Wednesday, August 30, 2006



Greetings friends. It is the 30th day of August 2006. I’ve described as
best I could my experience with the Hepatitis virus and the treatment
that I undertook in June of 2005. With a single additional visit in
December, the book should be closed on that episode of my life.

Together with my wife, Angela, I have created a non-profit
organization called "Music Is Revolution." When I look at this world,
and at our society, I see a strange mutating blob that feeds off of and
regurgitates the bilge that keeps things all fucked up, as usual. When
we want to help people realize a better life, what do we do? We attack
them and force our values down their throat. Or worse, just keep them
in chaos until we’ve established "order". Then leave them to sort out
the mess, so they can continue supplying us with what we need from
them. Sounds like a science fiction master race theme? Everyone wants
to go to Heaven, right? Yet we grind out weekend box office hits that
super-size violence, brutality, arrogance, and vulgarity like vitamins
for the masses, with no regrets.
Power and wealth are without a doubt the most valuable and worthwhile
pursuits in life, it would seem. WE are number 1. Hell no. WE aren’t
number anything. We’re hypocrites.
What we need to do is focus our attention on our greatest resource, our
children. The way to change, the way to revolution, is education, music
When I think of music, I realize that throughout my life, music of one
sort or another is a milepost on the long road. From earliest memories
of Peter and The Wolf, Captain Kid’s Cats, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker,
patriotic music, popular music of my parents time, incidental radio
airplay, teenage ballads, classical favorites and discovered music of
other cultures, all of it represent glimpses of my past. In fact all
cultures represent themselves musically. It honors each culture and
speaks of its uniqueness. Music in the raw is the purest expression of our
souls. Music speaks it’s own language, understood by all, because it is
produced by the soul. How great it would be if every single human being
could experience the exhilaration of sharing musical moments with
another person? To play in an ensemble is an enriching process that
teaches us the basis of community. When you think of the fact that all
of us exist in concert as the human race, it becomes obvious that music
is a parallel by which we could learn how to be better humans. Music
comes from a place inside that can only be described by music. Art and
poetry also come from places that can only be described in those terms.
But music has an imaginary life of its own. It is the mojo of mojos.
When I was in the 5th grade at Dossin Elementary School in Detroit, We
were offered the chance to take stringed instrument lessons as an
elective a few days per week. They had violins, violas, and a couple of
cellos. I thought I would like to try the cello, and I did. Though the
course lasted merely one semester, it was enough to set me in a
direction that would eventually be a lifelong career in the music
profession. With virtually no formal training, I was able to find a
situation to pursue and create a legacy of music and performance that
has made lasting impacts on the world of popular music, and affected
many people’s lives. By way of the fortunate attention and
recommendations by those early music teachers, I gained the
confidence and curiosity it took to make a career of it.
In the late 60’s, my band, the MC5, adopted a stance that challenged
the status quo of our social system. While we strove to make people
aware of the need for reform, we were not tuned in to the correct
method of reaching our goals. We chose to make confrontations with the
old order and got blown out of the water. Now I realize that
the police and the government are merely doing their jobs, and the real
issues can only be dealt with by the next generation. This is our
greatest resource and our closest ally.
"Music Is Revolution" seeks to provide funding for pubic school
teachers throughout the United States. They can apply for mini- grants to set up
musical experiences that are empowering, enjoyable, and meaningful to
children from grades 1-12 in school environments that are lacking
public funding to provide such experiences. Situations can be as
varied as imaginable, giving students an awareness of the value of
music. Listening and describing musical genres might be a good way to
provide children with an understanding of music history and how it
molds the human experience. Musical instrument training, no matter how simple
or informal, is another possibility. For example, a group of 2nd
graders playing kazoos with section parts is a viable way to teach
ensemble experience. The idea is not to produce Mozarts and Yo Yo Ma’s
in 12 weeks time, but merely to give students inspirational
experiences, and a sense of participation. The exhilaration of
participating in a musical experience is like an invisible blessing
that has a lifelong effect. I know from personal experience. My brief
lessons on cello, piano, recorder, and later guitar, were crucial in the direction of
my life. Discovering the many composers who have left incredible works
has been a cornerstone in my positive attitude and pleasures. What
could be more valuable?
There are no limits on what music is, either. Current styles and ancient chants have equality in our view. I have no doubt as to the positive effect music has on an individual. These children are the future voters of our society, and it is our
responsibility to give them everything we can muster to affect real change in this society and ultimately the world. By placing greater emphasis on music as a true value in our society, not just a tool of profit, we can provide an invaluable service to the future of every human being.

I have many friends in music, both famous and those who are not famous
but are wonderful musicians and creative people. I know bluegrass
mandolin players, free jazz horn players, storytellers who use music,
rock and rollers of all sorts and styles, punks, and percussionists who are
concerned about the direction of the planet. As I have recently been
touring the world with DKT, I have met people everywhere who are concerned
with the direction of the planet and the state of human affairs. Could
it be possible that we can shape the destiny of society by offering our
children better access to the thing we have treasured all of our lives;
our music? It really is time to become part of the solution!
Be a part of the solution: Music Is Revolution.

I will post on this blog the details and developments of Music Is
Revolution. I will also answer questions and give information on how
to take part in M.I.R. activities in your area. I have some good stories
to share with you concerning the reasons why we chose to create our own
foundation. Be sure to check the web-site:, for updates;
new people on-board, events, fund drives, skate4MIR, merchswapmeets,
auctions, benefit gigs, etc. The MusicIsRevolution.Org site will launch soon too.
I feel good about this. So, let’s get down with it and kick up a little
Music Is Revolution out there. Brothers and Sisters, the time has come for
each and every one of you to be a part of the solution, MUSIC IS