A WASTE OF GOOD MAGIC

(Originally posted August 2015)

A VERY PROFOUND THOUGHT JUST HIT ME. GONE GONE GONE…SO MANY PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES AND WORK AND MUSIC AND QUOTES I AM VERY MUCH LIVING.
WOW.
DENNIS WILSON…GONE…DECEMBER OF 1983. AND I STILL DRIVE AROUND LOS ANGELES, WAY OUT SUNSET PAST THE WILL ROGERS ESTATE WHICH I BELIEVE DENNIS HAD OWNED AND INHABITED FOR A WHILE. HE LIVED WITH CHRISTINE MC VIE FOR A WHILE I HEARD, PERHAPS IT WAS THERE…I STILL DRIVE PAST THERE AND DENNIS IS ALIVE IN MY HEAD.

JIMBO…GONE…I STILL DRIVE DOWN LAUREL TOWARDS SUNSET ALL THE TIME AND LOOK TO THE LEFT AND SEE THE SECOND STORY HE AND PAM LIVED IN THROUGH THOSE SOMEWHAT TUMULTUOUS TIMES. 
OFTEN I LIKE TO HAVE THE “PEPPERMINT MNI-SKIRTS CHOCOLATE CANDY” VERSE OF SOFT PARADE PLAYING PRETTY LOUD IN THE CAR AND I ROLL THE WINDOW DOWN AND YELL IN MY BEST “THREE MORE DAYS” SHRIEK…”JIMMMMMMMBOH…..”
AND WHEN I GO BY THAT PLACE HE’S ALIVE AND WELL IN MY HEAD.

AND ZAPPA…SAME THING ALL OVER LAUREL CANYON. HELL, FZ MADE REPEATED JOKES ABOUT LAUREL CANYON RIGHT ON HIS RECORDS. AND NO MATTER WHAT AGE OR ERA IS YOURS, THERE IS STILL SOMETHING OF A HOLLYWOOD VIBE…THERE’S A TIMELESSNESS TO IT ALL…PARTICULARLY THE MOVIES, BUT RECORDS TOO, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. I SEEM TO HEAR SO VERY MANY DECEASED ARTISTS IN MY CAR WHEN THE POD IS RANDOM, AND IT HITS ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN HOW THE MUSIC HAS TRANSCENDED THE ARTISTS’ LIVES. THAT’S THE MAGIC STUFF…THAT’S THE TINKERBELL DUST.
THAT’S THE THING, THE INTANGIBLE THAT NOT EVERYBODY “GETS”…
I’VE PLAYED WITH GUYS, SADLY, WHO WERE NEVER BITTEN BY THE CHARM THE MUSIC OWNS. DID IT FOR MONEY AND RENT AND BILLS…NO MORE THAN THAT. AND I’M NOT KNOCKING THAT, BUT I BELIEVE THIS…THE GODS KNOW THE DIFFERENCE…AND IF THAT’S YOUR DEAL, YOU USUALLY DON’T MAKE IT VERY BIG. IF THE TINKERBELL DUST DOESN’T RUB OFF ON YOU, THEN YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD TO THE GODS WHO PREACH THE CHARM…SO WHY WOULD THESE SAME GODS, WHO ARE IN A POSITION TO GIVE SO MUCH AID AND INSPIRATION, EVER SMILE IN THAT DIRECTION…IT WOULD BE A WASTE OF GOOD MAGIC…

THE ARTISTS WHO HAVE LEFT US SO YOUNG HAVE SOMETIMES LEFT IMAGES OF THEMSELVES THAT ARE MUCH LARGER THAN LIFE. IMPOSSIBLE WOULD THEY BE TO LIVE UP TO…BUT THEY WILL NEVER HAVE TO. WHEN YOU DIE YOUNG, YOU ARE YOUNG FOREVER.

