This song took a while to grab me…I bought this record when it came out and really wanted to like it-I was OK with “Killing the Blues” and I knew the music was good but I just did not have a taste for it. It was not the music that needed to change-it was something about me that was missing it. This is not a crisis –there is no way a person can get everything on first or even 100th listen-music is the universal language but sometimes we just have trouble with dialects that are strange to us.
Then something changed about me.
I love beer-I love good beer-Beer is the tonic of the working man-Beer is what I almost started a blog about (and still might)-I do not trust people who do not drink beer-I do not like self righteous people that tell me beer is bad. My hero, a Mr. C.S. Lewis, once drank beer down the pub with his buddy J.R.R Tolkien as they exchanged stories….yes bitches-beer was helping make “Lord of the Rings’! I love beer!
Then I stopped drinking beer and started going to the gym a few weeks ago. I am not going to list all the reasons this happened (I truly do need another blog or two of an anonymous nature to really crack this egg and make a web omelet)-lifestyle changes can be difficult and necessary-and often changing one thing leads to changing eight more things-
Let’s go forward.
I am on the elliptical working out and “Nothin” plays in my headphones…It was like liquid lightning fueling my brain….Wow!!!!….Crank this up-this is an amazing song-This is electric bluegrass-this is organic hard rock—-this is like the best Led Zeppelin song ever written for a grownup-this is talking to me!!! I can hear it now. “I’m not using nothin’” tell my friends in the hall-I’m not using nothin’. I was blown away and blasted to bits—I get it now.
My level of addiction is not comparable to what destroyed the life of Townes Van Zandt who wrote this song. My stormy sea of troubles is nothing compared to some who have suffered much more. But the growth and evolution of my being is enough that this song slays the dragon of repressed emotion in me with every listen.
That is what great art can do if we understand the language which gives it meaning to us. And it does not have to be the exact meaning that the writer intended. “I’m not using nothin”