This is why we do it. This is why we write and perform music. This is why a musician’s life is richer than that of any Wall Street banker, any politician, any sports figure.
They say that money is king, that it changes everything. But you haven’t experienced true power until you hear 40,000 people singing your song, with no bouncing ball, no coaching, but by heart. That’s how much you mean to people.
Most people under thirty have no idea who Michael Milken is. As for Henry Kravis battling for RJR Nabisco, huh?
A friend of mine’s 17 year old daughter went to a political fundraiser and spent half an hour engaged in a great conversation with a diminutive woman and when the people who brought her wanted to take a picture she couldn’t understand why, she didn’t know she’d been sitting next to and talking to Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
"Seinfeld" is the best TV sitcom ever, but even a glorious concoction like that fades, but not a great song, a great song lives forever.
This clip is not as good as the one of "Don’t Stop Believin’", the audio is low and the camera person is far from the man himself, and yes, I know now that the Giants made sure Steve Perry was there, but about 1:20 in you hear the assembled multitude sing "Lights" and you’re overwhelmed, they know it, it’s in their DNA.
Imagine having that much impact on somebody! People don’t seem to know Barack Obama’s religion and birthplace, but everybody knows the Beatles are from Liverpool. They can name all four members, even though they’re not even sure who their Congressman is. As for "Birthday", if you’ve lived to experience one, you know the Beatles’ song.
If you’re doing it for the money, if you think it’s about the trappings, you’re wrong.
It’s about the SONGS! In order to last they need to be able to be sung a cappella, they must tug at people’s hearts, make them feel all gooey inside.
And the ability to touch people in this way is so difficult. Anybody can write a song, but can you create one so great that everybody knows it and can sing it?
This is why everybody wants to be a rock star. To feel this power. To bask in the effect of your creation.
I don’t want to hear that this financial wizard is a rock star, or this politician, that’s missing the point. A true rock star can touch and move people in a way that no one else can. That’s the power.
And Steve Perry and those ancient Journey songs from last century have the power to not only ignite a whole city, but an entire nation.