It's A Cookie-Cutter World
June 26, 2015
Have you taken a car trip lately? Well I'm on one right now.
Driving from Nashville to Cleveland ... Cleveland to New York City to Boston to the Carolinas and back.
Listening to radio but it mostly sounds the same. Looking for a place to eat but is the same restaurants that are in Nashville.
The interstates all sort of look alike. One Hilton Garden Inn hotel looks like another Hilton Garden Inn hotel.
You turn on the TV ... all the channels are the same in Cleveland as they are in Boston.
Maybe now I understand why corporate radio wants to make all the stations sound the same ... we are all the same.
The lack of originality really is striking when you leave the home port.
If you were a traveler musician, I defy you to tell the difference in an amphitheater in San Jose, CA and one Camden, NJ. We do live in a cookie-cutter world.
Maybe as a kid everything does seem unique. We went to a diner in Albany, NY ... it was like I dropped off into a time travel ... Then there's Syracuse and the "Dinosaur Bar B Q" ... it is that different!
If you go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you see the uniqueness of all the artists. They are in because they were originals; they weren't really copies of anyone else.
There used to be original American radio. It still exists on some mornings around the country. Morning shows are different than others, but sometimes you're not rewarded. The suits look at originality as risk. That was a pretty original movie and it's going to cost Disney almost $200 million in loss!
We don't seem to reward people who are original anymore. But we live in crazy times ... everything seems to be like a roller coaster. Roller coaster goes up ... the roller coaster goes down.
If nothing else, we live in a fast society. We may not drive faster than 70 miles an hour but our lives run on 250 miles an hour with social media leading the way.
That confederate flag controversy came and went faster than just about anything I've seen in a long time.
Chicago, New York, Brooklyn, Michigan ... we are awash in festivals, but it's not a bad thing. The crazy weather, though, sure makes taking a $1 million risk outdoors something to think twice or three times about.
Sometimes, take a trip might be good for your musical soul, from the Corvette Museum in Franklin, KY to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland or maybe the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown ... they all celebrate an American original -- people who did it differently than anyone has ever done it before. Being different sometimes makes you weird.
And sometimes you hit a home run!