for shuttle service to and from the event each night and parked my car at a hotel and rode a bus into the event. There was an issue with traffic on the first night and all these buses were at a standstill 45 minutes from showtime, so I joined other defectors that exited the bus and walked the two miles or so into the polo grounds.

I milled about the grounds as Bob Dylan began to play. I certainly appreciate his lyricism, but for me listening to him live, his music and voice can drone on and all sound so repetitious.

The Setlist

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Highway 61 Revisited
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
High Water (For Charley Patton)
Simple Twist of Fate
Early Roman Kings
Love Sick
Tangled Up in Blue
Lonesome Day Blues
Make You Feel My Love
Pay in Blood
Desolation Row
Soon After Midnight
Ballad of a Thin Man

Encore:
Masters of War

Dylan’s set ended and it was a hour or so before Stones took the stage, I continued to wander the grounds. I sampled  slice of Narley Marley pizza, which was “veggies and herb, mon.”

Lights dimmed and The Rolling Stones opened with “Start Me Up” then followed with “You Got Me Rockin'” then played 18 more songs with two rare musical moments. The first being when, for first time live, the they covered the Beatles “Come Together” and then Richards singing on two songs, “Slipping Away” and “Little T&A”  The night came to a close after the two encores of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

I let the music take me and just danced and sang along, at times I was just awe struck as the music played live in front of me.

The Setlist:

Start Me Up
You Got Me Rocking
Out of Control
Ride ‘Em on Down
(Jimmy Reed cover) (first since 12 July 1962)
Mixed Emotions
Wild Horses
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)                                                                                                                      Come Together                                                                                                                                                    Tumbling Dice                                                                                                                                                           Honky Tonk Women                                                                                                                                             Slipping Away                                                                                                                                                              Little T&A
Midnight Rambler
Miss You
Gimme Shelter
Sympathy for the Devil
Brown Sugar
Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Encore:
You Can’t Always Get What You Want                                                                                                                         (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

 

I left the venue grounds and boarded the shuttle back into the Palm Springs area. I got home around 2am, but was on an endorphin high after what I had just been witness to and didn’t feel the least bit tired. I  finally fell into bed around five a.m. and thought to myself “There are two more days of this!!”

 

Day Two

I woke up around 1pm, had a couple of mugs of bullet-proof coffee and some food and then headed back out to the venue around 4pm. It was the same routine again as I milled about, but I returned to the musical vantage point I discovered the night before.

A couple of women in straw hats and bib overalls began to walk about the stage, acting as if they were planting seeds. This went on for about five minutes and then a spot light went up over the piano and there sat Neil with his harmonica around his neck and opened with “After the Gold Rush”

At one point between songs, three guys in hazmat suits walked across the stage, spraying the stage with a high pressured mist, mimicking Monsanto herbicide application. A 22 minute  version of “Down by the River” the final of ” Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World” were highlights for me.

The Setlist:

After the Gold Rush
Heart of Gold
Comes a Time
Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
Out on the Weekend
Human Highway
Neighborhood
Show Me
Harvest Moon
Words (Between the Lines of Age)
Walk On
Texas Rangers
Powderfinger
Down by the River
Seed Justice
Peace Trail
Welfare Mothers
Rockin’ in the Free World

Once Neil was done playing I went and got something to eat and opted for blue cheese, spicy bacon sliders. Quite tasty!

The monitors began to play a multi-media montage of Beatles, Wings and some of Paul’s solo work combining music, video and still imagery.

Paul opened with “A Hard Day’s Night” and moved through a 37 song set that at one point had Neil Young on stage to accompany him for three songs: “A Day in the Life” “Give Peace a Chance” and ” Why Don’t We DoI t in the Road”  I joined the thousands raising both hands firmly flexed into peace symbols swaying lift to right singing along  “….all we are saying, is give peace a chance…”The thing about seeing Paul live, for me are two things: The way he shares a his stories that are a part of history that few can speak about from a personal experience and, just how much fun it is to sing along song after song.

