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Spiritual Consequences Of Sexual Harassment

On this planet, even Mother Teresa would post #MeToo.

 

Sad but true. Most everyone has been aware of Sexual Harassment long before Alyssa Milano and the #MeToo tag and posts across Twitter, Facebook and the other virtual continents of social media. And the majority of women victimized by it weren’t anywhere near the Entertainment Industry or a dream stained casting couch.

 

I’ve heard stories from women I know over the years from music, dance, modeling, Hollywood and everyday life at corner package stores and checkout lines.

 

It’s amazing still hearing men using the “She was dressed provocatively” excuse in their defense. Guys, You learned to control your bowels at around 3 years old so why is this so difficult? There’s also “primitive” societies around the world where women walk around nearly nude and topless due to the climate who aren’t sexually harassed so what’s your excuse?

 

Granted the people that really need to read this article and take a deep look at themselves and their behavior are the ones who won’t bother. Their ego, arrogance, narcissism and sense of entitlement form a massive wall of denial that excuses their behavior to themselves.

 

But the fact of the matter is even if you don’t ever get caught or sued in a legal setting, there ARE consequences of Sexual Harassment beyond just your Human life.

 

The What And Why Of Sexual Harassment

Let’s call it for what it is on the spectrum of Higher Consciousness: Sexual Harassment is spiritually pathetic. It’s another example of DNA at it’s lowest level of expression—the toxic cacophony that includes power, war, terrorism, tribalism, religious fanaticism, mental rigidity, gang violence, racism, and sexism among others.

 

See the behavior for what it is. Sexual Harassment is done by those with lower consciousness so don’t be fooled by someone’s back account, success or level of fame.

 

Sexual Harassment is about power but ironically it’s done by those without power—Spiritual power. The economic and social power that the abuser often has is temporary and positional. Spiritual power isn’t and doesn’t depend on others fearing you or being subordinate to you in any way. You can still have Spiritual power stranded on a deserted island. Your economic and social power? Forget it. The palm trees don’t give a rat’s ass you’re a CEO, film mogul, famous athlete or media personality.

 

Sexual Harassment is done by men who have no authentic Spiritual practice and have no greater experiences and pursuits than sex and money.

 

There’s also men who pose as enlightened gurus and use spirituality as a ruse to sexually harass and abuse their female followers. This is particularly heinous due to the ongoing psychological manipulations and long term damage to victims who are often young and underage.

 

On a deeper level, the current form of Humanity is a primitive species. Earth is one of the lower worlds. Our sun is a small star so Humanity doesn’t grow at a faster pace in consciousness. If our sun was bigger it would send out more energy which causes greater and faster Spiritual Growth. These aren’t easy things to hear because it’s not the “pat on the back” anthropocentric view of ourselves we like mirrored back at us in TV, film, literature and religion.

 

The fact is, we’re a long way from the evolved culture portrayed in Star Trek.




 

Poor Role Models

From Hollywood to Hip Hop, the prizes most often portrayed across culture and media are money and women. Men fantasize about a Hugh Hefner Playboy life like there’s nothing higher than it or the Universe has nothing grander and beyond those in the vaults of Infinity.

 

There’s more scum in Hollywood than Mos Eisley spaceport.

 

Millions are stuck in the culturally fixated worship of he benchmarks of materialism: money, power and sex.

 

Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Bill Cosby, some presidents, actors and professional athletes, the list goes on and on. You don’t have to look too deeply to find entitled bulldog egos in the kind of men who sexually harass women. Some hide it better than others as that’s why it’s called acting. The public sees their “fame face” and thinks that’s who they are 24/7.

 

The sad reality is, I live on a planet where people are constantly excusing the behavior of abusers because of their money, power and fame. It’s like they cannot believe people who’ve attained the success they dream of are capable of such behavior.

 

If you have to excuse or defend your heroes, get better heroes.

 

How about raising the bar? There are male role models like Yogananda and the Dalai Lama. Find any dirt on men like them. You also don’t need to excuse, rationalize, defend or intellectualize away their behaviors because there aren’t ethical violations on other people. Look up to role models who live a higher degree of ethics.