I LIKE TO WRITE NOW…JUST LIKE THIS…TYPE IN CAPS AND OFFER POINTS OF VIEW. AND A BUNCH OF US CONGREGATE HERE AND HAVE IT OUT…JUST THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. THE TYPING IS AN ART TOO…I WANT TO PRACTICE AND PRACTICE AND PRACTICE…AS ONE OF THE PREVIOUS BLOGS (STILL THINK THAT’S A STUPID CYBER AGE WORD…SOUNDS LIKE WRETCHING/PUKING) STATED, THE WONDERMENT OF THE INSTANT-NESS MAKES THE WRITING AND READING OF THAT WRITING MORE INTERESTING IN A COMPLETELY  DIFFERENT WAY THAN THE “MASTERS” EVER HAD TO WORK WITH.
SO NOW, THE TRICK WOULD BE TO BECOME INFINITELY COMFORTABLE IN THIS NEW MILLENNIUM FORMAT OF WRITTEN WORD AND GO FORWARD FROM THERE.
BE IT RANDOM TYPES LIKE THIS OR SOMETHING MORE ALONG THE LINES OF A BOOK…I DON’T KNOW…THIS IS A BOOK IF YOU STRING IT TOGETHER. I READ “THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANDY WARHOL”, YOU KNOW, THE CAMPBELL’S SOUP COVER BOOK, AND I THINK MY KOLLUM WOULD STAND UP TO THAT ALL RIGHT JUST AS IT IS.
BUT IN FAIRNESS TO ANDY, THAT BOOK WAS RELEASED IN 1975. I REMEMBER READING IT THEN AND JUST WENT RIGHT THROUGH IT. MOST OF HIS CHAPTERS WERE SHORTER THAN THESE KOLLUMS HERE. I DON’T KNOW…
I GUESS I JUST LIKE TYPING…BUT MANY OF YOU REPEAT VISITORS HAVE COMMENTED ON THE WONDERMENT OF THE IMMEDIACY AND ALSO THE INTER ACTION VIS-A-VIS COMMENTS AND FEEDBACK. THIS IS SOMETHING THE ARTISTS OF THE “OLD DAYS” (PRE WEB DAYS) NEVER HAD. THIS IS REDUNDANT BUT, IMAGINE IF POE COULD HAVE JUST DIALED UP BLAKE’S COMPLETE WORKS TO INSPIRE HIM. WHAT WE HAVE WITH THE WEB IS THE SUM OF MAN’S KNOWLEDGE ALL FILED UP NEATLY FOR US. WE (MAN) HAVE NEVER HAD THAT BEFORE. I FEEL LUCKY TO BE AROUND AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME, BECAUSE BEING AN ARTIST, I CAN FULLY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THAT I’VE JUST NOTED. SO I MAY INDEED BE ABLE TO KEEP WRITING FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO COME.
SOME OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS NEVER SAW AN I POD…THINGS ARE MOVING AT ALMOST INTIMIDATING SPEED, YET I JUST WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE “ARTIST GUYS” WHO FULLY ADMITS THAT HE USES ALL THE WEB HAS TO OFFER IN THE WAY OF “AN ASSIST”.

AT LEAST I’M USING IT, AND AT LEAST I’M THINKING ABOUT IT. AFTER ALL, IT WOULD BE A SHAME IF THE WEB AND ALL IT HAS TO OFFER DIDN’T IMPRESS ME, IN THE WAKE OF ALL THE SUCCESS AND SUPPORT I’VE HAD FOR SO MANY DECADES…
IT WOULD BE A WASTE OF GOOD MAGIC…

About Burton Cummings

Recipient, Order of Canada & Order of Manitoba. Voice & Songwriter: American Woman (6m+ plays), These Eyes, (5m+ plays) & Stand Tall.

Comments

  1. Christine Campbell says

    Thank you for reposting this. It is even more pertinent four years later when so many more people whose music have touched our souls have passed on. But the beauty of music is that it lives on forever. The people may be gone but we can replay their music and capture that moment of bliss over and over.

  2. Cheryl Ann Angus says

    Burton, can you write about fame and how it has affected you? What does it do to a person? Is there a downside? What is fame’s best up side?
    Blessings from Cheryl Ann
    💜🎸

  3. Margaret Black says

    What a pleasure it is to read your recollections, Burton. Just like music, your reminiscences are capable of transporting people to another time and place. (Which is most welcome these days, when much of the news cycle and social media are dominated by negativity.)

    While the advent of television provided you with additional context and a richer experience, when it came to the musical artists you enjoyed as a teenager, the wonderment of communication via the internet has given something similar to us. The radio, CDs and music streaming services allowed us to know you as a musician and lyricist, while the wonderment of the internet has provided us with a peek into BLC the storyteller, poet and philosopher. This may provide your career with “an assist,” but it also provides us with additional context and a much richer experience of a gifted Canadian artist.

    Have a great day, Burton. So happy to have you back.

    m.

  4. Kristen Lee says

    Do you know how wonderful it is to be reading your thoughts again? You mentioned feeling lucky to be around at this particular time. My musical preferences are mostly from the 60’s/70’s, but I’m 35 years old so I missed out on most of my favorite acts live shows. The musical magic era. I was introduced to your records at about age 10 and have been lucky enough to see you live 6 times now. (8 once the year is over!). I am maximum force thankful for you and your music.The incredible voice, stage presence, involvement with the crowd, mad scientist keyboard skills, story teller deluxe, top-notch talented band and the songs that keep me holding on. My health has been a huge struggle with having an autoimmune disorder, low immune system and a course of powerful Intravenous drug therapy every 7 weeks. On top of this I struggle with anxiety, depression and PTSD. Your music continues to get me through all of this, give hope and help to stand tall. I admit it’s also given me my own way to rock. I remain thankful always.

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