The Setlist:

A Hard Day’s Night
Jet
Can’t Buy Me Love
Letting Go
Day Tripper
Let Me Roll It
I’ve Got a Feeling
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I’m Amazed
We Can Work It Out
In Spite of All the Danger
(The Quarrymen song)
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Love Me Do
And I Love Her
Blackbird
Here Today
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna
FourFiveSeconds
Eleanor Rigby
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
A Day in the Life
Give Peace a Chance
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
Something
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

Encore:
I Wanna Be Your Man
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End

Spent and exhausted, I ambled to the shuttle and made my way home. I went to bed around 3am and fell quickly to sleep.

Day Three

Falling into somewhat of a routine, it was the same scenario again. I slept until early afternoon, then made a batch of bullet-proof coffee, ate some food and headed over to the polo grounds for the final night of Desert Trip. In all honesty, although I certainly enjoyed the four bands I had already witnessed, for me, this night was what it was all about: The Who.

They opened with “I Can’t Explain” after which Pete Townsend told the crowd “Well, Here the fuck we are”

The Setlist

I Can’t Explain
The Seeker
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See for Miles
My Generation
Behind Blue Eyes
Bargain
Join Together
You Better You Bet
5:15
I’m One
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me
Eminence Front
Amazing Journey
Sparks
The Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
See Me, Feel Me
Baba O’Riley
Won’t Get Fooled Again

What I  liked most of all about The Who is there weren’t any encores, they just ripped through a 22 song set, pausing only for little sound bites to the crowd and band member introductions.

Food I enjoyed this evening was a tri-tip Sandwich before The Who and a plate of paella ar intermission of Roger Waters set.

Black lights illuminated the venue and then Roger Waters took the stage and played a 2.5 hour, 28 song set. Although there were political messages and blurbs from some of the performers throughout the three day event, Roger put it out there with “Trump is a Pig” illuminated across the three large screens behind the stage, along with other anti-Trump then floating an inflatable pig  over the crowd with a image of Trump wearing lipstick and eyeshadow and ” Fuck Trump and his Wall” on one side  and “Ignorant, lying, racist, sexist pig.” on the other during “Pigs  (Three Different Ones)

Speak to Me
Breathe
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
One of These Days
Time
Breathe (Reprise)
The Great Gig in the Sky
Money
Us and Them
Fearless
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
Welcome to the Machine
Have a Cigar
Wish You Were Here

Intermission

Pigs on the Wing 1
Pigs on the Wing 2
Dogs
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Mother
Run Like Hell
Brain Damage
Eclipse
Why Cannot the Good Prevail
(a poem by Roger Waters)
Vera
Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb

Of course, as the Wholigan I am, the highlight of the weekend was The Who’s set. Followed by The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Roger Waters.

What an incredible opportunity to be one of 80,000 people to be present at the inaugural Desert Trip. Although I didn’t have a camera in hand, I was able to capture some imagery, however wanky. Still, my being there was to go and enjoy the music…and enjoy the music I did!!!

 

 

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The Who Hits 50!!

Last night, Pete Townshend and Rodger Daltrey brought their The Who Hits 50 Tour!! to the Allstate Arena in Rosemount, Illinois. The tour is celebration the 50th anniversary of the band and Pete Townshend describes the show as “Hit’s, Picks, Mixes and Misses” while Rodger Daltrey has referred to it as a “long goodbye.”

I drove down from Minneapolis, met up with an old friend from high school and then went to the concert.

The seats where slight of stage right, quarter of the way up the first rise from the back of main floor. I tend to like this area for a show because being back and center of the house provides for a better viewing of the stage show.

I have seen clips of shows at the beginning of the tour and the vocal and technical issues that were noticeable then weren’t present at all last night.