 

The Human experience is too limited for Yogis who seek to transcend it. They don’t wish to get bogged down in the endless addictions, distractions and attachments on the Earth Plane and actively practice to rise above it.

 

If you need a more “down to Earth” role model, Paul Newman was light years from douchebag as well. Look at all the positive charitable things he did with his wealth and fame. That’s called GRATITUDE, which is a polar opposite of ego, arrogance, entitlement and narcissism. His legacy isn’t stained with shame and disgrace or the Karmic damage incurred when abusing the gifts of wealth, fame and power.

 

Deeper Consequences

If you mistreat any girl or woman, how is the Divine Mother ever going to like that? People with lower consciousness do not have such forethought and don’t believe there are consequences to their actions outside of this dimension. And that is beyond dead wrong as they will not be pleasantly surprised by.

 

You can’t hide from or fool Divine Beings. They see you on levels you cannot even see yet. Only an unconscious person ignores that fact and violates the freewill of others for their own needs or addictions. Doing so is sociopathic behavior. Sociopaths have little to no concern for how their behavior affects others. The also do not care about the consequences of their behavior.

 

You can’t wear the Halloween costume of lip service faith, and be the “Go to church on Sundays” crowd and expect it to pass off as genuine to Beings with Higher Consciousness. You can hide your behaviors and thoughts from your friends, family, co–workers and neighbors but not them.

 

Those who get away with Sexual Harassment, they’re only getting away with it on Earth.

 

Keep that in mind. With behaviors like Sexual Harassment, doorways to Higher Consciousness and greater powers will be closed to abusers. Such abuse is not evolved behavior and definitely not looked upon favorably. The material powers of money, fame and status abusers wield on Earth are small change compared to what’s out there in Higher Dimensions.

 

When you commit Sexual Harassment, rape, sexual abuse, molestation, domestic abuse you are disrespecting the Divine Mother—which is part of you and everyone, part of WHAT is sustaining your own life. There is enormous negative Karma for doing such things against forces that sustain you. These are all very deep spiritual crimes that cause lasting psychic damage to victims. And that Karmic boomerang you set in motion doing such acts will return to the red handed source of the reckless ripple better than laser guided munitions one way or another.




 

Higher Ethics

God, the Creator, or whatever you want to call the ultimate creative energy of the Universe, manifests itself in countless forms yet still exists outside of all form and beyond all form. And all Gods and Goddesses are part of the Body of God. Beings who are beyond form can manifest in a myriad of forms to better connect with people and races at a more familiar comfortable relatable level of their understanding.

 

The Divine Mother can manifest as Mary and fiercer forms like Durga and Kali, the Goddess of the Siddhas. Even Yogis who don’t want to or need to be with women anymore still honor and seek the Divine Feminine archetypal energy of the Universe. So it may only appear as “renunciation” at an Earthy level. Both male and female energies are needed to become more of the whole.

 

And to pass the tests of Kali, one has to have zero impurities as she sees all your flaws, all your darkness. All such dreck must be burned away before she grants one passage to the level of consciousness of a Siddha. Needless to say, Sexual Harassment is not something the fierce Mother Goddess looks kindly upon. She cannot be bought, tricked or coerced. Billionaires are still ants compared to the wattage she cranks out. And anyone who wants to dance with Kali, best be sure their hand or even thoughts don’t slip inappropriately.

 

It’s hard to prevent antisocial and predatory behavior in people who are so unconscious, asleep and spiritually poor they don’t understand the value of a clean conscience. And millions or billions of dollars can never buy it.

 

Worldly money, power and fame do not by themselves give Higher Consciousness. Instead they more often become stumbling blocks to it. The observation Jesus made over 2,000 years ago about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man getting into Heaven is just as accurate today, perhaps more so in our time period with it’s greater wealth and power lateralization and panoplies of distractions.

 

Still, there are advanced Yogis whom all worldly pursuits are a joke to, a waste of their time on the planet. The things most men seek are bread crumbs compared to the forces they are connected to. The abilities and experiences that are normal for people at their level of consciousness are off the scale of the material world. Even a few appetizers of experiences from these Greater Realms and it’s all over for many.

 

You really can get to this point without even being advanced. It’s surprising. It makes you see human life from a higher plateau how “lost in matter” most people are because you have reacquainted with yourself on higher more subtle levels of the ultimate reality of YOU, which your physical human body form is only a small part.

