Blog Corner

Why did the Big Lebowski Dude hate the Eagles? (and what is Glenn Frey's legacy?)

posted 27 Jan 2016, 11:58 by sean grgeg   [ updated 29 Jan 2016, 06:03 ]

I have to be very careful here - as I believe it is seriously uncool to negatively comment on a soul that has recently passed on. But at the same time I do feel i have some opinions on this subject (and i do feel its somehow relevant to the now). I will try and be careful.

First off , i would like to acknowledge that without Glenn Frey there is no Eagles band (as we know them today). The massive enterprise is a direct reflection of him. Ambitious, driven, single minded and great stage presence. His confidence talking to large groups of people is a key strength. Early on in his career, the universe seemed to reward him with some incredible twists of good luck. Asylum records (David Geffen) was incredibly generous to offer them (the Eagles) a contract at that time (unknowns through and through - who were yet to develop anything original and did not even have a sound as such). Despite all this they found themselves in London with legendary Brit producer Glyn Johns. IMHO it was Johns who unleashed their sound and made them stars (that wonderful acoustic and the vocal harmonisation thing (which I think represents the Eagles at their best)). Their 3rd streak of good fortune was that the band was given relevant songs (that manifested a vibe that the generation wanted to hear). An acquaintence of the bands (Jack Tempchin) gave them their first hit "Peaceful Easy Feeling" which represents everything that a whole load of folks (including myself) want to identify with. This song is about a man wandering out into the desert to connect a woman soul before the majesty of nature "with a billion stars all around". Beautiful!.

On the other side of the coin (and I think this is what the Jeff Bridges character was going on about in the film see taxi cab scene) , that by the start of the 70s - the values of the 60s flower generation seemed to be losing traction. Change was in the wind and new energy was coming in. Frey himself, talks in the "History of the Eagles" documentary about what the sexual revolution means to him (which ran contrary to what the original architects of the 60s were on about: true equality across cultures, skin color , women and men). Its fair to say that the Eagles ignored the quiet acoustic /harmonisation based on connection with a higher spiritual plane and made it their business to be about sex,  drugs and rock n roll (with an almost self entitlement type attitude). They aligned themselves with the corporate sector (and stadium rock) and focussed on  making money for themselves. To the Dude this was selling out. Musicians of the 60s saw themselves as part of a bigger spiritual movement (and it was like they were speaking for the people). The creative heartland of the group (Messrs Leadon, Meisner and Felder) were drummed out by the type D personalities.  By the time the "Long Run" was released the vibe of the 60s had retreated right back to almost nothing.

in Summary. Yeah the Big Lebowski Dude was pissed (and he had a right to be). Everything he stood for had been undermined. I have to say I am very unsure why the Rock Gods rewarded this band with such good luck? its almost like they want us to learn something? I personally think thats the way the universe wants it. We (the children of the 60s) reached the peak of the mountain around 1969 (and so began the gradual erosion of all things spiritual and we were back into the age of "mind and ego" (and what George Harrison calls the "Wah Wah")). 

It is what it is: Glenn Frey was not a bad nor a good person - he just represented the new energy of the time. I believe he had the right mix of ambition and drive to push the band along, but his ultimate legacy is what precious learnings he can provide for us all. Open to interpretation, but I for one thank Glenn Frey for that.

We party, while they Burn

posted 6 Nov 2015, 17:08 by sean grgeg   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 22:38 ]

The day after Melbourne cup, I took my daughter out for breakfast. Somewhere over my English breakfast pot of tea I lamented … "as I get older.. some of the icons of our Australian culture seem less and less relevant to me".

Background information - During the weekend I had been doing a ton of research about the number of fires burning through some of the tropical forests in countries north to us. Australia has this thirst for Palm Oil apparently. It gets used across the board in loads of product. Palm oil has replaced other oil products as it can be cheaply produced. But the cheap price means a different sort of cost has to be paid. So, these countries get pressured to produce palm oil by first clearing natural forest habitat. Peat factor:  also, once these fires are lit they get out of control and keep burning because the land is oil based Peat. Habitat is destroyed.

