This post was going to be called the importance of being where you are but then I changed my mind.
I don’t know, I just did.
That is the kind of answer that bothers some people but experience has taught me this how many decisions are made in life. You often don’t say, move, act or respond based upon careful planning–you just do it.
Sometimes those arbitrary responses you give are important and sometimes they aren’t.
The biggest question isn’t whether you planned for whatever happens but how you respond to whatever moment life presents you with.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction 2014
I am not certain about when HBO started showing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies but my best guess is I started watching it in 2011.
I love it and my best guess is quite a few of you do/would too.
It is not just because you get the opportunity to see/hear/watch some of your favorite bands/artists/musicians play but also because of who plays together. Sometimes you get an all-star lineup singing/playing together and it is magic and sometimes it is not quite what you hoped it would be.
And the tales of how they got started and who they were inspired by is always of interest to me.
One of my favorite moments of 2014 was listening to Cat Stevens perform Father and Son with my son. I was about 17 or 18 when I first heard it and I remember it capturing my attention.
My son and I haven’t had much time yet to discuss what he thought about it but I am very curious what today’s teen thinks about it.
Awards ceremonies can be a mixture of the sublime and the awful. A person’s ability to sing, act or play an instrument doesn’t always translate into being able to give a decent speech so you sometimes get stuck listening to or fast forwarding.
That is tied into one of the many reasons I like Bruce Springsteen, he is not just a writer or musician–he is a performer.
He tells a good tale and does a good job of holding your attention because he knows how to connect with an audience. This year he did it during his introduction of The E Street Band.
I didn’t know that Springsteen was inducted as a solo artist in 1999 and that The E Street Band had been left behind. Springsteen shared a conversation he had with his friend and band member Steven Van Zandt about it.
Van Zandt told Bruce he should insist on a group induction and not just a solo moment but Bruce wouldn’t do it.
“I was proud of my independence,” he said. “We hadn’t played together in 10 years. We were somewhat estranged. We were just taking the first small steps of re-forming, and perhaps the shadow of some of the old grudges still held some sway. It was a conundrum.”
A cynic might argue about whether this was for show or real but it worked for many. It just came across as his sharing a story about being human.
Taste Is Personal
Nirvana was inducted into the 2014 class and I rolled my eyes a bit. I haven’t ever thought of them as being special. The music has always been ok but not earth shattering.
Michael Stipe’s speech about Nirvana reminded me about how personal taste can be and made me think about what happens when people play music or when readers read what writers have written.
It wasn’t just because Stipe raved about how good the music was but he got me thinking about how sometimes people find symbolism in music/paintings/stories and how I wonder if that symbolism was intended.
When you read about a 450 pound man who took up the whole booth and consumed six steaks and a gallon of coffee it might not be a comment about corporate gluttony, genetically modified food and tax breaks for the wealthy.
He might just be a way to add color or set up a scene for a plot twist.
You Can’t Plan For Everything
Remember when I said I was going to write about the importance of being where you are?
The initial thought for that post was to talk about social media and how it is more important to build a strong presence on a few platforms and not a weak one on many.
It would probably have the usual line about focusing on being where your customers are but I got distracted by the sound of my neighbor yelling and it took me a different direction.
It took a moment to realize that it was my neighbor’s voice that distracted me and that the change wasn’t completely arbitrary but no matter. Sometimes the view from your window is obscured and what you think you see is different from what you do.
You can’t plan for everything but you can be prepared for many things. But the most important thing isn’t whether you have a plan but how you act or react to what happens.
The video below provides a small taste of the Hall of Fame ceremony. Enjoy.