 

In my pursuits towards Higher Consciousnss, I’ve had encounters with fiercer facets of the Divine Mother (Divine Archetypal Female Energies) in the forms of Durga and Kali. Kali hammered myself and another friend of mine—lots of energetic and emotional upheaval.

 

Durga has periodically dredged up several dark internal weeds and energetic albatross anchors in me as well. All these occurred during voluntary practices and ceremonies mind you. Furthermore, my friend and I haven’t committed the devolved behaviors of the abuses and transgressions against women mentioned here.

 

The Divine Mother’s standards of purity and integrity far exceed and are far more rigorous than Man’s. This is what is meant that the Divine Mother, with your permission and request, will knock all darkness and impurities out of you to hammer out the sword of your spine to her precision forging and attunements. These were unbeneficial things inside me I myself could not yet perceive and I’ve been on this path for a few decades. And those were kind, friendly wallops. For the men guilty of the topics in this article, what do you think you’re going to get?

 

What’s going to happen to you when meet more powerful female energies in this Universe who do not require bodies, meaning your physical size and strength as a man in a mortal frame does not apply? Ever think about that?

 

And with that, Sexual Harassment is seen as another form of spiritual poverty in the person who engages in such behavior—Someone who is asleep, a soul still in diapers who hasn’t passed even entry level soul tests.

 

And they not only accrue heapings of negative Karma for hurting others but close doors to themselves to wealth beyond their limited levels of understanding all for small temporary pleasures.

 

And moreover, worldly success does not hide spiritual failures.

© Composer Yoga




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When In Doubt, Listen To Man With Longer Beard #30: Meditation, Aphorisms & Yoga Sage Brushes With Wisdom

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What follows is a grocery list of things I've learned from life and various approaches to living exploring Creativity & Spirituality---being an artist, student of meditation, regular fasting & yoga, internal yearning towards higher consciousness and becoming a more creative being for positive transformation. These are general principles and observations I try to live by and navigate the wilderness of Maya with. Some are Confucius sounding hence the jest with the title if the long bearded Chinese sage wanted to narcissistically self--aggrandize himself.

Here's the thirtieth batch of Zen Brownies---Tasty, mouth--watering morsels to reduce consumption of bad karma and sweeten the recipe of your life:

 

1. We outgrow people. We outgrow things. We outgrow identities. Most often, no one will tell you when that identity is too small for you. Avoid the advice of those afraid of losing who they need you to be at the expense of your growth.

2. Religion in the hands of tribal groups, cultures, and societies is often a dangerous thing. It creates a rigid exclusivity, a mob and hive mentality more willing to engage in violence while suppressing self individualization and personal growth.

3. Don't let your happiness and dreams be sacrificed to the false god of appearances.

4. Most people aren't aware of what they're creating. Most of the time it's chaos, duality, and separation from harmony. Unconscious creation from all these uncontrolled rampant conflicting thoughts and emotions makes them prisoners in the jail without walls they unknowingly create for themselves.

5. There are consequences to thoughts and actions beyond what is seen and experienced in this world. Laws are for those asleep to the realities of Karma.

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6. What you haven't defeated in your youth becomes more pronounced and powerful with age. Becoming more Spiritually mature and aware means realizing the oil spills of your inner chaos out in the world are your responsibility to clean up and cap at the source.

7. If you knew how long it took you to get to this point in your Existence, you wouldn't so willingly slide down the ladder of de--evolution chasing material things and material pleasures.

8. Visit India, and one of two things will happen after you return: Your life will completely get better or your life will completely fall apart then get better. Either way it's because the you that returned is no longer compatible with the you that came before.

9. Beginning to cry for things beyond this world is happiness for a Yogi. Crying for things other than the bondage of the body, it's material needs, desires and attachments, is the sound of connecting to Higher Freedoms.

10. All the accolades, degrees, rewards, wealth, admiration, and success in the world is small compared to achieving constant contact with the Illuminating Void, the Lightless Light, the Divine Womb of Emptiness.

