Rock and Roll

Linda Ronstadt

Being in a band is the same as being married, only more so. Sure, differences exist. There are more people in a band. You probably aren’t living in the same place (unless you’re just starting out). Likely there is no sex between band-mates.

Hmmm. Maybe not so different.

This documentary about The Eagles is less historically valuable than it is a tale of human awfulness. When a group of people as financially successful and popular as Fry, Henley, Felder et al can’t bridge their differences, what does it say about our natures? Whatever you think of the music, these guys prove that even from the most comfortable material place, we can find a way to dissension.

I’m sure someone before now has voiced the idea that bands are always on the verge of breaking up. They are like unstable atoms – too much opportunity to bond with other atoms, weird  unbalanced nuclei, only fleeting concern with the unit as a whole, electrons flying about all over the show…

In other words, bands are the opposite of good relationships.

Good relationships can face the same challenges, naturally. Ego plus drugs; talent plus ambition; venality plus money – you might even know people who aren’t musicians who succumb. All of these elements are available to anyone: the point is to choose not to indulge them.

May I suggest something? In my opinion, the difference between rock and roll and marriage is that in a good marriage the members are looking to be the best they can for the other person. You must choose to do so, meaning you must select a person (band-mate) for whom you want to spend time making their life better.

It’s an old-fashioned word, but it’s about serving someone, on the basis that you have a better life for doing so. Rock on.