Sunday, May 28, 2006

I've Got(had) A Secret

Been slacking on the updates on account of the all the extra time I've spent working on a production of a brand new rock opera called Speeding Motorcycle that’s based on the music of Daniel Johnston. Well, the show has finally gotten underway and I could not be more excited about it or proud of the way it turned out. There have been a number of memorable moments along the way, but one shines above the rest and has had a profound effect on me since it occurred.
With lots of guidance from our musical director, I learned one of Daniel's songs titled "Peek-a-Boo" on piano. Having never before played a piano, the task before me seemed more than a little daunting. Setting my fears aside, I plugged away and after a few days had put together a respectable version. One evening following rehearsal, I fumbled through it for the director and musical director to see if they wanted to assign the song to me in the production. I performed a respectable version and was lucky enough to have it assigned to me.
Following the audition, they asked if I wanted to go up to the office space and hear the new song Daniel had penned for the show. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and up the stairs we went. I was not at all prepared for the experience that lie in wait.
At that point in the rehearsal process, I estimate that only four people on the whole planet had ever heard this song. So, I thought that was pretty cool. I was handed a lyric sheet and sat down to soak it all in. Before I knew what hit me, the song was pouring out of the speakers and barreled over me like a tidal wave of hope. The fact that is had been recorded on a hand held digital device did not diminish its power one bit. The name of the song was "Loving Feelings" and it was glorious. As I followed along with the printed lyrics, my spirited was lifted higher and higher with each passing phrase. The best way I can describe the message and feeling within is to compare it with two songs that hit me in the very same way after first listening. It's as if Daniel had cross-pollinated the euphoric and inspirational feelings contained inside "Do You Realize?" with an epic presence that could easily rival the size and scope captured in "Good Vibrations". That's big. REAL BIG. One might even say colossal. OK then, I will.
The song haunted me in the days that followed. Because I didn't have my own copy of the recording, I was forced to refer back to my initials feeling generated by the song. I worried that maybe I had just blown it out of proportion and that perhaps it wouldn't have the same effect on me when hearing it a second time. Those concerns were blown to bits when the mp3 arrived. It was indeed as enlightening as I had remembered it to be. How often does that happen?
For several weeks I walked around feeling like I had this special little secret all to myself and I held it very close to my heart. Last week, the beast was finally released from its golden cage and now it belongs to the masses. Who knows what they’ll do with the beautiful message contained inside? I can only hope for the best. One thing is for sure, though, and that is my memory of the brief time I had with the secret all to myself.

Hang on to your loving feelings
Quit your teasing, it’s a lie
Can’t you see we’re all gonna die
So give life a try
loving feeling
loving feeling


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