Gary U.S. Bonds
Press
September 27, 2013

The Music In Me

Barry Kibrick Blogs: The Official Blog of "Between the Lines" on PBS

I have been blessed to have many wonderful musicians, singers and songwriters on Between the Lines. From Ray Manzarek and John Densmore of The Doors to Richie Havens and Janis Ian. And musical guests as diverse as Mickey Hart, one of the co-founders of The Grateful Dead, Chaka Khan, avant-garde pianist Sandy Owens and Country Western singer/songwriter Larry Dean.

This week in Los Angeles and many of my markets across the country we go to some of the early roots of rock and roll with Gary U.S. Bonds and his autobiography, By U.S. Bonds.

In our conversation he mentioned how Sam Cooke influenced him by saying: "Do something Bonds!" Sam meant that more important than just singing was to bring your soul into your performance.

When Gary started doing that his success followed right behind. In fact, Bruce Springsteen at an early age felt that soul come out of Gary and said that he became one of The Boss's big influences and Gary and Bruce even play together on certain occasion to this day.

I remember my conversation with the late Ray Manzarek who said that he was not only aware of the soul in The Doors music, but believed that what the music did was actually penetrate the chakras in our body, not just our ears. That music can literally be absorbed by our cells and felt as much as heard. When I spoke about this with The Doors drummer, John Densmore he at first was taken aback by how powerful that sounded and then too realized how beautiful it was.

In fact, when meeting Richie Havens, the soulful experience must have exuded from his pores because when in his presence you actually feel it and it soothes you just being near him.

So next time you listen to any of the music in your life that moves you, remember, the music literally is in you. Feel it and enjoy where it takes you, for as Janis Ian so eloquently put it, "It's all about the journey".

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