The Gonzo Journals
May 7th, 2023
So, here I sit. It’s 5:39pm on a Sunday and overcast in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s been surprisingly cool for a Shaky Knees weekend. I’m 49 years old, and this could very well be the last music festival of my life.
With that being the case, I decided to celebrate it with a bang. Not the final bang circa Hunter S. Thompson, but a banging enough to make his beautiful corpse smile from the grave. I’ve been stoned and wandering between stages for three days. Don’t worry. It is all considered legal in one state or another.
This show is a middle finger to my longevity and a tribute to the legend who dangles from the tip of life’s rope. I sympathize with the other gray beards who lumber past me and sympathize even more for the scantily clad, multi color haired freedom fighters of tomorrow. No one bothered to tell them that the previous generations lost this war for them years ago. Just surrender, oh, youth of the coming apocalypse. It’s so much easier when you don’t fight back.
Some bands from recent years blew my mind, while others from my younger days showed the miles on their faces. The thirty year journey reigned supreme. What drives them after so long? Is the art still worth making, or has the corporation gotten them addicted to the capitalism which milks the artist for every last drop of their soul? Only when you step back and view from a distance do you realize both destinations reside beside the same set of train tracks. The adult version of the child’s locomotive encircling the base of the Christmas tree. A good example of combined materialism, capitalism, and religion. It’s all shit on the same sheet, baby.
There is good in everything, though, if you choose to accept it. I prefer to be a realist. The young band on the side stage is grinning ear to ear because they believe they’re changing the world with their music. Bill & Ted was a movie, boys. The people with the power to make change don’t listen to your fucking music, but they sign your contracts and stamp your paychecks. Maybe it’s the other way around, but you get what I’m saying. Yep. Same people.
It’s nice to take a shit in the corporate bathroom because we think the stench will offend them. The reality is that cocaine has withered their ability to smell, and the poor soul hired to clean the mess is just another turd like you and I.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again as my ears are bombarded by the frequencies of the music goddess come to life. The Black Angels, I think they’re called. Keep believing. Fuck the biz. Create. The bullet won’t stop to ask who you are while shopping during the next mass shooting. In the words of Jim Morrison, “Did you have a good world when you died? Enough to base a movie on?”
Buy the ticket, take the ride?
Buy the ride and sell tickets.
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