Matthew Broderick is not “bearish” (just my opinion), however, he has an important announcement for my fellow Americans/registered voters. Sure, he’s a bit biased with this announcement, but whoever you do side with, make the moment count by doing what you can to assist and influence others. Tomorrow is our last chance. I’m definitely taking the day off…
I finally got around to doing a video montage. It didn’t hurt at all, apparently. It’s rough around the edges but I basically made a music video montage of Fishbone’s “Change.” It is the last track from the “Truth And Soul” album and it’s my favorite song from it. Definitely please check it out. You just might find it to be an undiscovered gem. Check out the lyrics and you’ll find it to be as timely as ever…
All images are from “The Reality Of My Surroundings –
Past To Present” (VHS and DVD)
There’s a light on a hill
That’s far out in the distance
And it calls out my name
It calls out for a change
Far away voices
That want their own choices
Sigh for a plea
As it calls out for a change
Ooh hoo change
Ooh ooh change
To the root of Mankind
It bellows out bitter winds
Youth cry out for today
Strength to cry for a change
Yet it seems clear to me
It pounds inside my soul
Why don’t we all see
We can cry out for a change
Ooh hoo change
Ooh ooh change
We can change today (x3)
Deep inside our hearts
There’s a love
You can feel it
It’s a love that assures
We can cry out for a change
The dark clouds that did dance
To the blue skies here before me
Make it plain to my eyes
We can cry out for a change
Ooh hoo change
Ooh ooh change
My objective for making that “Change” music video is two-fold:
Reason Number 1: This is a Chris Dowd montage tribute.
Reason Number 2: (My plea to Chris Dowd and Fishbone from this post.)
When I first posted about Chris Dowd, I made it a point not to focus on his physical appearance, but rather dwell on his and Fishbone’s life-changing effects on me. So, I’m rectifying that today… by talking more about Chris Dowd and Fishbone’s life-changing effects on me — but with more pictures!
When I was in junior high, I remember reading this article on Newsweek about a straight white man who was completely obsessed with Prince. It talked about how he was fascinated with Prince’s looks and how he would create many paintings of him. I don’t quite remember the actual details, but what I do remember was me ridiculing this man. I even remembered showing the article to my cousin as we laughed at that “weird ass dude.”
If my cousin could read this blog now…
Point is, I have become that man. I’m not speaking specifically about my intense obsession with “bearish masculinity,” but, rather, with Chris Dowd. I brought up that Prince fanatic because I believe that I share that same type of “disconnected-connection” (a term that I have diagnosed myself with) with a particular human-cum-celebrity.
Fishbone entered my life in the fall of 1988 when I was a freshman in high school. My best friend at the time, who already had the makings of a future stoner with his mod hair and shell necklaces, introduced me to this band that immediately blew me away. I saved up my money and bought the “Truth And Soul” cassette tape at Tower Records. I don’t have it anymore as I had worn it out from overuse.
As Angelo Moore was pretty much the ringleader of this funkmetal band, I was focused on him. However, over time, the soulful voice of Chris Dowd was the one that made me shift my focus. At the time, Chris Dowd was not bearish, nor was he even cubbish. He was very skinny; and when I watched their 80’s interviews and music videos, all I saw was this thin black man who spoke, dressed up, and moved & danced like a white punk rocker — except he was the only punk rocker who had rhythm with his wild and crazy punkness (if that makes any sense at all). His hair even looked like the afro-version of The Cure’s Robert Smith’s hair (my mod best friend’s idol).
Then something beautiful happened. Chris Dowd got a bit huskier which became apparent in Fishbone’s early 90’s music videos — specifically with videos from, quite possibly the greatest album of all-time, “The Reality Of My Surroundings.”
Believe me, I was the first one to buy “The Reality Of My Surroundings – Past To Present” VHS. I’ve played that hour-long videotape that I had pretty much rendered it useless as well. Thank God for DVD re-releases.
But one of the greatest memories I had was when I finally saw Fishbone live in Hawaii during their concert at Pink’s Garage in early ’92. They were promoting their TROMS album and believe me that I did NOT miss that concert. I was with my girlfriend (yeah, yeah, I know) who was a Metallica freak and she was pretty excited for it too. So she, I, and my mod best friend went to see what will become my greatest religious experience of all-time.
Most of the people in Pink’s Garage were local Hawaiians (as opposed to native Hawaiians) who have been secluded from the world of moshing and mosh pits. We all had an idea as to what a mosh pit was based on seeing it on MTV, but I can safely say that we were the safest mosh pit in the world at that time. You could actually bring your grandma with her walker inside and not leave a scratch on her. An exaggeration, of course.
Needless to say, Fishbone rocked the house down. And when I actually saw Chris Dowd, I nearly fainted. And that is not an exaggeration. He was, well, God, on the stage. He played magic on his keyboard and trombone while he danced and hopped with his patented gospel-like revival moves. His voice commanded your attention and I was deeply mesmerized by his mere presence alone.
My mod best friend was a “bit high” and I missed out on some songs so that I could take care of him. Even with that minor disappointment, all I could think of was that it was the greatest night on earth. I was actually genuinely happy at that very moment. It was pure bliss.
I never got to meet the band afterwards but it did not matter at all. All that mattered was that I saw Fishbone live. And no one could take that away from me.
