We watched the first volume of the Beatles Anthology documentary series, and if you haven't seen it, I already highly recommend it. We're planning on picking up the Rock Band release in september created around the Beatles franchise, so I figured it made sense for us to brush up on our Beatlesology, so there we were. I should have also figured it would creep its way into my dreams.I had three last night - or perhaps 3 chapters to the same dream, I'm not sure. But it/they were really interesting, hence all the sharing.
The first one was on a set I call my "urban cul-de-sac" set - it's a cobblestone side street, somewhat reminiscent of the brick frontage street down by Pike's Place market, but with other shops in the place of the flower and food vendors. There's a little two-story cafe in the location (in my dream), and I've hung out there a few times. There's also a small venue next to the cafe where various acts have shown up (Once, Pearl Jam was there, holding auditions; another time it was Peter Gabriel doing an acoustic set). In the opening scene in my dream(s) last night, it was just a club where various local bands were performing. I was a pianist (a stretch, I guess?), but I didn't so much have "a band" as much as I was working with a variety of groups and trying to finesse my way into a headlining gig. But apparently I'd become something of a staple, because a lot of other bands kept coming over to me for advice or requests.
A really successful local band walked by and the group went silent. "That's the Police", someone whispered in reverent tones. "Their bassist is AWESOME." Sting brushed some of the wild hair from his face and nodded in confident acceptance of their admiration. I begrudingly admitted they were totally right. Damn him and his ego.
They finally opened the doors to the performance hall and some of us filtered past the milling throngs into the backstage area. All our instruments were there, but my keyboards were locked up and I couldn't get to them. We eventually busted the locks and pulled them out, but all the buttons were written in some kind of japanese characters and all I could do was to make the keyboard make little laser sounds.
Before you ask, yes, I know what the really not-so-subtle message there was.
Anyway, we did one number and managed to make people like us, though the other members of the band I was playing with it kept giving me dirty looks. Finally, I abandoned the keyboards and started playing the old piano at the side of the stage. It sounded pretty tinny and distorted and was slightly off key, but it filled out the arrangement better than little laser sounds, so it was good and the band stopped hating me.
Unfortunately, the audience apparently preferred the lasers and booed us off the stage. We walked off the stage under a hail of beer bottles but felt like heroes.
Back up on the street, we laughed and joked about the night's performance and the other musicians came by to offer their congratulations. The Police meandered back by, and Sting nodded to me, a subtle hint of a smile on his far too cool face. It was better than a Grammy or a Gold Record.
The darkness in the sky faded to light, and we started to stand up and make our way back to our homes to sleep off the day like musically precocious vampire lads and when one of the other musicians asked me where I was going (I was at that moment stepping onto a bus), I explained that I was going to go "do a mission." He assumed I was talking about "video game stuff", so nodded and gave me the thumbs up.
I hopped on the bus and it flew off. (yes. It's a dream. They can do that there.)
When the busplane landed, I was in the wilds of spanish arizona or something. The ground wasn't quite red enough to be the arizona I know, but the houses were all made of clay and though nobody was of a particularly distinct racial appearance, they all spoke spanish and russian. Or something. It sounded russian, it could have been klingon, for all I know. Anyway.
They started asking me a lot of church fact questions, all of which I answered. They were all very happy with me, and said I was going to be a great asset for them and their "great work" to convert the rest of the world. I looked around the rest of the world and couldn't see anything but a wasteland beyond the little scattered houses I could see directly around me.
I asked them how many people were left, and another much older person stepped out of a small house and said, "only 1000 people left, and half of them are already ours."
I was invited in with a few other "missionaries", who finally looked at me with my button up shirt, long hair and beard and asked me why I was there.
"You're not a missionary, are you?"
I laughed. "No, I'm not even a member of your church," I answered.
The local missionary leader's brow furrowed. "Then why are you here?"
Not really sure how to answer (what do you say when your dream-people ask you about your dreams?), I shrugged and said I didn't know.
They all escorted me out of the building and told me I needed to leave, because I didn't belong there. "You don't have the proper underwear," they said (this makes a lot more sense if you're familiar with the mormon church, btw). "We can do this without your help."
I thought of a thousand things I wanted to tell them, but was once again reminded that you cannot tell someone a thing if they don't want to know it. And, besides, my alarm clock was going off, and I needed to wake up.
I hit snooze but didn't really awaken, instead going right back into the dream.
I was now back at the cafe, but dressed in nicer clothing and with a much better haircut. But all the other musicians were still there, but looking a bit older and with a bit longer hair and dirtier clothes than before. They asked me where I'd gone, I told them.
They laughed. "Really? A missionary? But why?"
I explained it was because I'd needed to know what I believed in. They laughed again and poured me another beer. From behind us came a voice at another table. It was Sting, now looking more like how he looks in fact, today. At his table was John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison. Sting gets the best tables, damn him.
Sting said, "So what did you find out?"
I looked back at him. "I found out that I didn't believe in anything."
Jimi laughed. "Not true, man. You can't find nothing."
John agreed. "Even when you don't find what you wanted, you do find something else. Faith is faith, even if it's not the faith you were looking for."
I looked over at Jim, expecting something else as an addition, but he just half-smiled behind those annoying sunglasses of his, and pointed a thumb at Lennon. "it's cool that you took the journey, man, you gotta be happy with that."
Sting just shrugged. "Best thing you ever did was leave the road they gave you in search of something new. The trouble now is that you don't know where to go."
I agreed, recognizing the truth when I heard it. "Can't I just go everywhere?"
Jim raised his glass. "I like this kid."
Sting and John shook their heads. "Not all at once," John said. "Just one road at a time."
The low beeping started sounding off out of the club again, like some truly annoying pager. The four musicians raised their glasses. "You're on, kid," the guy at the door said.
"You'll do fine," Sting assured me.
John peered at me over his glasses. "But you already knew that."
Jimi took a long drink and nodded with a sort of half-smile that told me nothing at all without making me feel like I'd been ripped off from my brush with fame.
Jim leaned back, looking up at the sky. "The only thing stoppin' you is the stoppin', man."
I looked back at the club's opened doors and closed my eyes.