© Composer Yoga

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Going Solo: Iron Maiden “Caught Somewhere In Time”




I discovered Iron Maiden totally by accident. Up until that time I was listening to bands like Van Halen and Def Leppard and that was as "heavy" as I was getting as a preteen. No heavy petting or heavy metal quite yet. I was still usurping my older brother's music collection and whatever I could forage on local rock stations. Pyromania and 1984 were played to death in our bedroom. I remember Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry and Quiet Riot's Condition Critical vibrating the stereo speakers often and somehow our parents were "able to take it"---that being when Dee Snider aurally materialized as an uninvited house guest. Perhaps the fact that our bedroom was on the opposite side of the house as theirs had something to do with it. When we moved to a bigger house after I entered 7th grade, I began working out in the basement and had just a bare stereo on our second freezer along with my workout albums. Old school Rocky Balboa approved. Okay, it did look nicer than Clubber Lang's apartment. But I was having a hankering for heavier stuff to get the Eye Of The Tiger amidst the sound of Leppards.

 

Back then, Judas Priest was the only "really" Metal band that actually got airplay on the Classic Rock radio stations I listened to where I grew up. It seemed if you had two guitarists, it was "too heavy" for a standard Classic Rock station. It's as if there was an "Elevator Weight Capacity" for bands not to exceed a set number of pounds---4 band members: okay, 5 band members: Holy Crap, it's Metal! Of course there were exceptions. Bands that had 5 members (and 2 guitarists) and passed through the Rock Radio Checkpoint Charlie were The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bon Jovi, and .38 Special, all of which were never considered Metal. The subject matter of a band's songs was a deciding factor in if they were considered Metal or not. Because if you're Metal, you don't write whiny ass songs about relationships. At least that's the way it used to be before Hair Spray and Metal met in a Paul Mitchell salon somewhere west of the San Andreas Fault in southern California. I see a children's book in the making right there.

 

Back to my Maiden voyage. For someone who didn't have a learner's permit yet, I was at the mercy of other people who knew how to drive. And with that, used to go to backyard parties with my older brother and his friends or some of my older friends. It was at one of these backyard evening parties standing around a fire where the serendipity of discovering Iron Maiden happened. I wish I could say Eddie appeared and we roasted marshmallows by the fire from his long scrawny fingers, but this was more towards the Pabst Blue Ribbon spectrum of soirees than Burning Man peyote fest.

 

Somehow several adult beverages landed in my hand and my new friend buzz and I were digging all the rock tunes playing on the stereo blasting raccoons back to the nosebleed seats at the edge of the woods. I remember hearing the words "Deja Vu" on one of the songs. That was all my brain cells bathed in Bud or some other cheap beer could recollect the next day anyway. And with the finest Sh*tfaced Sherlock Holmes determination for solving "The Case Of The Mystery Song" in someone's back yard I didn't know and cannot remember, I set out asking "Hey, who sings a song called 'Deja Vu.?'" I got a lead on this band called Iron Maiden. I then set out to canvas some stores and look for what album the song was on. With the sobriety of Sergeant Joe Friday, a few Iron Maiden albums later (or so I thought), I found it---Somewhere In Time had a track listing of "Deja Vu." It also had amazing Science Fiction cover art (inspired by Blade Runner from the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) and since I was a huge fan of Star Wars growing up, that sealed the deal. I took Somewhere In Time to the register and with that, owned my first Iron Maiden album. And to this day it's still my favorite.

 

The opening track "Caught Somewhere In Time" just blew me away---Bruce Dickinson's vocals were crazy good, like one of his parents had sex with an amplifier good. I kept having "Holy Crap" moments---this was the first Metal album I actually owned and knew I was hooked for life. I was so blown away by all the songs I'd heard before "Deja Vu" (the second to last track) that I didn't even care it WASN'T the song my drunken ears heard at that party mentioned earlier. Turns out, I found out later the lyrics were actually "Danger---" and it was the the song "Danger" by Motley Crue off Shout At The Devil. The sustain and vocal effects when Vince Neil sings the word "Danger" sounded like "Danger....ooooh" which my slurried braincells misheard as "Deja Vu":

 

Danger
You're in danger
When the boys are around Danger
You're in danger
And this is my town
This is Hollywood

