By Pencilstorm Contributor: Wal Ozello
I became a rock ‘n’ roll musician for two reasons: to change the world and to get laid, not necessarily in that order. While the investment I’ve made into rock ‘n’ roll has paid back in dividends, I’m still working on that change the world thing. Listen, it’s not that I have to save everyone from nuclear destruction, cure AIDS in Africa or stop world hunger… I’m just trying to make the world around me a little brighter. My biggest thrill as a musician is to look out into the audience and see the crowd enjoying themselves, whether it's that leather-clad rock warrior fist-pumping while I covered Spirit Of the Radio or that girl in the tight mini-skirt swaying her hips to Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.
What’s this have to do with Christmas? Everything.
See… I think the world would be better off if everyone thought like rock musicians. We all give a little bit of ourselves every time we sing a song, strum a guitar, beat on a drum, or whatever. Sure, you’re going to have your ego-hungry self-centered hell-beasts out there (i.e., Axl Rose), but for the most part we’re in it to entertain people and make the world a better place – even if that world is only the hundred feet around us.
So to rockers, every day is Christmas. Every day is about making things a little brighter in the people’s lives around us. We have that magic power that turns your plain, doldrum day into a rock-roaring evening. Make you forget about the worries of life – money, fear, terrorism, whatever… and remember that there’s happiness in this world. That happiness may be found through a Marshall Stack Amp cranked up to eleven or a bass drum hit so hard you can feel it vibrate in your chest, but it’s still happiness.
You don’t have to be a musician to spread goodness either, just simply a passion for rock ‘n’ roll will do it. Whenever I pull up next to a guy that’s blaring out music from his car and beating his dashboard or steering wheel like it’s a drum set: well, that puts a smile on my face. Music infuses us all with a passion for awesomeness. It binds us a human race and helps us remember that there's some goodness in this world.
Most importantly, it inspires us. How can you not be energized by the opening drum fill of Born To Run, the guitar riff of I Want You To Want Me, or chorus of Thunderstruck?
In the coming year, we need rock ‘n’ roll more than ever. The fear-mongering is going to get to its worst with the election coming up and there’s bound to be more terrorism, politics, hunger, and people shouting that America is broken.
Prove them wrong. Listen to more rock ‘n’ roll in 2016 and spread the magic power. Do something good. So that in 2017, when you hear this song on the radio in December, you can answer John Lennon's opening line with a list all the great things you've done.
From all of us at Pencilstorm – a Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Wal Ozello is a science fiction techno-thriller novelist and the author of Assignment 1989 , Revolution 1990, and Sacrifice 2086. He's the lead singer of the former Columbus rock band Armada and a frequent customer at Colin's Coffee.