Today is my first of what I hope will be a weekly blog I'll do called SUNDAY SERMON. I have not been a regular church goer, but when I have gone I always looked forward to the Sermon. I felt it was the only part of the Mass that dealt with reality and/or the here n now! This blog isn't just for my readers as it will be a sort of writing catharsis for me! Sunday is the beginning of a new week and its time to let go of last weeks baggage and keep moving forward! With that here is my first Sunday Sermon!
Sunday Sermon -"LIVE DRUMS" .... Yesterday there was a memorial of sorts for a friend that passed, Saul Acuna who played drums for the band I AM LOVED. L.A. in early 2000's became the hot bed of the Queercore / Punk music scene including the monthly queercore club called "The Freak Show" at the leather bar The Gauntlet. Saul's band & myself along with other bands played to packed crowds! I was the lone rapper who was accepted as part of this music scene. Cut to yesterday .. Guys from those bands, friends, fans & family reunited at The Gauntlet Bar now The Eagle to pay their final respects to Saul.
It was a revelation of sorts for me seeing these friends & fellow artists after so many years. I realized we have a family like bond that felt just as strong today. We were the gay guys who didn't fit the West Hollywood mold but at the same time unabashedly Queer/Homo to the core! We were also the first ones to Bash Back, like a title of the BEST REVENGE song, in our music.
Dare I say that the LGBT rights - NOH8 - Gay Marriage movements of today can be directly related to what we were doing as artists over a decade ago. I wouldn't say we set out to be activists but our truth and honesty in our music planted the seed for LGBT to rise above our 2nd class status. I always felt Rap & Punk are the realist n rawest forms of music and probably why I related so well to the Queercore movement. My rap was definitely not the mainstream kind, but borrowed heavily from punks rebellious no holds barred attitude. Our lyrics were a call to arms & in your face no apologies story of Homos who weren't just dismissed by society but also by their own gay community. So it was within this framework I believe all of us rejects rebels and realists bonded. None of us ended up with mainstream success but looking back it wasn't about that. It was more about the journey and what was going on at that moment. It should also be said that this was right before social media and smart phones took over our lives, so being a part of a community was still special. These were also the last days of Cd's, fliers Zines, & the Independent Artist before the advent of free music downloading.
Walking into the bar my first observation is that time stood still for most of us. Sure maybe a few more greys and pounds but everyone still exuded youthful energy and a zeal for life. So it was ironic our getting back together was to say goodbye to a family member. There were a few tears but mostly it was a celebration of Saul's life. Fun stories and memories of a man who lived and drummed with a passion. Eddie Hibbs, co creator of FREAK SHOW and so instrumental behind the Queercore movement, said it best " When Saul played the drums he wasn't just pounding an instrument but he was in the music" I am sad to see Saul leave this life form so early but what he did by bringing us back together even for a day I will be forever grateful for. I realized yesterday that these friends, fans & fellow artists were the first to believe in Deadlee & supported loved & encouraged me for who I was. I also realized that this lack of community in the age of social media has left a void in my heart. Saul may have lost his life, but he showed me that when playing the life game you gotta be in the music and passionate about every moment ! Saul would always watch my rap set at various shows and without fail tell me the same thing after every performance. "You know Deadlee I think your shi would be tighter with some live drums behind you" I think Saul's message can be applied to life. When you walk out your front door to start the week think of LIVE DRUMS behind your LIFE track..... not just regular drumming but with the passion of Sauls. RIP homie
Have a great week everyone!