It was classic Who. With Pete ripping it up on guitar, wind-milling with frequency and an occasional jump or slight duck walk; his guitar rang out, flowing though chord progressions and screamin’ riffs reaffirming his signature style. For a guy 6 days shy of his 70th birthday, although his stage gymnastics aren’t what they once were, his playing still reflected his guitar god status

Roger strutted about the stage, swinging his mike about in small arcs and curves, hitting well-know notes with accuracy, but not to the duration of the past. At times he would go silent and wave his hands like a conductor leading the capacity crowd of 18,500 to carry the verse. His harmonica playing still brought the frenzied finish to the last song of the evening Won’t Get Fooled Again. At 70, with light blue tinted glasses and mid length Mod curls, he still maintains a solid frontman presence.

The six member band consisting of Pete’s brother Simon playing rhythm guitar, Zak Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, Loren Gold, Frank Simes and John Corey sharing backing vocals, piano, keyboards, jaw harp, banjo and bass harmonica created a out a solid background for two icons presence.

Starkey’s drumming and Pino’s bass guitar certainly couldn’t replace Moonie nor Ox’s intensity, yet seemed to fill the space comparably.

The visual graphics flowing across the stage’s background screen ranged from photographic images of the band from their earlier days for My Generation, a big blue eye for Behind Blue Eyes to psychedelic imagery of the 60’s for Join Together and the techno-computerized graphics of the 80’s for Eminence Front.

The crowd consisted of mainly of folks in there 50’s and 60’s but there was a considerable amount of “kids” in their 20’s and 30’s. There were numerous parents who had teen kids in tow.

I was at The Who’s 25th Anniversary Tour at Alpine Valley in the summer of 1989, but was trippin’ balls on magic mushrooms and really don’t remember much except hopping around like a mad Mod dancing, Pete’s loud guitar and John Entwislte’s thundering bass solo. Clean and sober now, I clearity of recall seeing Roger perform Tommy LIVE in 2011; and Pete and Rodger performing Qaudrophenia LIVE in 2012.

No matter when I see these two perform, it brings me excitement and joy to see music of my youth unfold live on stage and am very happy that neither they or I died before we got old.

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The Who – Quadrophenia and More – 2012

Tuesday Night, 11/27/2012, I was at Target Center in Minneapolis to photograph The Who- Qaudrophenia and More Tour 2012 and opening act Vintage Trouble.

I had purchased a ticket to the event in July and was just excited for the show ever since.

My editor and I began communication with The Who’s PR folks in September, but didn’t receive any word until the final approval 24 hours before the show. This is the nature of this business and at times, it drives me alittle batty; however once I am approved, it is always worth the wait.

As usual, I was cleared to shoot the first three songs from the pit for both Vintage Trouble and The Who.

I watched some YouTube clips of Vintage Trouble and liked them, “old School” rock and roll.

Since they weren’t doing the video production that The Who was, I was free to move about the pit. I was the only media photographer there, so I was able to move center stage directly in front of the band. After my time was up, I was escorted back stage as Vintage Trouble continued their set. I really liked what I heard; a thundering rhythm section, a screamin’ guitar and a bluesy wailing voice. These guys are good. Definitely a band to watch.

Here is a link to photos Vintage Trouble:

“http://www.flickr.com/photos/joebielawa/sets/72157632121094207/”

A few more photographers had gathered back stage as the start time for The Who drew closer. The PR woman for Target Center reappeared and gave us the primary instructions for shooting, then led us forward to the pit to met with The Who’s Tour Director. He gave us the final instructions: first four songs, not past the tape line on the floor; which left the five of us to the stage right, directly in front of Simon Townshend and bassist Pino Palladino, behind them the horn section, with Roger Daltrey center stage in front of drummer Zak Starkey and Pete Townshend at far stage left.

During the opening song, “I am the Sea” videos played, as the musicians took their positions. Roger had his back to the audience. When “The Real Me” started, Roger turned, faced the crowd, started swinging his mic and the show was on!

