What a way to end this year. It's taken me this past week to wrap my head around our experience in California. I feel humbled and honored at the same time, everything and nothing. Great fodder for my internal philosopher.
Roger Steffens is remarkable. Incredibly giving, generous with his time and energy, sharing his stories about Life. As a kid, captivated by sci-fi comic strips, he wrote a letter to his favorite and ended up becoming lifelong friends with the creator and having his name used in the strip. As a teen, looking up to Alan Freed, he saw some of the first group shows of the birth of rock-n-roll, later to be called himself 'Alan Freed' by Little Richard. As a young adult in the time of the Vietnam War, he found reggae, so impressed with a Gonzo-writer's article in Rolling Stone. Since then he has become THE chronicler of Bob Marley and his contributions to the world. Collecting every scrap of audio, video, and printed material about Tuff Gong or even remotely related to Bob, Roger has created an archive that not only would reduce any superfan to drooling, but would make that fan want to add his collection to Roger's. There is a genuine sense of driven purpose to preserve the essence of Bob's life. Befriending Bob's family, The Wailers, and any photographer, musician, roadie connected to Bob, Roger continues to seek connections worldwide, spreading One Love. That's why I would characterize him as Marley's apostle. It is that deep of a love.
After throwing in stories about his friends Timothy Leary, Carlos Santana, and others, Roger connected me and my family to his collection. Looking back, it was very interesting, deliberate. Listening to Bob's solo jamming in the background, Roger asked us all about pieces of our stories, taking pictures with me and the paintings, learning that my wife's birthday was the day Bob died, hearing about my father-in-law's Vietnam enlistment rejection, and sharing his personal photos of Bob with me to see if I'd be interested in having any copies. Oh my! What beautiful shots he had, some he took, some Peter Simon took. I'll definitely paint more of them. Connecting me further. Such an honor. It was truly a moment of mutual respect, something very unique. Life reconnecting with Life. One Love.
I don't know if I'm portraying the experience well enough, but I think at least I've given a sense of it. Overwhelming would be the one word for sure. Also, more practically, overwhelming is the fact that I basically broke even financially this year, even with paying for my health insurance! Pretty cool for my first full year. I've also got several irons in the fire, as they say. Primitive Kool sold Hendrix and SRV, Wild About Music sold SRV, and I've got a few potential commissions. Also, http://www.notcot.org/, a very cool site, posted about me, leading to a couple other blogs asking for info to do their own posts. I've got many more contacts on Flickr as well. So, it's spreading! I'd better get painting, huh?
If you're coming to this blog unaware of my Vinyl Art, please, take a bit to read through more of my posts. They really do give a good sense of my background and what I'm doing with it. Then, you can also see other examples if you:
CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE AT: WWW.VINYLART.INFO
and please have a safe and happy New Year's. Peace.