DAILY MONSTER 184 (of 200)
Good morning. It's another long, long night over here at the 344 Empire, but it's good to take a little break right now to say Hello to you. I hope you survived the tax deadline, and that today will wash over you with a sense of relief. Maybe relax with some great stories about Monster 183:
And what's that? Do I hear Monster 184?
Monster 184 appears to be some sort of missing link. It's neither funk nor fowl. Or both, at the same time. What do you think this one's story is? Are we seeing it at a moment of transformation? Or is this how it's always looked? Does it always wear heels? You have a theory about all this already, don't you? I'd love to hear it! If you have a minute, please...
Now, I have a little something extra to talk about today, and I hope you'll bear with me. Yesterday I got to see a screening of ANVIL: The Story of Anvil. (Thank you for the invitation, David!) It's a documentary about the band Anvil. In the early 80s they were set to be huge, but then got left behind with the advent of Metallica, Megadeth, et al.
Well, they didn't do the sensible thing and hang it up. They just kept on going, making records, playing gigs wherever they could find them. They also took straight jobs to keep their families fed. Director (and former Anvil roadie) Sacha Gervasi shows the band as they are today, working around Toronto, taking on a tough, tough tour of Europe, making their 13th album... making do.
Somebody at the screening said "I didn't expect a metal documentary to make me cry." Exactly! Now, I admit that I'm a soft touch, but the story of these guys was so sweet and inspiring --- you'd have to be made of stone not to be moved by their dedication. These guys are an absolute monument to following your dream long past the point where most anybody would throw in the towel --- and to do it from a point not of desperation, but of joy. It's simply a recognition of "Well, this is what I do. What else am I gonna do? Quit?"
Me, if there is something I want to achieve, and I can't make any progress at it for a few weeks or months, I get cranky, if not downright depressed. These guys have been slugging it out for 30 years. And there was not a hint of bitterness in them. As Steve "Lips" Kudlow, the singer, guitarist and songwriter of Anvil says "I just want to rock." Those of you who have heard me talk about Greed Control® will recognize the spirit. They are Greed Control®.
After the screening I had the pleasure of speaking with Lips for a little bit, and he's just an absolutely sweet, humble guy, who had such excellent things to say about sticking to the things you love, and about making it on your own terms. The man drives a truck for a catering company during the week. "It's not my favorite thing, but it lets me keep my band going. There are ups and downs in life, but you just keep moving, and as long as you get to do what you love, it's all good." I'm quoting from memory here, and I'm mangling it all terribly, I'm afraid. But I just came away from the whole thing entirely inspired, and had to tell you about it.
If you're feeling a little bit exhausted from working towards an irresponsible, pie-in-the-sky, far-away goal, or if you're debating on whether you should follow your heart in whatever you do... try to see this movie. It'll give you the energy you need to stick your head back into the clouds. You can start with the video clip excerpts at the movie website.
If you have an opportunity to host a screening at your school or agency or studio, get in touch with the filmmakers at the official movie site. More immediately, support Anvil by picking up their new album at their site. I did, because.. well.... how can the Monsters of Ink not support the Monsters of Rock?
I hope the day will smile on you
with inspiration and kindness.
If you feel like rocking out, you can do so
safe in the knowledge that 344 LOVES YOU