STILL SONGS THAT NEED TO BE SUNG
When we started our band back in 1982, there was trouble blowin’ in the wind. The political climate had become harsh, unwelcoming, cynical, and more than a little dangerous. It was a tough time to be poor, which we were. Hell, it was a tough time to be middle class. And, that ain’t all. The musical climate was, if anything, harsher, more unwelcoming, and if not as flat-out dangerous, it was even more cynical. With two guitars, bass and drums, we set out into this hostile terrain on a mission, with a song in our hearts, some four-on-the-four in our step, and, a job to do.
We always believed we stood for something, even if basically it was just am-honest-dollar-for-an-honest-day’s-work that we stood for. Our political stance: strictly Populist. Personally, I’ve always been a (Big Surprise!) Progressive Liberal Democrat. Dick Manitoba refers to me as a “We-The-People Guy”. That’s about right. And musically, of course, we were a Rock’n’Roll Band. Mostly, we were a Rock’n’Roll Band. And, oh yes, we could throw down, brothers and sisters! I’ll tell you what! And, on a good night, we could be just about as good as it got. No brag, just fact. Just like that.
Right now, I’m watching the telethon for Haiti, and Bruce has just finished a version of WE SHALL OVERCOME that was somber but clarion, resolute but compassionate, gospel and the blues. I felt my soul stir as the song ebbed and flowed, and at the way Bruce and the band rode the moment with all this compressed emotional energy, in a way that is everything you can ask of a singer, a musician, an artist, or a song. I am immediately in touch with why I do what I do, and why The Del-Lords are making new music, sharing a stage, hell, sharing a room, for the first time in 20 years.
To actually do what I just watched Springsteen and the band do is HARD, way fuckin’ hard, damn near impossible, in fact, and, to be fair, it requires more than a fair share of magic. But, it also requires some other things. Like band chemistry, the kind born of respect, a strong work ethic, and some familial love; born of common purpose, mutual belief and shared experience. AND, we love playing Rock’n’Roll. And so we do. Again.
A perilous political landscape awaits us, a desperate economy, probably a turning point in the country’s history. And again, a generally lousy music scene. Some small patches of green (Yay! Little Steven!) but generally, lousy. Familiar methinks. Like, haven’t I seen this fuckin’ movie before? But, there’s still work to be done. There are still souls to stir and asses to kick. There are still songs that need to be sung. I still believe in our band, and what it is we do, and that we’re STILL the best ones for the job.
So, a new record is in the works. Some getting-our-toes-wet with some roadwork: imminent. And then? Well, we’ll see ya soon. Maybe sooner than you think.