…it’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
we gotta get out while we’re young”
Springsteen wrote some of the punkest songs I ever heard when I was a kid. Songs that stoked that same romanticism in me that books and bikes and hardcore did. Songs about city streets and wild nights and love and adventure. Songs full of fast cars going somewhere, anywhere. The fun side of punk rock. The part that was teenage kids who just wanted to be somewhere other than “here”.
He sang of being young and wanting to taste it all, do it all.
And as he grew older, he sang of how it was to watch that dream go gray too.
The realism of what it means to live long enough to watch the dreams of your youth age and fade.
Where do the punkers go to grow up…
And those who refused to let go…
Who refused to relinquish the idealism, the romanticism of youth…
We too watch as the town rips the bones from our backs.
We give in or we go on running.
I think most things I do and decisions I make return to that search for freedom, the desire to escape.
Unlike many kids, I knew early on who I was. I had a pretty firm grasp on identity and sense of self. And I learned early on that trying to be other than true usually resulted in failure, or at least the disgusting feeling in your gut that goes along with doing something you know to be wrong.
I haven’t been searching for myself.
I’ve been chasing freedom.
The first freedom tasted as you pedal free from your parent’s guiding hand.
The same freedom felt on that hill.
The one big hill you knew you had to ride down the moment your training wheels came off.
The one you knew, crash or not, you had to ride.
The freedom of wind and flying hair.
The sensation of out pedaling yourself.
The freedom that comes with realizing you’re yelling through clenched teeth as you sail down.
I’ve been pedaling towards freedom my whole life.
My first taste of Minor Threat. The lyrics still ringing in my head more than two decades later.
The first show.
The first sing along.
First time headed out on the road with a car load of friends to some far off venue.
The first time I drove off alone to some college campus to see a girl.
And the first time I drove right past that same campus and just kept on going.
Singing as loud as I could.
The first time I went west.
The first time I drove off into the desert alone.
The first night awake under more stars then I ever thought I could see.
Everything has always been about being free.
And lately, the only thing I’ve been unable to find freedom from is myself.
What does all this rambling come to?
It is nothing more than a stream of thought related to a search of my motivations.
An attempt to understand inspirations and insides.
Sometimes knowing who you are isn’t enough.
Sometimes it is important to know the “why”s, the “how”s and the “where to”s.
I’m still chasing freedom.
I’m just also questioning why.
I got a card in the mail today.
From a girl who lives by magic.
It told me the world is mine.
I’m hoping she’s right.
So I continue to hold onto the dreams from youth that told me the same.
“re-languaging your existence is extraordinarily important to remind you of the fact that you are a wizard of your own life and that you are living the dream”
That friends, is some of the punkest shit I’ve heard since Springsteen.