“Rock & Roll”

In 1977, my mother, wife and four daughters spent one Saturday morning cleaning my apartment near WTAC as I slept on a couch. I didn’t actually live there most of the time, but was quite convincing in establishing a critical need for quiet – a separate space for creative efforts away from the distraction of family frenzy. It was also lovely having a party zone for entertaining countless friends and strangers at closing time, Propriety and common sense suggest no need for further elaboration. The fact is, however, that I actually did write a few things over the six months “Peter’s Play Pen” rocked and rollicked.

Thirty years later in 2007 following our move to Oakhurst, I uncovered five handwritten, single-spaced legal pads filled with fanciful froth, stashed away in an old cardboard box — forgotten like a buried beagle.

Here is the distillation of six months’ frolic:

“The embracement of Rock ‘n Roll music centers everything.

Although one can be locked into a situation or system which prohibits spiritual or philosophical extension beyond defined perimeters, enclosures exist even more to keep the unendorsed out than they do to preserve the approved. A willful decision to accept erroneously formulated notions as personal judgment is self-imposed confinement. You are your own jailer. The key to free is a single thought away. “

This I believe.

But in this world, people believe almost anything. Anything at all.

Blame it on the attraction of distraction. Hard answers aren’t easily found and it’s tempting to settle for not quite enough.

An ABC News Survey reports that 91% of Americans say they believe in God. That’s the right thing to do. It seems safe to conjecture that a similar percentage would condemn strangling orphans, eating hair or drinking Draino, while affirming Motherhood, Brotherhood and, for Social Progressives, Robin Hood. These things, if of lesser importance, enjoy similar propriety. Yet that of the most supreme relevance is least and last understood. Around the world, tens of millions have died for that of which they actually know next to nothing, “belief” placing a definable, perilous limitation on knowledge. Such universal martyrs have been on all sides, in all places, at all times – tragically ubiquitous.

Did you know we’ll all be naked in Heaven? That’s how Michelangelo saw things. Angels at all angles!

“My soul can find no staircase to heaven unless it be through earth’s loveliness” — Buonarroti Michelangelo- (1504)

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece in the Vatican heart of Roman Catholicism was a swirling, twirling batch of bare bodies, fig leaves added only in later times to spare the blushes of Catholic clergy. Buonarroti Michelangelo is generally considered the creator of the Renaissance, an era that followed the Middle Ages and preceded the Reformation, roughly the 14th through the 16th century. Its primary feature was the revival of intellectual exploration through the advancement of science.

Here’s e-mail from Michael Moore – whom I unleashed upon an unsuspecting public over Flint radio stations in the late ‘70’s.

“Peter! I just had this weird cool thought. I don’t think any of us realize just how momentous the whole time was and not just in the context of . “Oh, wow! That was “The ‘60’s!” — I honestly believe that historians and anthropologists will look at our time the way we look at The Renaissance and that these moments only occur every few hundred years.”

In the 40th Anniversary Edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, Michael elaborated:

“I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done if I hadn’t grown-up in an area that had such a vibrant and rebellious political and cultural scene. Everyone knows about Woodstock, but we had our own mini-Wood stock every Wednesday, every summer, just outside Flint. It was called Wild Wednesday. Thousands would show up. And out of that grew the protests. It wasn’t like, “Here’s the political thing.” It was all woven together. When you said Rock & Roll, it wasn’t just the music. You meant it as a way of life, as a coat of armor against everything that was coming at you. In my mind, there would be no “Roger & Me”, no “Fahrenheit 9/11” if I had not been one of thousands participating in those moments. And the millions who see my films carry that with them as well. They are there at Wild Wednesday too.”

I agree with my friend Mike, whose latest book, “Here Comes Trouble” is being released this week. He’ll be signing copies up in San Francisco tomorrow and Saturday (9/16 & 9/17) and down in LA next Tuesday (9/20.)

There’s more about Michael and Flint and Rock ‘n Roll through the years at WildWednesday.com.

One Response to ““Rock & Roll””

  1. Charles Walker Says:

    I shall pray to Zeus for the salvation of your immaterial and immutable soul.

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