#NaptownSlim be ROCKIN…
Slim love some Led Zeppelin. I mean, LOVE some Led Zeppelin.
They’re kinda like Slim’s ‘Rock N Roll Security Blanket’….and I can relate a lotta Led Zeppelin songs to my Daddy and Uncles. Them cats taught me to have an open mind for ALL music…
Led Zeppelin albums were some of the first albums I played, by myself, just to be listening to music and controlling it. Straight born to DJ. I’mma find ‘The CUT’ on this album. As it turned out, Led Zeppelin albums are FULL of ‘The CUT’.
I copped these albums by searching through the archives at my Grandma’s house and finding the ‘doubles’, the albums that there were TWO copies of…Grandma and Grandpa had stashed a buncha records away when they moved and one miraculous summer, I found a GANG of records I KNEW everybody had forgotten about in the hall closet. I found ALL the joints there were two of, which I realized in later years, meant my Dad or Aunties Angela C Johnson and Jessie (whom I can’t tag… *shakes fist at Facebook*) got caught slippin.
“But, Gramma…there’s TWO of em…and I juuuust got a record player…”
Lil Russell was finna become a ‘record hawk’…and didn’t even know it. “I GOTTA HAVE THAT RECORD”…that first batch of records included the first three Led Zeppelin records, Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ (TWO records, even better), two Edgar Winter Group records…all records I love to this day, records I have used to create music of my own, records that took me back to Gary when I was in Indianapolis…
Now, why is THAT a big deal to me…?
Well, I believe music is really a key factor in helping us make memories and create the dreams that will make new memories for others. I hear the song attached here and I flash back to being a happy child, discovering music and the family that afforded me the opportunity. I’m sitting in front of my little portable record-player, which likely cost a little fortune to my family and Lil’ Russell…was…GON..get his…little…record player.
I’m in my room, listening to a song that I know I’m gonna play again and again and I was lucky enough to get to hear it now…and I can play it when I want, for who I want, and tell those people what I think about it.
I don’t know what I was born to do. I just know I had a family and friends that nourished the things I was naturally passionate about.
“That’s the way it oughtta be…don’t ya know?”
Feed your kids’ ….MINDS.
Another funky #ATFU production and yes, dammit, it’s REAL.
‘A Mother’s Love’
I saw my Mama have a seizure for the first time when I was 5. It was during Christmas. She just tilted over and started shaking. I can still hear my Grandfather’s voice yelling that something was WRONG.
When I was 6 or 7, my Mama had a massive seizure. She entered a coma. Bad times, really bad times. We didn’t know if she was gonna make it. If she did, we didn’t know if she was gonna walk or talk again. We had come back here from Gary, IN after my parents split a coupla years before…so I was still adjusting. My family really stepped it up.
I never saw my Mama with all the tubes in her body and ventilators and stuff. My family knew it would be a bit much. I wasn’t sheltered, per se, but they knew it was not something I needed to see. Everything was in the air, in terms of her living or dying.
I was sent to Detroit to stay with my Auntie Fannie while some of this stuff was happening. I think my famliy was really trying to figure everything out and getting me away from it all for a while was a great move. Auntie took excellent care of me; I can remember going to a t-shirt shop and getting a shirt with an iron-on of a Corvette on it with my name in iron-on letters on the back. (My first lesson in ‘branding’! hahaha!). We went to Belle Isle too, first time I rode one of those big yellow giant slides.
Maybe two weeks later, we got a call. My Mama was awake.
They sent me home to see her. We went to the hospital and they sat us in the chapel. My family let me know that she wasn’t quite the same, she couldn’t talk or walk yet, but we had hope and that I was a part of that ‘hope’. They wanted me to be strong. I was strong.
When they wheeled my Mama in, it was obvious that she wasn’t the same. Well, shit, they wheeled her in, didn’t they?
Me and this lady used to draw together, she was the assistant coach on my softball team, we would make tapes of us singing, she sang to me, we read books, she got me to school on time, she made sure I knew what love and respect were, even from a very early age…and they were wheeling her in.
She looked at me…and she just started crying. She reached out to me. Her hands moved slowly, as if they were heavy, but she reached out to me. I went to the wheelchair and I hugged her. I hugged her so tight. I didn’t wanna let her go. I told her I loved loved loved loved her. She didn’t hafta say a word. She couldn’t. I understood that. She said it all before she went into that coma. I knew.
She woke up for me.
My family knew.
She will walk again and talk again for me.
My family knew.
After the initial visit, I wanted to see her every day, but I had to understand that there was sooo much work to do. We were so far from outta the woods, man. There were years of rehab ahead, years of speech therapy, years of work to do to get back to some assemblance of ‘normalcy’. She still may not be what you remembered, but the core of that person is there. The soul of that person is there. I couldn’t lose sight of that as a child and I never have as an adult.
There is nothing as genuine as a mother’s love. She loved you when you were simply a thought simply because of who you are and will love you through whatever you become. The least you can do is do the same for her.
My Mother was at the Gates of Heaven and went through Hell to come back…for me.
There’s nothing in the world that will ever compare to that kinda love. Happy Mother’s Day, everybody. Cherish that woman.
Respect and Grace,