Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mister Rogers, Bono & Me

We released "A Family Holiday" Wednesday night.

It was definately a success. The Delancey was packed. The performances were excellent (Jeff Jacobson, Flying Machines and Chris Abad were standouts). And most importantly, CD sales are already in the black. I expect to hand off a check when Chris and I visit 826NYC on Friday (more on that shoot later).

Of course, Chris was there shooting the whole thing from the front row. I'm not sure whether we'll weave a brief vignette into the film or not. The "Family Holiday" project was certainly inspired by Mister Rogers, and my attempt to find ways to manifest deep and simple in my own life.

The real question will be whether the footage is any good. I'm sure what Chris shot is gold. I'm just not sure we can cut around some of the disappointing components of the night, like that some performers embraced the "Do They Know It's Christmas" finale more than others. That is, a few of us were singing and playing our hearts out. Others were just milling about cracking jokes with one another. I have a theory about this.

I think it takes courage to demonstrate enthusiasm. It makes one vulnerable to emphatically state, through words or deeds, "I like this!" or "I believe in this!"

I think that's one of the reasons Bono takes so much guff. He stands up and stands behind for his beliefs, regardless of how uncool they are.

"These days," he says, "Everyone wants John Lennon's sunglasses, accent and swagger, but no one is prepared to take their clothes off and stand naked."

Of course, Mister Rogers was the same way, I mean, metaphorically. Heck, I'm not even sure it occurred to him whether his beliefs were cool or not. He just was. That inspired me when I met him, and continues to inspire me today.

Still, there are those who just don't feel comfortable belting out 80s pop songs (or whatever). And some of them were on stage with me Wednesday night. (Heck, some of them outright avoided the gig.) They're the same types who worry about things like credebility and cool. Which, believe me, I understand. I have to fight the impulse to worry about appearences and perceptions every day.

I decided to embraced the spirit of the occasion, though. I lept up and down, flopped around on the floor, coaxed the audience to sing along, and danced with the front row. I sang like I'd never sing again. And smiled. A lot.

I say, if you wanna sing out, sing out.

PS - If you haven't purchased the record, please do.

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