Hello…Is Anybody Out there?

Jerry Lucky Commentary March 2012

Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2012 All Rights Reserved


Just when I think there’s no one out there reading this dribble…that there’s no one out there

interested in anything I have to say…I get some wonderful emails in response to my scribbling.

What a joy it is to get a response!


I’m not sure who it was that said, writing is a lonely art…you do it in solitude and then when it gets out to the public one is never sure how many people are actually reacting to your words. Such is the lot of maintaining a website such as this. Each month I attack the keyboard with some sense of an idea that I hope resonates with some few souls out there. Sometimes I try to respond to events that will impact on many of us…other times I make some vain attempt at humour…and at other times I try to provoke a response based on some controversial aspect of this musical genre we love, progressive rock.


Truth be told I don’t get flooded with emails in response. And sometimes that can be disheartening, until I put it in perspective and remember that we all have busy lives outside of the music we enjoy.


But then out of the blue I’ll be surprised to hear from someone. Like this past month where I received at least three significant responses from readers across the globe.


One was to agree with me on the “potty mouth” issue. A long time female reader (call me old-fashioned or sexist but she gets extra points for that) Lise who agreed with me in regards to the lack of maturity in some lyrics these days. Her response was reasoned and based on some personal experience reinforced my observation that the “school-yard bad language” nature of some songs is just plain juvenile. It was hard for me not to say thanks for looking in.


Then I got a response from Bert in the Netherlands who was responding the SMiLE commentary and raised the issue of Frank Zappa’s position in the prog world. Now I must admit this one hit close to home because even in my latest book The Progressive Rock Handbook I have not included Zappa. I’m sure that has caused no end of head shaking and finger wagging. Let me say it’s not because I don’t think Frank was a progressive musician, but more that I didn’t think he, of all people, would have appreciated being lumped in the prog genre as we understand it today. His musical output was certainly progressive but more than that it was extremely diverse and tended to not stay too long in any one genre. And perhaps most of all, I’m quite sure Frank would have railed against being lumped into anyone genre. For that reason I’ve left Zappa out on his own…perhaps in his own genre.


I also received a long treatise recently from Keir who wrote to me extensively exploring my views on the “neo-Prog” genre. Readers here will no doubt be aware of the fact I’m not a fan of the term and the suspect description of the music that is supposed to fit in this genre. Keir’s thoughtful and comprehensive email was thoroughly enjoyable to read and offered plenty to think about. In the end I sensed we shared similar views even if we didn’t agree of every point.


Lastly I can usually be assured of getting a response by my French-Canadian buddy Jean. Jean is one of those people who’s rediscovering prog in in later years (I’m trying to be sensitive here) and he can always be relied upon to offer his heartfelt comments in regards to my missives.


So where is all this going? Well, part of the reason I write is to hopefully provide some bit of content that impacts on your life. I recognize that it would be too much to ask for, that there be a bunch of emails every month, but I thought it might be a good time to say, that I welcome your feedback. I welcome your comments good or bad.


We’re all grown-ups here and hopefully we all can understand that while we may not agree on every point of contention we can still share our views and in the end come away a little more informed and well-rounded.


So please if you read something here that strikes you in anyway, please feel free to send me a short note telling me how you feel.


And perhaps you may also have some ideas that you’d like to express yourself. Send me your thoughts and who knows I might wrangle them into a future commentary. Perhaps there are things within the genre that trouble you? Questions you may have about the music business? This is all good stuff to think and talk about. It’s all worth putting out there. At least that’s what I think.


Jerry Lucky