"Caught Somewhere In Time" for me was one of those solos that makes you want to become a guitarist. It shows how much fun you can have on a guitar, how freely you can launch energies from your fingertips and dance across the fretboard like a Whirling Dervish. I was just starting to play guitar and "Caught Somewhere In Time" blew my (back then) short hair back like the famous Maxell "Blown Away Guy" ad of the dude sitting in an easy chair listening to Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" which conveniently blows a glass of wine to him:

The "Blown Away Guy" moment I had was hearing solo #2 by Adrian Smith which begins at the 4:05 mark continuing to the 4:50 mark:

The solo ends with a recapitulation of the opening fast tempo riff heard first at the :53 mark. Iron Maiden switches keys often in songs and the solo baton passing between the two guitarists is no exception.
Dave Murray leads off with his slippery bluesy frolic in B flat then Adrian Smith punches it into orbit with this masculine metallic montage in G. The driving ascending staccato triplets across the neck and legato two handed tapping are the solos highpoints for me. You can almost hear the Silverback gorilla.

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At times I reflect how long I've come since buying that album and listening to it in my bedroom as a teenager. If someone were to have told that teenage me that I would someday see all the places I would, I probably would have thought they were talking about someone else. Like "Wasted Years", I saw those cities go by in the night, went from coast to coast of the United States, flown over a few of those "seven seas." On whatever journey, I was always packing Metal, packing Somewhere In Time to listen to. Towards the end of the final track on Somewhere In Time, "Alexander The Great," there's the verse lyric:

 

The battle weary marching side by side
Alexander's army line by line
They wouldn't follow him to India
Tired of the combat, pain and the glory

 

As if the Somewhere In Time album were a personal prophecy or subliminal travel itinerary, I even visited India and got my Indiana Jones on. Years before going to to other side of the planet (which is brutal jetlag), I had tickets for John Williams Night at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Lenox Massachusetts. It's been a Tanglewood tradition where Williams guest conducts a program of his greatest hits: Jaws, E.T., Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc. At one point, Chewbacca and Darth Vader got on stage with Maestro Williams, but unfortunately you cannot conduct an orchestra with a Light Sabre. It was called the Electric Light Orchestra not the Electric Light Sabre Orchestra there Darth.

 

So there I was, visiting ancient temples all over southern India in the state of Tamil Nadu, which actually sounds like a planet in a Star Wars movie. I was even in a tiger preserve in the mountains and walked out a Survivor. And as for "Jedis", Tamil Nadu is famous for producing more Saints and Realized Masters (Advanced Yogis) than any other location on Earth. On the other hand, Gary Indiana is famous for producing more serial killers (which happens to be a Maiden song and earlier album) than any other location and also The Jacksons for some Thrilling reason. In India, my eyes met the sacred Mt. Arunachala (pictured on the package of some Organic India products), the mountain where Carl Jung spent over a month traveling on steamships just to see in his lifetime. Jung pioneered the concept of Synchronicity which was the title and inspiration for the incredible final album by The Police, which has the tracks "Synchronicity I" and "Synchronicity II" (the tune where Sting is yelling in the intro).

 

So sometimes mishearing lyrics can be a good thing. People mishear lyrics sober so accidentally discovering Iron Maiden was either some jolly good luck or Divine intervention of the Metal Gods. These days the Pope drinks more than I do (My Metal collection is WAY better than the Pope's though). But "Caught Somewhere In Time" is still one of my favorite Metal solos of all time---it's even among my favorite solos of all time. I've since listened to this album on 4 continents, numerous times at 30,000+ feet, watching mountains, plains, oceans and coastlines below me; In and through several countries, dozens of states, countless miles of Interstates, slicing across the country in the night; and also countless nights peacefully lying down in bed falling asleep to it. Somewhere In Time is like a companion I've taken with me in life on the leash of my iPod.

 

Some people don't "mellow with age" as far as their musical palette and tastes go. We just expand in both directions of harder and softer to integrate more of the whole. I still love Metal and know I could listen to it in my 80's, 90's and past 100. I'll never outgrow it and will definitely look better than Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie, who at some point I'm betting will look better than Keith Richards (heroin will steal your youth, health and possibly your life folks---it's taken too many musicians far too early). I just know wherever in time I'll be, I'll want Metal beside me within earshot. I've come to realize I exist "Somewhere In Time" and with music, I'll always have a portable home. And YO ADRIAN!!!

