I was driving home from work last night, flipping through the radio stations when a Rock Block of Jimmy Hendrix came on. Man, did I used to love Jimmy. Hear My Train a Comin', Crosstown Traffic, The Star Spangled Banner, oh man! I watched footage of him playing, tried to play the guitar myself, joined a band, wore tie-dye, smoked ganja and used words like groovy and said hey man when somone bogarded. I thought that was SO COOL. The life, the lifestyle, the culture.
What do I think of it now? Well, first of all when I was listening to this block of songs I mused over how straightforward the delivery was. A three piece set was all Jimmy needed. The drummer was certainly trying to keep up, but the bassist had the easiest job on earth! As for Jimmy, I couldn't really remember what I found so intriguing about his guitar work other than I couldn't replicate it, and I guess being sober ruined any chance to understand the lyrics.
It was a slow evolution away from the subculture that resulted in my ultimate abandonment of James Marshall Hendrix and his revolutionary methodology. First, having a baby changes your mind about smoking reefer when you know you need to get up with them in the night. I hate to say that I grew out of tie-dye and long beads, but I think that's what happened. Maybe I just realized that it was easier to run after a two year old in a pair of jeans.
Let's talk about the subculture. True, not all people that listen to the classic rock of the 60's and 70's are doing bong hits and practicing free love. Even the Dead had Warf Rats at thier concerts - a haven for those who didn't participate in the varied forms of intoxication. I don't want to over generalize - but for me personally, it was far more acceptable to pass around a pipe and crack a beer while listenting to Janis Joplin crone about whisky, men and the blues that it would be while jamming to Chris Tomlin sing How Great is Our God.
For the last year or so I have listened to nearly all Christian music. I love the hard rock bands, the worship singers and can even dig some of the gospel tunes. I have immersed myself in that subculture. I read alot and choose mostly books from Christian authors. After I completed the Left Behind series I was a little afraid that I would run out of options. No danger there! I don't have cable television and haven't watched the nightly news in...over a year, maybe more. Of course I have friends that aren't Christians, and I work with a ton of people that may or may not be. But, I do have one good girlfriend from church and I met my husband in Sunday School.
I guess listening to those songs brought back a flood of memories for me and I realized alot of things.
One - I wasn't really that happy back then. Sure, getting high and playing music real loud was fun at the time, but it hurt to get up and go to work in the morning.
Two - the people I was hanging out with weren't all that happy either, nor were they my friends. It's one thing to have in common a liking for Miller Light and Stevie Ray Vaughn, quite a deeper meaning to have a thirst for Truth and gratitude for Salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Three - the music really wasn't that good. I won't sit here and even begin to say that all secular music is second rate or that I haven't heard some Christian music that was really aweful. But for depth of lyrical value, layers of sound and melody and overall listenability, that stuff from the acid era was terrible!
I did dig up a Foo Fighters CD when I got home - David Grohl has a fantasitc voice and thier music is so layered and colorful, don't like the lyrics. Also, do you remember Candlebox from the early '90's? Found one of thier CD's on ebay - can't wait to get that! No, I probably won't don a flannel shirt and take up heroin, but it's fun to listen to the stuff that was around when I graduated high school.
I think I'll stick with submersing myself in a subculture that I can feel myslelf growing in. When I listen to songs about glorifying God, trusting Him always, and the fact that He loves me even though He knows where I've been - encourages me and makes me better at everything I do. I never got that from ol' Jimmy.