Gentle reader: You may well not like Black Sabbath as much as I do. You may well not like them at all.* I defend to the death your right not to dig the Sabbath. But even as much as I love them, I do not think I love Black Sabbath as much as Henry Rollins.
Over the past few weeks I’ve had what have seemed like more than my fair share of ups and downs. With the emphasis on the latter. (I’m sure this will be equally true for most everyone reading this, although I sincerely hope that isn’t the case).
I know I am in serious danger of expounding hollow platitudes here. But when the downs outweigh the ups, you don’t have to accept it. Ever.
Change is always possible, and more often than not, change is ultimately desirable. No matter how unnerving change might seem in prospect, it is usually all good in retrospect.
What you do, how you do it, the when, the where and the why of it (whatever the “it” might actually be) are entirely your responsibility. Or, to put it another way, you have it in you to change almost any set of circumstances. What’s really stopping you?
If you don’t know who Henry Rollins is, give Google a go. Or if you don’t fancy doing that, suffice it to say that the three-word epithet “an intense guy” will do. Regard this image (via the good people of Wikimedia Commons), if you want to see how a picture can be worth a thousand words when it comes to intensity.
Mr Rollins’ book Smile, You’re Traveling is not generally a bundle of laughs, comprising as it does lengthy diary entries on his endless and grinding routines of touring, weightlifting, introspection and resentment.
Amongst the macho intensity and gallows humour, though, his tales of geeking out whilst watching Black Sabbath rehearse for a late-90s comeback are delightful.
He marvels in Black Sabbath’s company, and delights in the beyond-wildest-dreams scenario of effectively getting his own private Sabbath gigs (as the sole audience member at some of their rehearsals in Wales’ glamorous Monmouth).
I’ve always loved Rollins’ simple and joyous summation of what his time in the presence of the Sabbs meant to him. Our Henry is moved to say:
I live for this stuff! […] The last few days have been so great. To hang out with the mighty Sabbath is a once in a lifetime deal. Things like this make me see that you can basically have your life any way you want it. You can have a great time or a lousy time. You can play it safe or go for something else.
Now aren’t those final two sentences words by which to live your life?**
* If you’ve heard literally no Sabbath ever, or think Paranoid is all they do, you could do significantly worse than listen to this quite gorgeous song, Solitude. And yes, that is the same Ozzy Osbourne singing there.
** However, Viv Savage (of Spinal Tap fame) gifts us perhaps the final word on the having of a better-than-lousy time.
- Lousy picture at top of page via Wikimedia Commons.