Maggot Brain

Thursday October 21st, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

The more things I have going, the more it makes me get behind on everything else. I’ve been out on the road and the ships, then teaching classes both at Zanies Comedy Club and Harper College, then up in Milwaukee doing the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show at a couple of venues. That’s all been fun, but now I have laundry to do, calls to return and mail to send.

The old ‘for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction’ adage is true. For every week I’m gone on the road or boats, more dirty laundry piles up. For every class I teach, it takes time away from me making booking calls or just plain hanging out with my friends.

And who the hell has time for daily exercise and diet planning? And don’t even think of having a relationship. How can anyone squeeze everything into one single life? Now I can see why celebrities have such a hard time with keeping their marriage together. It’s rough.

I’m not even close to being a celebrity, though my schedule sure feels like it. I have all kinds of commitments and  places to be, and  I admit I’m the reason for it. I like all kinds of different things so I have all kinds of activities to coincide with them. The result is that my free time is limited, so when I do get some I tend to just let everything else sit and rot.

That’s pretty much what I did today. I had a mountain of  paperwork to sort, and I really didn’t do much of anything other than sit around and listen to music and relax. To me, it’s a day in heaven. I had no place to be other than a dinner date later with a total sweetheart.

I haven’t had a day to really listen to music in a long time, and I loved every single song I played. I have some headphones that sound great and just laid back and let it rip. I enjoy a pretty wide variety of music but today I picked out my very favorite songs of all time.

If I had to pick just one song I could listen to for the rest of eternity, it would have to be the Funkadelic classic “Maggot Brain”. It’s an amazing piece of music, and if you haven’t heard it I can’t really describe it in words. It’s a heavy rock guitar solo that sends chills up my spine every time I hear it. I can’t think of another song I’ve ever heard that’s similar.

Supposedly, George Clinton told master guitarist Eddie Hazel to play a guitar solo as if his mother had just died, and it’s just oozing with emotion and passion and an energy that cut through to the soul of a white boy from Milwaukee. That song just talks to me, even if I’m not sure what it’s saying exactly. I feel the emotion, and I never get sick of hearing it.

There are about a dozen different recordings of it that I know of, a few tried by imitators that fall extremely short. The one I love most is a live version that’s smoking hot and just melts into my psyche whenever I hear it. It’s my #1 favorite song ever, without a doubt.

Supposedly it’s made to be listened to on drugs, but I’ve enjoyed it just fine sober all of these years. I sure enjoyed it again today, and the dinner date was wonderful. I do have to get to some of my piled up work, but for one day I relaxed and enjoyed a little bit of life.

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