I tried to get shots of Pete from where I was at, but he had a music stand positioned to his right, which was blocking me from getting a direct shot of him playing guitar. I moved back from the line to the left to got some shots of Simon and Pino, then some shots of Roger.

I moved forward toward the line, place my foot on the inside of the barrier between the stage and the crowd for support and stood up on my toes to try and get some shots of Pete. This didn’t work well as my balance was off. At this moment Pete took a step back and over towards Roger…I was able to get some shots of the both of them, then some solos of Pete playing, then some as he sang at the end of “Quadrophenia”

“Cut My Hair” began, the tour director, who was sitting on a chair at the bowed his head smiled and motioned for us to exit the pit. Once out of the pit, our Target Center liaison was there to guide us backstage to the stage door. Some of the other photographers were discussing the difficulty of the shoot by our position in the pit. I silently agreed, but was still just too excited from what I had just been witness to.

I was the only one of the photographers who purchased a ticket for the show so after the others exited the arena; I was taken up to guest services to check my cameras, and then to my seat.

I was seated two thirds up in the first section of the lower-level, stage right. It was a good seat. Two seats in to the left from the aisle, with a few seats to right not occupied, I had a great vantage point.

When “5:15” started, I began to channel Phil Daniels and emulate the character of Jimmy Cooper: rocking out, bobbing my head like a mad Mod spun out on amphetamines. It wasn’t too difficult of a psyche for me to channel. I mellowed out a bit, but still the music brought out this energy in me.

It was during “5:15” that a video footage played of John Entwistle playing his infamous bass solo. There is no question in my mind that Entwistle was and always will be, the best bass player in rock and roll history. I was fortunate to hear him play live once back in 1989. I was tripping balls on magic mushrooms and really that is all I clearly remember of that night at Alpine Valley, Ox’s thundering bass solo.

During “Bellboy,” footage played of Keith Moon singing his role in the production as the band on stage played live. As each video footage played of John and Keith, Roger would turn an face the monitors above the stage as if he was paying homage to his departed band mates.

As “The Rock” and then the intro to ”Love Reign o’ Me” played, the video monitors played footage of events from the Viet Nam War, to the 60’s leaders, assassinations, into the 70’s, Nixon, Watergate, the death of Elvis, the 80’s, Soviets invading Afghanistan, Margret Thatcher, the death of John Lennon, Reagan,The Berlin Wall coming down, G.H. Bush, the 90’s, Clinton, Blair, G.W. Bush, Saddam, The Twin Towers collapsing, Obama…

“Only Love…can make it rain…”

After 90 some minutes of non-stop music “Qaudrophenia” was over and Pete introduced the band. Then the second set began with “Who Are You,” and then “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Pinball Wizard” “Baba O’Riley” and ”Won’t Get Fooled Again” then ended with “Tea and Theatre.”

I really can’t say why…maybe it was hearing music of my early adulthood live, my connection to the insanity/frustration/angst of Jimmy Cooper that I once and somewhat still feel. I don’t know. But I was kind of raw, yet at the same time satisfied, content…happy…at peace.

Ever since I have been clean and sober and go to concerts, two things usually occur, especially if I am attending solo: 1) at some point, the music reduces me to tears which usually leads to; 2) some sort of “corrective emotional break through”

I lost it the first time during “I’ve had Enough” then at the end “5:15”. During “Doctor Jimmy” and then the “The Rock” I had the break through and it was that if Roger and Pete are still rocking out, even though they are not in the form that they were 20, 30 years ago…they are still doing the deal and doing it well.

I have been having slight bouts of panic as I enter in to the 4th quarter of my forties. But it was during the tail end of “Quadrophenia” that I had the major breakthrough and thought: “Ha! This ‘kid’ is alright” and came to a certain acceptance of where I am in my life. I mean…what the fuck can I do about the aging process anyway???

As the second set began I was on my feet and just “dancing.” Actually it was just jumping up and down, flaying my arms like a spun out freak. I noticed that the people that were seated close seemed to move a little further away, which gave me more room to spaz about.

