It is so cool that the lineup for three days in the Palm Springs Desert Trip includes the following—Bob Dylan opening for The Rolling Stones, Neil Young setting up Paul McCartney, and Roger Waters warming up the audience for The Who. We are beyond excited to be going to the shows over the October 14-16 weekend. I have high expectations the music will fill the nighttime desert air with love, peace, and joy. The fact that all these bands are made up of men is evident to me. I think the promoters may have missed an opportunity to add Adele, Lady Gaga, or Sarah McLachlan. I am not complaining. There is a good chance we will see more of these big, multi-band events. The promoters are making real money on this event.
I have been thinking about the theme these bands may bring to the event. There is a common heritage with all of them. They had their formative years during the tumultuous 1960’s. We have social unrest now so maybe there will be a message. I hope so. We need one.
Four of the bands are British and Neil Young is Canadian, so I don’t think it will be an event infused with Trump or Clinton rhetoric. It is a month before the dreaded election though so you never know. Young seems to have his nose into everything. He did mix it up with The Donald after he used “Rockin in the Free World” to launch the Trump campaign. I suspect Neil will continue his crusade to dismantle Monsanto. His focus on genetically modified organisms or GMO’s is impressive.
It is interesting as all these guys are in their sixties or seventies. I think there is a message here. At a time when you would expect them to slow down or hang it up, they are still doing it. That is good news for young and old alike.
Aside from being a bunch of old men acting like teenagers, there is something even bigger at work here. Desert Trip promises to be two weekends where men and woman, young and old all do one thing.
It is distinctly American to come together and celebrate something with a large crowd. I love it that all this is happening in the face of fears of terror, discrimination, and segregation. This country still has parades and gatherings every weekend all year long. New York City is notorious for this. It amazes me that more people live downtown in NYC post 9/11 than before the attacks. Americans are fearless. We like to point out all the things we aren’t good at but hold some close to our hearts. Try to take away our right and passion for getting together, and you are likely to fail. Gatherings for causes like cancer or children drive us to line up even more.
No fear here.
Desert Trip is a musical festival. An event led by men who explained social change in their music over forty years ago. I suspect there will be an opportunity and message we will look back on in the years ahead. These guys are just too good at it. Too lasting.
For now, take comfort in this fact. Regardless of the determination of those who would harm us. Those people who want to keep us cowering in our homes. We will gather and spend several days celebrating the music. A language that we all understand but many cannot speak. There are messages in there I am certain. Listen, and you just might hear it.
My best, Chris
I will provide an update or two from the event. At the least, I will follow up with a post, post-show. Peace.
Photo: Getty Images