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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Hook & The Head Fake (Or RCPM Rocks & RIP Randy)

Inspiration and passion. It fills my soul when I see it in any form. It drives my desire to paint and create and enrich people's lives.

So this past Saturday we went down to Tucson to see Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, my second time seeing them live (this was the first). It was the day after Randy Pausch died from spreading pancreatic cancer.

Both very inspirational and passionate individuals in their own humble ways, I started thinking about what it was that drew me to them.

Both simply make the people around them feel good to be alive. But they do it in different ways.

Roger, with his incredible energy and stage presence connects with his audience by getting them involved in the moment. Through the years he has taught his fans how to help make his concerts a better experience for all: participation. Feel included, feel appreciated and grateful all at once. Feel lucky to be alive.

He does this, I think, by having a "hook" in just about every song that either the audience echoes, or he helps everybody along with, or they just sing it themselves. Below, I've embedded a video of "Banditos" at 2007's Circus Mexicus. Sometimes almost the whole song is the hook. The audience often on cue counts into songs "uno, dos, tres, quatro" without him even prompting anymore. They, we, are his tribe. We know it and we love it. Life is grand at a RCPM show. Beauty is everywhere.

Randy, with his incredible energy and stage presence connects with his audience by taking them for a ride with a payoff at the end. Below, I've embedded the video on YouTube of his "Last Lecture". It's over an hour. But it's worth it. Drawn into his life story and the way that he relates it to general ways to achieve your dreams, he does what great teachers sometimes do: trick students into learning. Using concrete examples throughout, he makes the audience feel like part of the story; following the lecture bullet points they think are about reaching their dreams that instead lead to the completely unexpected end.

The "head fake", the "oh wow" moment. And a double one at that. Like a good twist at the end of a movie, I won't spoil it for those who want to and haven't yet gone on the ride. But what it does, I think, is makes the viewer remember the message, makes them feel good about having "gotten it", and makes them feel good about living.

Roger's head fake? He gets to do what he loves, and you go to every show you can. (We're going again in two weeks to the Tempe gig.)
Randy's hook? Watch the lecture again and see how he pulls you along. (Kinda makes you cry at different moments, huh?)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've never heard them before. Time for me to do it..You have written this so well!