Mercoledì, 2 dicembre 2020

The Soul And The Shell

Monday, September 22nd, 2008



I flew into Verona Sunday afternoon and showed up without my soul. Only "the shell" has arrived.  Uh…. I'll explain later. Anyway, I was so tired I passed out the moment I reached my hotel in Correggio. Next thing I know I wake up at midnight and I can't fall back to sleep. Jet Lag.  So… I stay up all night watching CNN about the presidential campaign in America (unbelievable) and write lots of email. All night long in my room, just me and… my shell. When the sun finally comes up I go downstairs and eat breakfast. 
After breakfast I'm off to Verona for rehearsals with Luciano, the band and… a 70 piece orchestra! I have a long day ahead of me and I've hardly slept in 2 days.  My "shell" is a little excited.

"Michael! Michael!  WAKE UP! They need you on the stage… NOW!". Umberto, the good natured gentlemen who helps take care of Luciano's band was trying to wake me up. "Huh? What? I need to what?". It seems I'd passed out in the dressing room of the beautiful Roman Coliseum in Verona. At least that's where I think I am. Right now as I'm trying to wake up, I don't really know WHERE I am.
I sit up, shake my head and attempt to stumble out to my drums, but I'm wondering, where are those drums of mine anyway? Jet lag. Freaking Jet Lag!

There's this author William Gibson. He writes futuristic sci-fi detective novels, his most famous being Neuromancer. He wrote about the internet years before there was an internet and he coined the term "cyber punk". A character in one of his books believed that the soul of a passenger cannot travel as fast as the jet plane they ride on. 
Therefore, when that passenger reaches their destination, their soul is still in route… trying to catch up. The passenger arrives as a "shell" waiting for it's soul to arrive, but that takes time. Your shell is not only tired from the travel, it's also confused because it's temporarily "soulless". It's just a metaphor but it's a metaphor I like. Others simply call it "jet lag". That works too.

Whatever you call it, I had it and it had knocked me to my knees. I'd somehow made my way to my drums but I was still half asleep. While completely spaced out, I shove my earphones into my ears and prepare for my percussive attack. I tell myself, "Wake up, wake up, it's time to rock!".
The band starts to play, it’s "Viva", one of my favorite Ligabue songs. "OK Michael, time to play these, these ummmm…what ARE these things in front of me?". My brain is trying to keep up with my muscle memory but how can it? I mean, what's a brain without a soul? But guess what? You don't need a brain to play drums, Ha! It seems "the shell" is playing these drums on it's own and it feels really weird.

Then suddenly, TA DAAAAA! I'm startled a bit out of my daze by this awesome sound from behind me. "What was that?". I begin to wake up a little more. "Drums, oh right, I play drums, wake up, wake up!". Then once again, that sound...  TA DAAAAAAA! WHAT IS THAT? What the... it's the orchestra. Oh right, THE ORCHESTRA!  ZZZZZZZAPP! I'm here in Verona, I'm waking up, I'm playing with our amazing band, I'm playing for Ligabue, AND WE ARE PLAYING WITH A FREAKIN' 70 PIECE ORCHESTRA!  Suddenly I'm awake and in the moment.  I know where I am and what I'm doing.

This is one of the coolest and weirdest moments I can remember. Out of a totally spaced out jet lagged stupor to being propped up on my drums and suddenly awakened by an alarm clock made from my friends in the band, Luciano, and an orchestra! What a way to re enter the world of Ligabue.

Luciano's singing with the band and 70 other musicians. Violins, violas, cellos, trumpets, timpani, oboes and more. He sings, "Viva, Viva, cosi come sei".

Me? I have a huge silly grin on my face because it sounds soooooooooo good.

Mercoledì, 22 ottobre 2008