A couple of weeks ago I was in the process of staggering back from a night on the tiles with some good friends (an occurance that happens all too regularly). I sat on the train and proceeded to read an old copy of the Evening Standard, in a desperate attempt to stay awake to my stop at Mill Hill. A rather attractive young lady then positioned herself next to me and to my extreme surprise, started a conversation. She said “Have you had a good night?”. Rather surprised that such a fresh faced beauty was trying to chat me up, I replied “Excellent, have you?”. She replied “Yes, I’ve met lots of lovely people tonight”. She added “What have you been doing?”. I replied “I had a couple of beers and a curry with a few friends”.
At this she said “Have you ever thought that there may be more to life than beer and curry?”. Now of course I am more than aware of this, so I said “Oh yes, of course there is, there’s Rock and Roll as well!”. She looked just a little perturbed. She asked “But where do you think we go when it is all over?” She asked. I replied “We go to Rock and Roll heaven, if we’re lucky”. She looked at me with a pitying look and said “There is no such place as Rock and Roll heaven, that place is HELL!” Now all of a sudden the penny dropped. The lovely young lady wanted a discussion about religion. However it was Friday night and Friday night is Rock and Roll night, so I wanted a discussion about Rock and Roll. I also knew that if I chatted for twenty minutes, I’d be at Mill Hill and I wouldn’t miss my stop.
I replied “Actually you are quite wrong. Heaven is a wonderful place and the best part of it is the bit where they play rock and roll. That is where Jimi Hendrix, Joey Ramone, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin live and every night is party night!”. My new found friend said “I’m afraid your wrong, where does it say that in the bible”. So I responded “Doesn’t it say there are many rooms in my Fathers house? Don’t they say only the good die young”. She responded “But Rock and Roll is the Devils music”. I responded “You said that, but it doesn’t say that in the bible does it?” My new found friend said “All the fame and fortune that Pop Stars get only brings them misery and pain, that is why they turn to drink and drugs and die young”. I replied “But they bring millions of people happiness and for many people, the music gets them through difficult times, so surely their sacrifice is commendable?” I added “I run a music studio and I know plenty of musicians who are very happy”. At this she said “But rock music contains Satanic messages. That is a fact!!!!”. She produced a leaflet and suggested I read it, if I wanted to save myself. I replied “Do you actually know any rock musicians? Most of the ones I’ve met are very nice people, probably a lot nicer than what you consider respectable professions”. I thought I’d better change tack, so I asked “You do realise that no one is perfect, don’t you? Surely if Heaven is really the most idylic place to end up, it has to have Joey Ramone jamming with Jimi Hendrix? I mean if that gig was on in the other place, it would certainly confuse a lot of people”. She responded “Rock musicians will not be doing gigs in the other place, they will be burning in the fires!”.
I responded “My RE teacher always told me that wasting your talents is a crime against God, so surely God wouldn’t waste the talents of people who made the lives of millions of people better, by letting them spend eternity burning in the fires of hell, think about it. That is just not logical”.
At this another passenger walked over and said to me “You think you are so clever, but when you die, you will not be so smug then in the fires of hell!”. It became obvious that the two were working together. Now when I’ve had a beer or two, I like nothing better than a discussion. I asked the pair of them “Do you go to Church regularly?” They said “Yes”. I asked “Do you read the Bible regularly” They both said “Yes”. I then said “How many rock and roll songs can you recite, start to finish?” The man said “I don’t know any and I don’t want to?” I then said “Ok, how many do you know at least a verse or a chorus of?” He proudly said “None”. I then said “and how much inspiration have you ever got from listening to a Rock song?” He replied “None”. I then said “And so if I was to ask you what exactly is the best thing about rock and roll what would you say?” He replied “Their is nothing good about rock and roll music”.
At this I said “Thank you. You have confirmed to me that you know absolutely nothing about rock and roll music and you understand the genre even less. Therefore there is absolutely no point in me discussing the genre with you. It is Friday night and that rock and roll night. I have no desire at all to discuss religion right now, but I will say one thing to you. Argent had a hit in 1973 with a track called “God gave Rock and Roll to You” which contained lyrics from Psalm 57. Now there are all manner of rock and roll songs, some good, some bad, some uplifting, some depressing. Life can be a struggle to get through, but when I get depressed, I often hum the chorus which is ‘God gave Rock and Roll to you, gave Rock and Roll to you, Gave Rock and Roll to everyone’. That is the God I want to believe in and in the God I want to believe in’s Heaven there is Rock and Roll and to be quite honest, if you want to undermine my belief in God you are clearly agents of the devil”
At that I picked up the Evening Standard and started reading. My two new found friends, sat in total silence for the rest of the Journey and a couple of other passengers gave me knowing smiles and winks.And yes, I do believe in a rock and roll heaven where Jimi, Janis, Joey and Jim do their stuff around the clock. I’ve often thought about the perfect lineup.
Vocals – Jim Morrison & Joey Ramone & Janis Joplin
Guitar – Jimi Hendrix & Johnny Thunders
Bass – Phil Lynott
Drums – Keith Moon
Now come on, if you were the Lord Almighty, wouldn’t you want that for your house band !