I rocked out for the entire second set. My hair and clothes where drenched with sweat. I only mellowed out as the band left the stage and only Roger and Pete remained, thanking the crowd and then began “Tea and Theatre.” When they finished, they again thanked the crowd for the support over the years “otherwise, we would still be playing in some bar somewhere” They waved and exited the stage.

The house lights came up and Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” began playing. I sat down for a while to unwind and let the crowd dwindle, then made my way to guest services to retrieve my gear and head home.

The tour goes on into late February of 2013…and I am considering another go.

Here are the images of The Who:“http://www.flickr.com/photos/joebielawa/sets/72157632123499852/

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A Guitar God, Manic Behavior & Addiction

Late last night and into the early hours of this morning, I finished reading WHO I AM, Pete Townshend’s autobiography.

I always love reading these types of books as they give me a greater understanding of my musical heroes; giving me more insight into their lives by either dispelling the stories I have heard or providing me a factual account of what really was happening.

I was so enthralled by Townshend’s writing and was immediately drawn into his story. I was amazed at his candor. And as is usually the case with heroes, their friability. I always find so “shocking” in the sense that I realize that most of them are just as fucked up, if not more so, than me. I always viewed him as this guitar god, this world famous musician; not someone with these traits of fucked-upedness I clearly possess.

I could completely identify with all of Townshend’s awkwardness…his feelings of inadequacy,his loneliness, his fear of sexuality and of abandonment.

Not surprising was his use of alcohol, chemicals and work to try and soothe the aches and pains of mind and soul; his fright when the drugs and alcohol no longer worked, his recovery, relapses and finally his coming to terms with his issues.

As is the case with most stories of addiction, the issues are the same, but the plot, characters and how we get to “that point” are unique to the story-teller.

It has been reinforced to me that for addicts like myself, there are really only two options. Learn how to deal with the issues that manifest themselves through our chemical use or die. Alot of addicts don’t get the first option. At times, I wonder why I was given a chance at the former when the latter seemed more desirable.

As is also the case with most stories of addiction, I find comfort in hearing someone’s story and identifying with it.

It was wild to see Pete use his lyrics to highlight points in chapters. I mean, rightfully so..they are his lyrics. I have been using these same credited lyrics in my writing for years.

Towards the end of the book..as he started to cover the late 1980’s, many emotions were triggered within me. It was during this time that I saw The Who live for the first time and shared this concert experience with the one I keep thinking I am “so over”

As Townshend discussed the workings of The Iron Man and the song A Friend is a Friend, I was pretty much raw.

When in the final chapters of the book, Pete recites the letter he wrote to his 8 year old self. I was completely done in and have been in a funk for the last few hours.

I can’t tag an age in my childhood when my issues first manifested themselves. Moreover, I know I can only move forward…that these issues will never go away and will pop up time and again. It’s the dealing with this shit..this dysfunctional thinking…that is the barometer of my recovery. Still…at times when I am in an emotional upheaval such as this, I feel like a stranger in a strange land, alone amongst the masses.

Maybe if I used heroin for the first time this go around…it would be different. Ya, right.

So I find solace in exercise and the bike ride I just completed on a balmy, November, Minnesota 30 degree day.

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Who’s in my Head…

Ever since my ticket purchase last week for THE WHO’S QUADROPHENIA – LIVE this upcoming November, Who tunes have been running thru my head.

On July 24th, I saw the single night showing of the movie QUADROPHENIA – CAN YOU SEE THE REAL ME? at a theatre in the West End, Minneapolis, which just made me understand Quadrophenia even more.

From the first time I saw Quadrophenia, I could totally indentify with the main character, Jimmy Cooper. I didn’t realize that he was portraying someone who was quad-polar or “quadrophrenic,” with the four polarities being a trait of each member of The Who ruling Jimmy’s mind at different times.

