Big aspirations don't start from nothing. They are born on the wings of frustration. And those wings, if you trust why they sprouted, can propel you to change the world. But it won't happen over night. And it won't happen just because you believe in something. You must act every day to move your aspirations forward.
As a child, I didn't do "math". Matter of fact, reading challenged me, too. In fact, I hated school. It was more fun drawing little green men who shot one another with laser guns.
I found a great deal of comfort in comic books, sciences, science fiction, and photography. I craved attention, but never had the courage to do anything about it.
And one day around my birthday in 1976, my father bought me an 8 track cassette tape called, "Dressed To Kill". A few months after that, I had "Alive II". And then, I had "Alive". Then, Love Gun, and Destroyer, and Rock'n'Roll Over. I got the Originals, and Hotter Than Hell.
And before you knew it I had KISS posters, and belt buckles.
I wasn't just a fan, I was a SUPERFAN! Why? I was a superfan because KISS didn't compromise on their mission.
KISS changed the world. They certainly changed mine. I went from taking jazz drum lessons from Don Conn to sneaking in my brother's bedroom to take a crack at his VOX guitar. In fact, you can hear when I play that I've had one guitar lesson in my life. And that teacher wanted me to learn "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".
Boring! Instead, I learned to tune the guitar by ear so I could play along to my favorite KISS records. And I learned you only needed 1 finger to play guitar.
Even when every cool kid around me thought KISS sucked, I stuck with them. Why?
I knew none of those kids would ever change the world. They didn't know how. All they could do was criticize people for following their dreams. And KISS certainly followed their dreams right to the top.
And when they lost their hold on that vision and started watering down their music to gain a larger market share, I stopped buying their records.
Even at the bottom, I never criticized them. Sure, maybe I stopped buying their records because they wanted to sell a KISS album to anyone and everyone. But I never stopped believing in what they really did. They changed the world.
They made me believe with enough hard work and audacity, anyone could do it. If you stuck to your guns and didn't compromise on being popular, or following trends, your voice could be found in the noise.
So, how did they do that?
I want you to read this part carefully. KISS never said they wanted to be the band they never heard. They said they wanted to be the band they never SAW!!
They were frustrated by bands that didn't shave or dress well. They were tired of plunking down their money to watch band members stare at their shoes. Simply put, the bands they saw were BORING!
So, they made a spectacular show. They video taped their rehearsals to see if how they moved was entertaining. And it caught on in Detroit, where people appreciated hard work.
They felt ripped off by the bands they SAW that they decided to do something about it. They became the band they never SAW.
And I remind you, these are guys who didn't know how to tune their guitars until they recorded with Eddie Kramer.
So, why am I writing songs? Why do I want you to hear? Same reason. Much of today's music sounds the same. And much of the lyrics are the same.
They pretty much say, "I want to do you. Do you want to do me? I did you, so get out of my life. And you're never gonna get me and do me." The music comes down with the same chords in pretty much the same order. The singers wear the same flashy short pants suits with sequins. The men, bare chested and ripped.
So, our musical evolution boils down to sex at 130 beats per minute with a chorus that comes in at about 30 seconds and a bridge at about 2 minutes and 20 seconds, right? The word YOU appears in the first 10 seconds of the song.
What I'm saying is music industry professionals boil down what you hear in a formula. The business never creates new music. We just create music that's new ENOUGH. Taylor Swift can write a song with a bridge that's SPOKEN and not really a bridge. See? New ENOUGH.
So why is she so popular? Her songwriting resonates with her fans. And she's smart. She's good looking. And she cares deeply about her fans. She's accessible ENOUGH. Taylor struggles with boys! Know any girl who doesn't? BINGO!
That's why! Taylor tells great stories in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. She understands her audience: teenage girls. Her songs are for them.
So, what do you think my why is? My why is the same as Taylors. Same as KISS. I want to write great songs that resonate with you that aren't boiled down to boy meets girl.
Things only get better. Folks who also believe in what I'm doing will find me. TOGETHER we can do something fantastic. It won't happen over night. But it'll take hard work, and you, super fan, to believe in what we're doing.
Being the change you want to see in the world is full of ups and downs. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
I've never lost my sense of why. Neither should you. Do something to change the world. You can do it. We can do it. Starting with WHY!
Love & Rockets,