Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manchester | Lefsetz Letter

I do not know what happened here.

But I do know it stopped me in my tracks.

That’s how modern life seems to go, you don’t sit down at 7 o’clock for the news, you’re just minding your own business and you get a tweet, a text, an e-mail, and your whole life is changed.

That’s how it was today, when that message came through. And at first you try to be optimistic, and then you see the word “fatalities” and you go into shock, because dead is dead, and for every person playing Russian roulette with their lives there are zillions just going on with their business peacefully, who end up innocent victims.

And not only are their lives ended, but the lives of those left behind are ruined, it’s positively awful.

And as of this writing there are a lot of facts but no definitive answers. The police are saying it’s terrorism. The alert was high and there were threats and you never know what’s gonna happen…

And then it does.

We believe we’re immune in the U.S. Somehow, by being an ocean away our citizens feel they’re invulnerable, until 9/11, and then San Bernardino…but most people have never been to San Bernardino, whereas Manchester is the cradle of the industrial revolution, where the first computer was built, where Tony Wilson and the ravers built a culture that still survives, albeit having morphed into what is now called EDM.

So if you’re living in the U.K…

It feels really close.

But everything is close today, there is no refuge, and you can’t bury your head, there are so many threats.

So what are we going to do?

We’re gonna march forward, we’re gonna play music, we’re gonna have concerts.

Of course we’re gonna honor the dead. Of course we’re never gonna forget. But this is what we’re fighting for, our way of life, the ability to go to a show for a couple of hours and exalt in the sound of music, to be taken away and have a reason to live. That’s right, we play these tracks on our phones, they’re part of our DNA, and then we need to bond with those that make them, an especially desirable desire in a phony world where everything’s evanescent and duplicity reigns.

So we track down the real killer, we hold those responsible accountable, we institute new safety systems, but we don’t blink, we go on.

We didn’t expect it to be this way. The future was so bright we had to wear shades. The wall fell, Communism ended, and then terrorism burgeoned and the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and we ended up divided with more questions than answers.

Trump is a sideshow.

We are the main show. The creators, the artists, and the infrastructure that supports them. We create the culture, we influence people, it’s our responsibility to take a stand.

And what stand is that?

Well, right now, we’re emotionally gutted, I get that.

But when the shock starts to fade…

You’ve got to stand for something. Besides money. Your music should say something. And that money you make, or the power to make it, should be harnessed for good, not only lifestyle.

Maybe this is the inspiration we need to reboot our musical culture. Maybe it is not what is going on in D.C. And I’m not sure how we can fight terrorism, but I do know we can bring people together, support each other, cast aside the infighting and look to bigger issues.

Yup, music reflects the culture at large, where it’s every person for him or herself, and this stuff sucks and that stuff doesn’t and the acts all have beefs and no wonder we live in a Tower of Babel society, no wonder we can’t get along.

Your job as an artist is to spread unity, to spread love, our army is much stronger than theirs, that’s the power of music, it’s the hottest medium in the world. We can raise funds, but even more we can spread a message.

It’s early, it’s a war.

But we have power.

We will have further losses, but never underestimate the power of a leader, the power of togetherness, the power of a SONG!

Songs got us into this and songs are gonna get us out.

We’ve got creators on every street corner, in every village, we just have to stop shrugging our shoulders and unite on one message.

This is our way of life. We live to hear the note played pure and easy. We love to come together with our brethren in our own religious experience at the club, arena and stadium.

And it’s incumbent upon our leaders, the artists, managers and promoters, to stand up and tell us where to go, what to do, how to cope.

That’s right, first you’ve got to cope.

Nothing heals like song.

I challenge a superstar to write a healing number.

But that’s only the beginning.

This is a wake-up call, in a seemingly too long history of wake-up calls, are we just gonna sit back and wait for the next tragedy or are we gonna rise up and fight back?

We can do this.


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