Jimmy. I have always loved that name… maybe because it was the name of my first real childhood friend. Or maybe because it was the name of a very significant friend in early adulthood. …well, the latter was a Jim, but with the boyish nature of our relationship, to me, he will always be a Jimmy.

Jimmy Cooper was kind of a fucked up lad, (weren’t we all?) trying to find where he belonged, trying to become his own man, yet just in a whirlwind; being pulled by these emotions and energies; loves and hates, looking up to false heroes, crashing down hard as the heroes were revealed as their true selves. And of course, masking all of it with alcohol and drugs; yearning for love, but acting out with empty sexual encounters.

Jimmy moves through a series of jobs, travels, friends, destroying what he loves most, his Vespa; becomes disenchanted with his Mod lifestyle, his drug use escalates, bringing him close to death, where he has an epiphany and he sees through all the personalities, the “real him.”

I thought Quadrophenia had something to do with it being recorded in quadraphonic sound.

My life has been wrought with different (yet, in a way, the same) insanities throughout my existence and for years I self medicated through drugs, alcohol and sex. Some of these mental warbles were inherited, while others were developed, self-imposed. Although at times it has been a struggle and brought some heartache…the mental storms have never been enough to warrant serious prescribed medication.

It is only by maintaining a clean and sober life that I have begun to understand this.

In early recovery, medical professionals were quick to give me (as they do most entering a rehab facility) the textbook, quick-fix label of bipolar-manic-depressive – which oddly enough are the same symptoms of an active crystal methamphetamine addict. I refused to start taking any medication until I was off all drugs for a year and my brain and body detoxed from the crystal meth and other substances. Sure enough, the traits that they first labeled me with diminished as I maintained a drug -free lifestyle and they withdrew their early diagnosis and chemical plan.

My life has always been cyclical…ruled by, I believe, astrology..the placement of the planets and their orbit in the universe. I seem to experince certain highs and lows over the course of the year in various seasons and certainly lunar. Usually in patterns against the norm; I am depressed in the early and mid- summer, at peace and more active in the early and mid-winter. Spring and fall are always periods of change for me. Full moons usually bring calm.

For over 30 years, events always happened in two-year patterns.

Before getting clean (off drugs), the spring and fall would always be time of upheaval and major change; either with dramatic cross-country moves; people leaving or coming into my life, major employment changes. Since maintaining clean time, changes have been (seem to be) minor things, but important nonetheless, just not as devastating, dramatic or carrying such severe consquences.

I joke at times that life seems somewhat dull for I haven’t been assaulted, evicted, incarcerated or had employment terminated in years. With clean time comes stability.

I am just exiting a low or depression and actually felt a change in my being with the passing of the last full moon three days ago. Up until that full lunar, I was sleeping a lot, lacked motivation, eating empty calorie junk food, not working out and was under frequent advisement of my shitty committee… those little nagging voices that seem to criticize existence. In the drug days, I would try to silence the shitty committee with use or just act impulsively, thinking my rash decisions were based in a solid healthy, thinking pattern, which in an active drug psychosis, made perfect sense.

I spent my early years in recovery at 12 step meetings and on a shrink’s couch under the delusion that by maintaining clean time, this shitty committee would go away and the nagging negativity that drove me to use drugs would disappear. I finally came to the understanding that no, these things do not disappear, they diminish. I have just learned by maintaining clean time to how to handle them…to recognize them.

At least this how it has been with me…I can’t speak for all in recovery. I can be honest enough to say this: There is still the nagging voice; I just try not to feed into it as much or let it control my life.

And through the years and the, um, phases I have gone thru …I have seen the real me. It just it has taken time to fully realize who that is and embrace it for who I am.

Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea.
Only love
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers’
Laying in the fields.

Love, reign o’er me.
Love, reign o’er me, rain on me.

Only love
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky.
Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high.

Love Reign O’er me.

On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain.
The nights are hot and black as ink
I can’t sleep and I lay and I think
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain.

~ Peter Townshend

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