Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – The Process of Belief

December 24, 2009

So it seems like lately I only get around to doing this around the holidays and maybe that’s all well and good because that’s when I seem to be the most inspired or maybe it’s just become a subconscious ritual like paying your bills at the same time every month or putting on your right shoe before your left every morning, who knows. Anyway as fate would have it I like most of us this time of year have the holidays on the brain and it has decidedly colored my thought process. Obviously I’ve been thinking about what to get for who and how much cookies and tamales I’ll stuff myself with this year but more importantly I’ve been thinking about The Kinks and U2. Actually every year about this time I start to think about The Kinks and U2 because to me they are as big a part of Christmas as egg nog -yep I love that stuff, and the Christmas Story marathon on AMC.

Why do I have visions of Ray Davies and the Edge bouncing in my head ? Well it’s because I’m an eternal optimist and the holidays just bring it out in me. And at the risk of pissing off my English Teacher friends with a horrible transition sentence I’ll start off explaining the Kinks. The Kinks wrote one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time “Father Christmas” one that I think is filled with hope and a belief that things can get better. “When I was young I believed in Santa Claus even though I knew it was my dad”. The essence of that line applies to life all year long. Even if you stop believing that a fat guy with flying reindeer is gonna break into your house and leave you toys still hope for the best. Sure its essentially a song about a guy getting mugged and trying to fight off childhood bullies but its also about seeing a shitty situation and realizing that something good can still happen. Trust me I had a couple of Christmas’ when my family wasn’t so well off financially and I didn’t get all the cool stuff my friends got but I never lost heart or hope-two traits that serve a punk well. The U2 part of the equation is a bit more convoluted but also a bit more telling about my personality and my idealism and optimism. Now the other night I was watching Spectacle with Elvis Costello and his guest were Bono and The Edge and I started to flashback on why I cared about these guys and why they resonated with me. Because I’ve argued with some people who say that Bono is a pompous self serving ass whose voice is too breathy but I digress. I thought about going to see Rattle and Hum in the theaters with my parents friends teenage daughters and thinking how cool it was that I went to the movies with high school girls when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I thought about how weird Zooropa was. I thought about their early videos with Bono’s hockey hair and Adam Clayton’s fro. But what I really thought was how they’ve always been a band that believed that music can change the world and change it for the better. That’s what always stuck with me they just didn’t sing about changing things for the better they lived it. They continue to put their money where their mouth is and inspire others to do the same. But it’s not just about U2 wanting to make grand world wide changes it’s about The Ramones believing that rock n roll didn’t have to be populated by coke sniffing millionaires spewing 18 minute songs about unicorns and trolls or The Clash wanting to have a riot of their own  or any other band the passionately and convincingly provided hope and optimism preferably with a two and a half minute blast of machine gun like guitars.

That’s why we got into this to begin with because we BELIEVED in something, anything and we BELIEVE that there is some good or at least good music in this world. Whether it be about stopping genocide, ending apartheid or just something loud and fast to might allow us to make out with a cute girl(I already wrote about Punk rock love songs) in the end it all boils down to an unwavering faith in the ideal that things can always get better. Hope and Optimism aren’t exclusive to this time of year but they sure seem amplified. So in the end its not really about Christmas or any particular holiday but rather about still believing that all you need to change the world is “a red guitar on fire”. Now bring on the Festivus feats of strength.



-Daniel N-


Read more from Punk Rock Academy Fight Song HERE