Everyone in boxing probably makes out well except for the fighter. He's the only one that's on Skid Row most of the time; he's the only one that everybody just leaves when he loses his mind. He sometimes goes insane, he sometimes goes on the bottle, because it's an intensive pressure sport that allows people to just lose it.
Give parents the tiniest of confidences and they'll use them as crowbars to jimmy you open and rearrange your life with no perspective. Sometimes I'd just like to mace them. I want to tell them that I envy their upbringings that were so clean, so free of futurelessness. And I want to throttle them for blindly handing over the world to us like so much skid-marked underwear.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming .. WOO HOO - What a Ride!"
You know, in some ways conducting is counter-intuitive. It's like winter driving in Finland - if you skid, the natural reaction is to fight with the wheel and jam on the brakes, which is the quickest way to get killed. What you have to do is let go, and the car will right itself. It's the same when an orchestra loses its ensemble. You have to resist the temptation to semaphore, and let the orchestra find its own way back to the pulse.
I know that I come from mid-20th century America, urban, specifically downtown New York, specifically an Italian-American area, Roman Catholic - that's who I am. And a part of what I know is there's a decency to people who tried to make a living in the kind of world that was around us and also the Skid Row area of the Bowery; it impressed me.
A fantastic analogy for the power of focus is racing cars. When your car begins to skid, the natural reflex is to look at the wall in an attempt to avoid it. But if you keep focusing on what you fear, that's exactly where you'll end up. Professional racers know that we unconsciously steer in the direction of our focus, so with their lives on the line, they turn their focus away from the wall and towards the open track.
When your 18th, 19, 20 years old like we were at that time, its just like anyone else, you look at like Silverchair and bands like that that are super young and sound extremely derivative of bands that were out at that current moment. As they sounded like 'Nirvana in pajamas' as we called them, we sounded like Bon Jovi and Skid Row and Motley Crue, because we were only influenced by what was out at the time because we were so young
You know the Model of your Car. You know just what its powers are. You treat it with a deal of care, Nor tax it more than it will bear. But as to self "" that's different. Your mechanism may be bent, Your carbureter gone to grass, Your engine just a rusty mass. Your wheels may wobble and your cogs Be handed over to the dogs, And on you skip, and skid, and slide, Without a thought of things inside. What fools indeed we mortals are To lavish care upon a Car, With ne'er a bit of time to see About our own machinery!
John Kendrick Bangs
God is the comic shepherd who gets more of a kick out of that one lost sheep once he finds it again than out of the ninety and nine who had the good sense not to get lost in the first place. God is the eccentric host who, when the country-club crowd all turned out to have other things more important to do than come live it up with him, goes out into the skid rows and soup kitchens and charity wards and brings home a freak show. The man with no legs who sells shoelaces at the corner. The old woman in the moth-eaten fur coat who makes her daily rounds of the garbage cans. The old wino with his pint in a brown paper bag. The pusher, the whore, the village idiot who stands at the blinker light waving his hand as the cars go by. They are seated at the damask-laid table in the great hall. The candles are all lit and the champagne glasses filled. At a sign from the host, the musicians in their gallery strike up "Amazing Grace.