I am a prophet of contemplative rock + roll. According to Merriam Webster, a prophet is “one who utters divinely inspired revelations...one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight.” It’s not me, though, it’s the rock + roll working through me.
I have known that my life’s work is to carry out a rock + roll campaign and I’ve meditated on what that could possibly mean. In the last two years, it has become the specific crossroads where spiritual contemplation and rock + roll meet.
I am coming to understand that I cannot wait any longer to start pursing this more actively and publicly than I have been. I think I thought I had to understand it before I started sharing it, but when approaching mysticism, that’s probably not an effective technique.
Contemplative rock + roll is life-saving, not life taking. It’s not the rock + roll of sex, drugs and rock + roll, it’s not the killing kind. Some people are on to this, but I don’t think anyone’s really talking about it - at least not with me. I don’t think anyone’s brought the contemplation element into it as much as it is in my visions.
Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers stood on the stage of Gruene Hall a couple years ago and told a story I wish I had bootlegged about how rock + roll was the thing that kept him from turning up dead of self-destruction. The line I remember, paraphrased, is, “And every day that I wake up, rock + roll saves my life again.”
That’s a good enough place to start this discussion.