Chapter One “The Coca Cola Prayer”

Part 1 *The Touch*  ‘Swatting swarming bees with a harmonica on my knees and hyenas chewing off my hands.’

By the time I truly grasped how my own applied aesthetics modus was utilized, my psychic sail had been tightly sewn by my family life and Catholic education. Both entities ran deep in romantic emotion.

Sister Mary Lilian, “When you hear emergency vehicle sirens, send a prayer, Jesus help those who are in trouble.” The nine year old ears were impressed. Just by thinking a thought, an act of will could be set into motion. Coincidentally, Beatlemania for four years previous, was a day to day master class of charismatic communication instruction. Reinforced repeatedly as each stage of their own self-awareness blossomed, from Maharishi dabbling to Ono and Lennon’s personal but massive conceptual thought movement. To this day, I hear Sister Lilian, John and Yoko singing out of the same song book. Imagine.

Subsequently, as decades passed, I’ve concluded that ALL of everything I cherish sings from that song book. I suppose all of that boils one down to a defined and stubborn Jungian juggernaut. But as all of us Universal Thought robots REALIZE, the proof is in the pudding. And pudding I’ve made. A head full. And it’s aside from my work as a songwriter that I’ve decided to jot down a few recipes for whoever is interested.

In 1977, during the punk enlightenment, which by the way, was as much retro as it was ‘no future’ (wrap around shades, simplified song structures, jerky Carnaby throwbacks etc), the optimistic innovation of the 1950’s was now twenty years gone. It was a year likened to hitting ‘Go To Jail’ on the Monopoly board. You could sit it out for 3 turns, roll dice to get out or use your freedom card. You can loosely apply those options to what faced  career musicians at the time. Career is not a bad word. It’s purely a matter of whose. But at that profound moment in pop culture, starting roughly in 1972 and crumbling in 1977, EVERY pop musical genre EXPLODED. Funk, stadium rock, prog, glitter, country, disco, one hit Cali-phoric beard guys, whatever… flew everywhere.

Here was the moment; The soft drink vending machines, in an effort to sell Coca Cola to a new multi-generational, post 1960’s, taste scattered rabble of undefined demographic targets, began using two separate slots on the machines to choose the same Coke. One panelized button you could push showed the classic Coca Cola ‘wave’ logo. The other push option was Coke (still used) spelled out in the plain-ish almost NYTimes style that was part of a weird print and buildboard marketing style that started in the 60’s and seemed to be reaching for Dick Cavett’s audience of depressed subway riders.

I stood in front of the vending machine. I was lost in a newly undefined sea of soda pop culture confusion. Who was I? What did I believe in? What’s wrong? What’s right? What the fuck? But maybe it’s important to know, in the midst of everything, I have always owned faith. Misplaced it many times, but like one who knows their lost car keys must be in the house because they’re  home.

I pushed ‘the wave’. The Coca Cola Prayer

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