I have to qualify this post. What started out as a straightforward review of the Echo and the Bunnymen L.A. shows has morphed into something much more and different. So while I am will be sharing my experiences as to what took place over the course of the two recent Bunnymen concerts here in L.A., it goes much more personal and individualized.
This is definitely not going to be your typical “live concert” review. If your looking for a more objective, just present me the “facts” as to the shows, there are more than plenty out there to give one an excellent sense of the vibe and kinetic energy that a live show affords one, which without stating the obviousness of the simple truth that it is live that the Bunnymen truly shine. Where as some bands/musicians excel within the studio, where as live it seems as if there is a distinct essence or substance sorely lacking within a live concert, I would content that in the case of the Bunnymen, that live is where one can take in all of the majestic, haunting beauty that Mac and Will have to offer for ones sonic appreciation. Thus, this “review” of mine has more to do with what has been and is taking place within the context of my life, where by the Bunnymen have been interjected and interposed within this timeframe. Perhaps you may be nodding your head with a confused look upon your face, but that is perfectly fine, it all makes sense to me. Maybe by the time I finish this post, it will make sense to you as well.
All of this begs the question then, so what is going on with me and how do the Bunnymen shows have any connection with or relationship to what is transpiring during this distinct timeframe of mine. A bit of succinct history is needed, to be able to best answer this.
Two years ago my mother passed away from a long respiratory illness due to her years of smoking. I stopped working full time, in order to help care for her, since I had the luxury and ability to do so. These two years since have been a time for me to “level out”, to regain a sense of normalcy of life and to regain my source of things. Obviously there is a toil that is taken, physically I put on a lot of weight, physiologically I had to deal with what the reality that death was coming for my mom and lastly spiritually, putting my faith in God in a time and place where everything is so raw, exposed and within a situation where there is nothing other to be done, but just to go through it and show all the love and presence that I could to my mother when she needed it.
Where does the Bunnymen fit into this particular equation?
Probably the easiest way to explain this is to first ask the question, what band or musician did you connect with or relate to when you were growing up? For me it was the Bunnymen.
Over the course of my life, there has always been some type of overlapping when I needed it in terms of how their lyrics/songs/albums have in some profound, though unexplainable way been a support or parallel relevance as to where I was at.
How and where did it all being? That is easy enough to tell…
I was introduced to the Bunnymen by my best buddy Derek when I was a junior in high school. At that time, my other friends were listening to music like Van Halen, Billy Idol, U2, I was listening to classical. I just didn’t feel connected musically to any of the bands or musicians I heard, until after school one day I was over at Derek’s house and sitting in his ultra comfortable leather chair he had in his room. He said to me, “I think this is a band you will like” and proceeded to hand me his overly expensive headphones to put on. I asked what the name of the band was, his replay was “Echo and the Bunnymen.” I looked at him with a incredulous look and gave a short laugh…”Bunnymen…”
What happened next was life changing in every aspect of the word. The song was The Game. Hearing the intro…then the voice speaking out these lyrics, ” A sense of duty was my one intention and an ugly beauty was my own invention Pride a proud refusal and I refuse to need your approval Too many seekers Too few beacons But through the fog we’ll keep on beaming….”
I can’t describe or exactly tell you what happened at that moment, for the only way I can best explain it is to say that I felt affixed or fused to this unusually and peculiar named band. While it was mystifying to me, it also felt perfectly natural, much like putting on the ultra form fitting and walking on air sneaker. It just fits…perfectly.
Thus, as a teenager, I had received a precious gift, that of feeling apart of something more, something grand, something both special and personal. Perhaps it is a feeling that only one can have during that particular time in life, for while I have grown to both love and appreciate many different musical artists and bands, there has never been anything quite like that moment for me musically. I just chalk it up to being at the right place and time in my life to be open to something which would play a significant role within my life.
In my early twenties I “fell” into being able to be a “roadie” for them for a total of three tours. That is a much longer story for another time, suffice to say that it was by way of the kindness of Mac, Will, Heinz, Perry and Peasy that made me feel very much that I was and am still today a part of a family, where by no matter how much time has passed since seeing/chatting with one another, it always feels like no time has passed.
To be continued…