Unfortunately, Fishbone today does not even have the lineup that I grew up with. There are only two original members: Angelo Moore and John Norwood Fisher. Chris Dowd left the band for unknown reasons. Some sources say that he was booted out, while his “dis track” called Flog Your Dead Horse in his 1997 masterpiece, Puzzle (as “The Seedy Arkhestra”), seems to imply that he had left the group under not-so-good terms…
I thought about posting the lyrics, but it’s filled with so much hate that I don’t want to believe that what Chris was saying was true. That track has literally shattered my mythic illusions on the band’s undying brotherhood. I mean, can this be the same Fishbone who sang about love, peace, and togetherness? The group who sang “Change”? The group who knew the dangers of “Jealousy” and “his friend named envy” in “Those Days Are Gone”? What’s going on here?
However, just like Angelo had ranted on about the evil “Meter Maid,” this was a moment of anger that Chris just had to release from his soul. I mean, love won’t exist without hate, true?
Unbelievably enough, while I was writing this post, someone responded to me from a comment I had made in a Fishbone YouTube video:
bearmythology (1 week ago) Fishbone is definitely one of those rare bands that needs to be experienced live. I was lucky enough to be part of of their live shows in Hawaii when I was a teenager and it was definitely a euphoric, religious, and therapeutic experience. I wish that all of the original members (dammit, especially Chris Dowd aka The Seedy Arkhestra) would one day get together again and show the world just how it is to jam, kick ass, take names, and make a life-changing difference.
tribebrian (2 days ago)
i was told by tori ruffin(ex-fishbone soldier) that they have been jammin with original members again for some future gigs!..he talks to them alot still!…
HOLY!!!!! Can this be real? The original members of Fishbone? Back together again? Wow. This is great news if it is true indeed.
Mr. Chris Dowd, if for some reason, you have stumbled into this, I have this one plea: Please forgive your differences with the remaining members of Fishbone. I know I am just a lone fan who would never understand the complex dynamics of being in a band for many years nor do I have the right to tell you what to feel. Things happen, I understand, but please realize that you are a major influence and presence in the group. Remember when you guys use to criticize Ronald Reagan? How about getting back together this year and use your group’s combined influence and become a musical force to back Barack Obama. Mr. Dowd, that is my one plea and I’m positively sure that I’m not the only one who thinks this…
February 26th, 2008
Well here goes…I don’t know if this will help or not, (I know it won’t hurt, besides I have way too much time on my hands) so here goes…I want everyone to know that I am supporting Barack Obama. I have, as I do every election, followed these candidates and their campaigns and listened intently to what they have to say. Even though I lean towards the democratic side, I tried to sit through a Mike Huckabee speech without wanting to mutilate myself or anyone standing around me. (Enough about the question of evolution…can we please get our heads out of our asses and teach empirical scientific data to our children so that they may grow up to be scientists and engineers and maybe, just maybe, make a considerable contribution to the development of our species?) How can the President of the United States (aka leader of the free world) be taken seriously if he does not support the teaching of evolution in school. I went to catholic school all my life. And we were taught evolution in school in science class…then religion taught us about the bible. And yes it was ok to have two opposing thoughts in your head at once. Eventually you would come to resolve this inner conflict created by your enlightened education in that phase of our life we like to refer to as “Adulthood”. Sorry about my rant here…I’m just really tired of these “right-wing, holier than thou, Bible-thumpers”.
I guess I said all that to let you know that there would be no way I would support a republican (or at least none from this class). Mitt Romney? Please…anybody who spends 40 million dollars to get a job should be investigated, interrogated, and finally put in a room with no corners and never allowed to interact with humans again. The presidency of this country should not be for sale. Period. Mccain…I know he’s a war veteran, and for a republican, he’s not the most conservative of the lot. But I’m afraid with him we would get more of the same except with someone that can actually finish a sentence.
Which leads us to the democrats…here’s a thought that a very excited (first-time voting) eighteen year old pointed out to me the other day…in her life she has only known of a “Clinton” or a “Bush” in the White House. Guess what? That is not good for business as we now see…think NAFTA and the deregulation of the FCC. Hillary was there when her husband signed these papers ensuring that what we see and hear is controlled by a select few. So, I’m not one of those liberals that thinks Bill walks on water. Quite the contrary, I think he wronged us in many ways. And as far as Hillary is concerned, where she lost me is in her support of the Iraq war. When the president’s approval ratings were at an all time high, and the country had been sold on this war, she stood right next to the president to ensure that her place in history was preserved. And I’m sure that her advisors told her that they could overcome any “backlash” from this and basically blame it on the republicans (which they have). Through it all, but especially when it was not popular to do so, Barack Obama opposed this war. And to me, by virtue of that alone he deserves my vote. Imagine that…a politician putting personal gain aside for what is right (What a concept!)
I also don’t buy that “lack of experience” nonsense. First, there is no way to gain experience for the presidency of the United States other than doing it. Also, what experience did George W. have exactly? He was a failed student, soldier, oil executive, baseball executive, governor, and finally president of this great land. And look what he has turned us into and how we are viewed by the rest of the world. And I know that there are those who will still say stuff like “we’re America, we’re the best…blah, blah…” well guess what…we are no longer number one at anything, except consuming and polluting. We need real change in this country. I know that I may seem naive here thinking that Barack can do it (I’m actually more casually optimistic). But even if there is just a glimmer of hope then it is a step in the right direction.