© Composer Yoga

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When In Doubt, Listen To Man With Longer Beard #18: Meditation, Aphorisms & Yoga Sage Brushes With Wisdom




What follows is a grocery list of things I've learned from life and various approaches to living exploring Creativity & Spirituality---being an artist, student of meditation, regular fasting & yoga, internal yearning towards higher consciousness and becoming a more creative being for positive transformation. These are general principles and observations I try to live by and navigate the wilderness of Maya with. Some are Confucius sounding hence the jest with the title if the long bearded Chinese sage wanted to narcissistically self--aggrandize himself.

Here's the eighteenth batch of Zen Brownies---Tasty, mouth--watering morsels to reduce consumption of bad karma and sweeten the recipe of your life:

 

1. People who'll tell you "Don't quit your day job" are the ones who don't have anything to quit their day jobs for.

2. If you play you, you'll have no competition.

3. Relationships breaking up are often the realization that the other person isn't really the screen we've been projecting our images onto.

4. While honesty sometimes may not get you far here, it definitely will get you out of here quicker.

5. Grand intellectuals don't tend to achieve Enlightenment. Plenty of illiterate Yogis have.

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6. Men are often slaves to sex, women often slaves to emotions. Neither is free. Each thinks the other has the missing key when really they're just visiting each other's cell block.

7. Work becomes practicing a profession and practicing a profession becomes sleep.

8. Relationships are often the ropes people try to climb out of the bottomless pit of unmet childhood needs and hurts. If you treat people like rope, at some point they get pulled too tight and break apart.

9. Go with the more unique life. Who wants the same grey homogenized work memories at the end of their lives?

10. Imagine what kind of world we'd live in if people were as glued to meditation as they are to their cellphones.

© Composer Yoga

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Amazing Instrumentals: Eric Johnson “Trademark”

Why is there nothing on current mainstream radio that takes me to as many places as this does?

 

Most people would agree Ah Via Musicom is Eric Johnson’s Masterpiece. I’m also partial to the album Eric did right before Ah Via Musicom called Tones (1986). There’s fantastic songwriting and instrumentals on both.

 

But for the sake of illustration, If say we were all under some kind of Distopian Sci–Fi Communist CD rationing system and you could only have one Eric Johnson album after standing an hour in a Soylent Green breadline for your CD ration, I’d say go with Ah Via Musicom. And I can rest easy knowing there’ll be no flaming pile of poo on my front doorstep the next day so we both make out alright.

 

Aside from the album fave “Cliffs Of Dover” which made Eric a household name particularly among guitar players, “Trademark” is another of my favorite Eric Johnson tunes off his 1990 Tour de Force Ah Via Musicom.

 

“Trademark” starts off in a laid back bluesy groove, gets a bit muscular about a minute in, then morphs into some beautifully elegant arpeggiation for a nice Ethereal lift in the middle of the song.

 

Question: What do Joe Walsh, Eddie Van Halen (EVH) and Eric Johnson have in common?

 

They ALL started out playing the piano. So this piece has structures and voicings that aren’t what your typical guitarist would write compositionally speaking such as the descending chordal riff after the opening blues riff.

 

The piano background enables Eric Johnson to write elegant piano melody lines with the features of a guitar—meaning with ornaments like bends and vibrato. Most of the time Eric’s a fan of a clean tone with a smidge of distortion as is the case here which gives a dreamlike semblance of something beyond normal reality. And that I like.

 

Higher art to me has to have a transformative element and not simply regurgitate what everybody knows, feels and does. A monkey can do that. Challenge me. I can go there. What’s in the dictionary and expressed in common language ideas gets kind of boring.

 

The price of admission for me is getting the impression or a trace of something beyond, whether in a painting, music, dance or theater. And perhaps if you drive on the interstates frequently at 3AM, you might REALLY come to understand this tune:




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Ah Via Musicom has only 4 vocal songs out of 11 tracks on the album—the rest are instrumentals. Eric’s soothing voice goes along seamlessly with his playing and songwriting style when it’s there. He sings with his voice and through his guitar tone on instrumentals as you can notably hear on “Trademark.”

