The Bobby Rock Newsletter #7 (3-17-2021) - If You Will Indulge Me...
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #7 (3-17-2021) - If You Will Indulge Me...
Hey Gang -
How have I been faring this past year, you ask? I open up a vein for ya in this edition, then mention a few other goodies to be on the lookout for. Let's go!
In This Issue:
If You Will Indulge Me...
(A personal message)
Many of you have asked how I have been managing during these strange times. Thanks much. Here’s my stream-of-consciousness reply, as it hit me Monday night of this week:
* * * * *
I continue to fail myself—even with this unimaginable gift of time that has been bestowed upon us. I was reminded of this truth earlier today as I was scrolling through that vast black hole of digital memories (a.k.a. my iPhoto library). I was in search of one old pic, when this other old pic jumped out at me...
It must be from around seven or eight years ago, and I remember how much it encapsulated that familiar, reoccurring feeling of overwhelm and overextension that I was experiencing in that moment. Apparently, it’s just "how I roll,” because I might as well have taken that photo this evening. (I even continue to work at this same desk!)
And yet, let me say, unequivocally: life is beautiful. I know this. I think this thought several times a day, without fail… even as we all hover around the one-year mark of the pandemic. So please don’t interpret this diatribe as some kind of pathetic self-groveling. Pathetic self-indulgence? Sure. That’s my specialty. But the truth is, I'm the last person on earth with anything to lament about these days. Life is beautiful, I tell ya! Especially these days.
It turns out I’m one of those “social anomalies” who’s actually been thriving during the isolation of these COVID times. Yes, thriving. I fucking love this shit! I mean… I obviously don’t love the suffering of my fellow humans; the loss of work, the struggles, the depression, the collective angst, the pervasive polarities of philosophy (political and otherwise), the illness, and the loss of life. I know it’s all out there on levels that we can’t even fully comprehend right now. And yet, I saw a meme recently that said something to the effect of, “You know you’re a loner (or an introvert?) when a pandemic comes along and your life doesn’t really change much.” That's me.
Of course, life was beautiful before the pandemic, with that steady, year-round stream of live shows and travel. But without the time-grind of touring, I’ve been afforded even more time to catch up on things, to pursue the muse, to hit the drums and train at will, to let the creative mojo of multiple projects marinate in the bubble, and to retract into my own private universe—which is something I imagine everyone has had to do to some degree, like it or not. Well… again, I like it. And in fairness, I have made quantifiable progress with certain things, including the January launch of my new superfood powder biz, which I absolutely love.
But still, I say:
I continue to fail myself. Two steps forward with this, means no steps forward with that. One step closer over here, means one step further away over there. This perpetual plate-spinning calls to mind something I wrote in the Introduction of my book Zentauria, the main draft of which was written eons before the book’s 2015 publication. I’ll cut-and-paste it here. Same ol’ shit:
These days, my life revolves around an insatiable harem of muses that hound me to wake up each morning after keeping me up all night. They pound on the door, like rabid nymphs, and I answer… every time. The problem is, there’s seldom the same muse there when I open the door, and this has been an amusing dilemma for most of my career. I suffer from artistic A.D.D. I live for the buzz of simply engaging the harem. I also love it when the work is made manifest. In a way, it’s like every record or video I’ve done as a band member, sideman, solo artist, or producer… every single live show, tour, or speaking engagement… and every book I’ve written… have all been thrown into an ever-expanding pile of evidence that I was here, on this plane, at this time. That matters to me somehow, or at least it did. Nowadays, it seems to be more about the process, rather than the output.
Again, I could've been talking about this past year, which has been a heightened version of this kind of muse-chasing: moving from the desk, to the home gym, to the practice room, back to the desk, out for a run… engaging process day and night. And yes, it’s joyous, which means I feel joy every day. Great joy! (Hence the “Life is Beautiful” assertion.) But the quantifiable output of my various processes is much more scattershot. This troubles me.
And to be clear, I’ve come to realize it’s not all about that imaginary scorecard of accomplishments, or the accumulation of a back-catalog, or the building of net worth (cue laughter from my inner circle on that last one). But for me, at least, I think it is to some degree about evolution…. about the quantification of cause-and-effect… the sacred metrics of progress. I was there, and now I’m here. Let’s keep this shit rollin'.
So now, my new mantra as of late is simply:
Just stay alive.
