Sunday, January 28, 2007

History That Matters To Me...

Friday evening I returned from a month long trek that took me from Vegas to London, to Paris, and then back to London. My internal clock is all f'ed up and my metabolism is that of a meth addict. One moment I am surging with adreneline, the next I am nodding off mid-sentence. I don't even know what time it is supposed to be, let alone what time my body thinks it is. I tried to do the calculations, and if my math is correct, my first day of Junior High is tomorrow. That's can't be right...

I had a little epiphany on this trip - in regards to history, historic sites and my place in it. See, as with most of my work trips, I did not get to see much of the cities I traveled to. This used to wrack me with guilt and a sense of missed opportunity. Not anymore. On this trip I was able to pay respect to the history that matters to me.

I used to be like the majority of us. I felt I HAD to this or that. "Well, you're in _______, you must go to the _________."


Who says?

There is a lot of pressure put on seeing sites, knowing the history etc. Call me the ugly American, call me whatever but to be totally honest, I don't care as much as most of us pretend to do. Be honest - when was the last time you were in a museum and was really, really into it? Don't fool yourself. You did what we all did - started out very focused, and by the third room you are thinking:

"At what pace do I need to walk so it appears I am giving each masterpiece its due respect but will still get me out of here in time to catch a movie?"

Don't get me wrong. There are sites that interest me - but to a certain degree.

The Roman Colliseum. Very cool. I stood in the middle. I stood on the same ground where countless athletes and slaves were slaughtered for an Emperor's amusement. Do I need to take a three hour tour of the place? Do I need to hear the genetic history of the stray cats that have since taken over the grounds? No. Let me soak it in, give me the Cliff Notes and honestly, I am ready to move on.

The Duomo. Amazing. Great architecture, great works of art. Do I need to see 5,000 paintings all titled, "Madonna con bambino?" After the 30th painting of Maddona and her child I was fine. And it wasn't even like, the real Madonna...

On this trip I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, I stood below Big Ben, I drove by Buckingham Palace, I stood under the Arc d'Triumph. I got my fill. But I got to go to two places that blew my mind. Blew my mind because this was history that meant something TO ME. They were places I read about and to me were as mythical as the colliseum or the Eiffel Tower.

This is me standing in Studio Two of Abbey Road Studios. They very studio where the Beatles recorded every of one of their albums with exception of parts of "Let It Be." Name a song: "I Saw Her Standing There," "Eleanor Rigby," "Revolution" - name it - created in THAT ROOM.

The control room has been updated of course, but the studio floor is virtually unchanged since 1960. See that piano I am playing? IT IS THE FUCKING PIANO "LADY MADONNA" WAS RECORDED ON. It is covered with cigarette burns from where they used to leave their butts lit. I looked up a picture in the Beatles Anthology book and the freakin' burn marks match.

Ok, how could I not?

Next up was Olympic Studios. Where the Rolling Stones recorded virtually everyone of their albums. Not to mention Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

So here are to bizarre events at the same time - jamming with Gene Simmons WHERE The Stones recorded all their hits. We played "Jumpin' Jack Flash" at ground zero.

Those two days were worth the entire trip to me. The Eiffel Tower was great, Big Ben was a sight to see, but where ever you go - search out the history that matters TO YOU.

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