When I went to San Diego I visited their world famous zoo. The Ape enclosure is all that I remember. It was grotesque in a way seeing something that shares with us 98% of our DNA being trapped in concrete , dirt and glass. I was blown away by this one male silverback and its behaviour (how similar they are to humans). So, it is little wonder I felt some emotion when I read about the plight of another great ape (the Orangutan).  These wonderful creatures are literally trapped in a hellish fire inferno.

So then Tuesday comes... and I am supposed to engage in a giant party? Over what? The old argument that "the horses love racing" does not seem to hold water for me (especially when there is a very high possibility that the horse has to be euthanized due to race injury). Also, I don’t think its un-Australian to see the reality of excessive gambling , drug usage etc. I know from my experience as a crisis counsellor that telling a Punter to "gamble responsibly" is like telling "a Heroin addict to shoot up with care". Plus we face an uncertain…

Too preachy: I stopped mid-sentence. I realized my daughter may have heard some of this stuff before and instead of launching into a tirade about carbon emissions i decided to mix up my conversation. So I took a very deep breath and wiped the spittle from the corner of my mouth and stated another personal truth (albeit polar opposite) “But I will concede that seeing the female jockey and her strapper brother on the podium was pretty cool”. She smile broadly and said “Yeah”.

Badfinger Suicide

posted 6 Nov 2015, 14:23 by sean grgeg   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 22:40 ]

Have been thinking about these guys all week - trying to figure out what the hell happened?

Badfinger were a chart topping rock band.. that seemed to have it all.. oozing with talent .. so much to live for .. yet destined to have two members kill themselves (including much loved Peter Ham).

 Often during a crisis counselling call , I will attempt to interweave shared interests into the conversation with the caller. If its an older person they would definitely be all over the band "Badfinger" and the spate of hits they enjoyed in the early 70s. Nb: See Breaking Bad final scene. Using them and their music and their life stories - it is almost like it can become a valuable reference point when talking about modern day issues. Plus it gives the caller something to hold onto after the event. There is no doubt Art (in particular music) can often influence how we think and feel. That emotional response can be an important tool when dealing with a person’s overall well being. HAM: The human experience of 1975 (when he took his own life) is not all that much different 40 years later. I believe the following themes were thrust upon Pete at the end of his life:       #1 - Giving trust to an older person (only to find that they have ripped you off financially). In his suicide note, Pete points the finger at a person twice his age (who should have been there as a role model, rather than as he describes the "soulless bastard").     #2 -Not being allowed to develop as an artist and as a human being. Rat in a trap: Peter was caught in what the Hindus call “the Maya” (the everyday human generated illusion). When Saturn returns: from my own personal experience I know that around the age of 26 or 27 - you have to go through a kind of growing up period (or what some describe as am “Awakening”). You ignore this natural phenomenon at your peril. The conclusions you make at the end of this process largely determines your future.      #3 – Becoming a parent. This should be a time of joy, but there is no doubt that the impending birth of a child can potentially generate much anxiety. Our society makes a big deal about the cash flow associated with family life and it is possible to solely focus on the dollars, rather than the fact that an infant’s basic need is all about connection and the free exchange of love energy.   

Maybe, if Peter had the right Role Model, things could have been different. The whole point of being a middle aged person is to support and encourage the next generation coming through. Pete even used the word "soul" in his suicide note to describe the Badfinger manager. Soul is that hard to define invisible spiritual stuff and has nothing to do with dollar value and seeing people as resources there to be exploited. Pete trusted with all of his heart and he was left broken (at many levels).

This story also reminds me of leadership. In this period of the worlds experience it is vital that we the people have awareness about the different types of leaders out there. Intellectual vrs Intelligent: It is well possible that you can become middle aged and successful with academic achievement, ambition, power and cash (but have no intelligence and then also be "bankrupt in the soul"). 

Our challenge as "the people" is to develop that awareness. To recognise intelligent leaders who are going to not only look after us, but also on a larger scale be part of the movement that pulls the planet back from the brink.

In conclusion, I think if Pete has a message for all of us to do with that: to turn off the technology, take a deep breath and calm down. Clear your headspace of all the drama and look out way way way beyond the rich night sky to a different dimension.. to the Quiet.. to what has been there underneath all along.. the place where we develop that sense of "what is".

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