As in... if I can just stay alive long enough, the various evolutionary cycles will complete, and the work will eventually get done. Maybe even all of it. Just. Stay. Alive. And I say that, not in the fear-of-contracting-some-fatal-illness sense, as I have convinced myself that I will likely see three digits, barring any unforeseen "mishap." Instead, it’s more about avoiding such a mishap by mitigating unnecessary risks when possible. Seriously. I’ve actually started thinking about these things, mainly for this reason.
Example: I’ve noticed that I have taken certain “risks” through the years so as not to feel bound by overtly safe or conservative protocols. But now, I feel like certain strategic precautions might help prevent a wasteful early exit outta here.
I tell myself: Don’t be reckless and bull-headed. Try not to go for a jog through fucking LA gang territories at 3:00 AM if you don’t have to. And drive more carefully. Put that fucking phone away… the return text can wait. And for Christsakes, I know you love the sun, but can we put on some motherfuckin' sunscreen when outdoors for extended periods of time—especially during those scorching midsummer afternoons? "Skin cancer isn’t impressed with your 'cancer-proof' nutrition regimen,” says the noteworthy amount of skin damage on your face. And so forth...
Just stay alive, I reiterate to myself. And if I do, I’m convinced it will simply be inevitable that I bring resolution to those processes and projects that are most important to my journey.
Anyway, this is where I am, and I’m not even sure if it’s appropriate or advisable to exorcise this shit here. I’ll probably regret hitting the send button on this bitch. But this Newsletter thing is still very much a work in progress… a trial-by-fire attempt to stay connected with, and offer value to, YOU—my beloved reader/listener/supporter/tribes-folk. I’m still trying to navigate what kinds of offerings do at least one of these two things. I know your time is precious. And after all, who contemplates the value of time more than yours truly?
Seriously, thank you for giving me a slice of yours.
Dirt Shirts Cometh!
You asked, we answered. Our first official run of Dragon Dirt shirts should be in shortly! We'll have guys (uni) and gals (v-neck) in a variety of sizes. These are soft, high-quality, Bella Canvas brand shirts. Bad-assery deluxe!
As usual, we want to extend first offerings to our Site Members. So if you haven’t already, be sure and take a moment to sign-up in the upper right-hand corner of any page at www.bobbyrock.com. We'll hit you guys with a special announcement e-mail first. (Plus, signing-up will give you a much more customized experience, and also grant you access to various members-only areas, events, etc.)
As for the Dirt itself, you can grab a bag HERE or find out more about it at www.drinkthedirt.com. If it's new to you... this is a highly-potent superfood blend that I initially created for my own use, but just launched officially in January. Just add a scoop or two to a blender concoction like a fruit smoothie, and it becomes the healthiest meal of your day, in an instant. I'm really stoked about how many folks have made it their new go-to breakfast or lunch! It's a game-changer, friends.
Seen and Heard
Here's a brand new release I was interviewed for, that just hit the racks this week. I haven't had a chance to scope it in its entirety just yet, but I've blazed through a lot of it, and it looks to be a hell of a read. The majority of the book's cohesive and largely chronological narrative is comprised directly from interview excerpts, which must include some 200 or more movers and shakers from the scene back then: Musicians (a veritable who's who from the heyday), managers, record co. folks, and other industry pros. This means cool stories galore, of course, but it also means highly personal and detailed accounts of many historical benchmarks from the times. (Kudos to co-authors Beaujour and Bienstock. This must've been like putting together the world's largest jigsaw puzzle!)
From my personal camp, I saw excerpts from Mark and Dana (VVI, Slaughter), Matt, Gunn, and Joey (Nelson), and Lita, as well as many other friends and cohorts from the scene, many of whom I still see regularly in my travels. It reminded me of flipping through a high school yearbook, in a way. Such a great era to have been a part of.
Click HERE for links on where you can grab a copy.
Full in Bloom Podcast
I recently did the Full in Bloom podcast, and they've been releasing it in sections. The first two parts are live now, with a third on the way. I've known Adam for years and dig his interview style. If you click this LINK, it will take you to Part One, where you will see all related links below. We cover the new Lita Ford record, a bit about the Dirt and my daily eating regimen, a bunch of VVI stuff, and much more. Scope it! There are links to an easy YouTube listen, as well.
Thanks, everyone! I know this motherfucker is still long as hell. I think we'll do another one next week, and then try every other week starting in April. We'll see. Just don't want to burn everyone out!
Until next time,