 

Four singles were released off Ah Via Musicom and “Cliffs Of Dover” won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1992. All the radio releases made the Billboard charts as indicated below by their highest chart positions (Mainstream Rock):

 

Cliffs Of Dover    #5, instrumental, Grammy
Trademark           #7, instrumental
Righteous            #8, instrumental
High Landrons  #31, vocal

 

Hmmm. Noticing a pattern? His 3 top ten hits were all instrumentals. Eric Johnson may be the only musician where all of his instrumental tracks from an album charted higher on Billboard than those with vocals.

 

Ironic because he has a smooth soulful voice that compliments his warm buttery guitar tone superbly. What seems to have happened is his guitar skills actually downplay his vocal skills and it hampers people from noticing that he has decent vocal chops as well.

 

Put another way, if he was an average guitar player, people would notice and compliment his singing more. Take a listen to the following tunes from their respective albums and you’ll see:

Bristol Shore, Trail Of Tears, Off My Mind, Emerald Eyes (Tones 1986)
Desert Rose, Nothing Can Keep Me From You (Ah Via Musicom 1990)

 

Compositions like Trademark are one of the reasons to incarnate on Earth in my book—I love music and that’s how I feel. At the very least it’s in the “Pros” column for an Earthly sojourn.

 

There’s such an honest purity and positivity in Eric Johnson’s playing which for me would fit into the as yet non–existent genre of “Guitar Gospel” because his polished white marble tone is like a sacred Sonic Baptism.

 

With his strings, Eric weaves a diverse set of styles into each album and even within songs—the variety is always refreshing and stands up well to ear time over the years. “Trademark” shows how he mixes multiple sonic ingredients giving them his personal proprietary blend of blues which transcends the boundaries of the genre in it’s traditional form, evidence of a youth in a locale where growing ears easily get bent in several musical directions.




Eric Johnson was born in the great music city of Austin, Texas. One of my guitarist friends who lives and performs in another of those large cities deep in the heart of Texas has met him.

 

For myself, I spent time in Austin checking out if I wanted to settle there or in another music city. Turned out I picked another cool music city that wasn’t as crowded (if you must know, it’s Springfield and my neighbors are named Homer and Marge).

 

Anyhow, you make notes about what you like and don’t like visiting different cities and find the ideal sized one for you that fills the Pros column while minimizing the Cons. I got burnt out with traffic and congestion living in Tampa Bay (the highest population density in Florida) and prefer living in a mid sized city these days.

 

Still Austin is a great place to visit for much more than just seeing Eric play on his home turf. It’s the birthplace of Eric Johnson and Whole Foods, which the Rock ‘n’ Roll irony (or Synchronicity) being the first Whole Foods Market began next to Bowie Street in downtown Austin.

 

As a musician, the really interesting thing about Eric Johnson is he doesn’t overplay for someone who’s a top technical tier guitarist. This is a Jedi skill onto itself. The techniques he employs have a reason to be there and are an ideal placement within the context of the song—they’re not there to upstage it.

 

His bag of tricks always gives the ear treats instead of “Shred Fatigue” which is what I like to call the point where most listeners go into a drooling stupor after being bombarded by too many unnecessary gratuitous notes.

 

Instead, Eric Johnson has the guitarist persona of a Fretboard Yogi. He practices the art of Fretboard Yoga very well. If there’s a Feng shui of sound, he’s quite adept at putting things in their ideal places within a composition as well as using space to create Yin and Yang, inhales and exhales.

 

His music breathes, it has life, movement, animation. It has sublime majestic beauty—the Trademark of someone expressing joy and heightened perception though the Higher Language of Music.

© Composer Yoga


Related Posts To Check Out:

Hammer To Fall: Jan Hammer From Mahavishnu To Miami Vice

Shredders Of The Ivories Vol. 1

Eddie Van Halen’s Pure Gargantuan Nastiness

Closet Singles: Alan Parsons Project “Can’t Take It With You”

Sound Mines: Bihlman Bros. “Dream”

 

Recommended:

Bill Douglas: Give Deep Peace A Chance

Make Making Music A New Year’s Resolution

Sights That Made Me Gasp

Closet Singles: The Outfield “New York City”

 

 

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