Into The Great Wide Open…

10 Aug

Tom Petty…

There’s an old saying that goes “If you gotta eat shit, don’t nibble”. That quote was reminded me by a co-worker of mine who I must say, really thrust a piece of wisdom so valuable that it is timeless and priceless to our human day-to-day existence. What I mean by that is that sometimes, as has been my experience, you are absolutely and completely, on top of it, you are running the show, your life is great; beautiful girlfriend, great paying job, luck on your side and you are just coasting. But it’s those very moments that are actually setting a sabotage for your future events where things all of a sudden fall completely apart, where in the course of a few events, everything you built around you, your “house of cards” so to speak completely crumbles around you and you are left with a vast sea of complete shit, left to pick up the pieces and try to start building up that house of cards again. This is what life is all about.

This is not only happening on a personal level, it’s happening on a global level and guess what, it’s happening at the microscopic level as well! Do you think ants are not picking up the pieces? Do you think gnats don’t have a Shakespearean tragedy running their lives as well? Do you truly believe that we humans are the only ones, nay that YOU are the only one experiencing the so-called “unique ” tragedy of yours? Well don’t nibble too long, !

What we are going through. That’s were a very crass, yet very powerful saying like, “If you gotta eat shit, don’t nibble” comes along. It’s not an exercise in pain or torture, it’s an empowering quote, it’s the stuff that picks you up and makes you say “yes!! “this is a shitty situation, yes, this was not the way I INTENDED it but this is what is right now, it’s mine and I want to take that in and say YES YES YES to it. No matter what or how bad it is, no matter how insane it is, no matter how “not part of the script” it is, no matter how “this wasn’t supposed to happen to me” this is. you MUST take it in with all your being, internalize it, say yes to it, say “yes, my life is in the mud, yes, the world is in the mud, YES YES YES, we are all going to die and it will be what it will be, but for now…….”

for now…..

I just need to be with this. I need to get through this , I need to eat this shit with everything I have. YES!

I have been learning this lesson, If I nibble at it, it will only last longer and fester and get even worse. So why not get to know it? Why not get intimate with it? Why not become a chameleon in your own nightmare? Because even in all their  horror nightmares are beautiful. Only fear of nightmares is ugly.  The most enlightened Jiddu Krishnamurti once said the very simple words.. “Fear destroys Love”. I mean on the surface level, these words actually do little for me. They don’t have any effect on my emotional state. It’s when I think more and more about those three simple words, something else starts to shine through, I begin to see my internal world for what it is, a state of fear, fear of injury, fear of disease, fear of pain, fear of poverty, fear of intimacy, fear of love.

Fear destroys love. No more have I witnessed this than in the past month when I put my life through a completely different pattern, that I was unaccustomed to, one where I was at the end of my stressful limit, where I had no other life than that of my job, where I had to essentially become a robot in order to survive a gruelling schedule. I said, “”If I’m gonna eat shit, I won’t nibble” and so I turned to an experience where I learned how to embrace, responsibility, embrace intense heat and intense work in order to create something beautiful, a tour manager for plays in the park. A huge audience all around Montreal for one month. But only this time I’m heading out again. I’m gonna do another cross Canada tour. I’m gonna be hitting every major city and town in Canada, spreading my newfound wisdom on how to build your house of cards, then watch it crumble and then rebuild it again with a huge smile on your face, p;lease, If you have a deck of cards and want to learn what “real” construction is, then come see these shows in a city near you. september is the month where all the shit I ate will turn into gold. I’m gonna share that gold with everyone who walks through that entrance.

I’m gonna share this Gold with you my fine fellow Canadians. After a jaunt around Europe, the UK and Scandinavia, I’m bringing the gold to Canada all throughout September. I will be touring the latest of the one man band set, uk Tested, uk approved. Since we are all lovers of the Queen (by choice or NOT by choice). From September 3rd to October 5th I’ll be once again hitting the Great Wide Open road and getting on tour from the east coast in Montreal all the Way to the West coast to Vancouver and Victoria then back for the Jon Cohen Experimental. It will be the 2nd tour of 2012 , a smaller 5 week tour by my standards of Late but no less entertaining or grandiose in its own way. This will be another Greyhound tour, that is I’ll be traveling everywhere by Greyhound bus, my preferred mode of transport for these types of Tours. I’m especially excited to be opening for Bloodshot Bill in Hamilton, to be playing at the Olio Festival in Vancouver and another special surprise slot which I’ll save for the next post!

This will be my last tour to close the Chapter on two magnificent years of music which Included, the release of My last record Behold, which was critically acclaimed and well received, A mega 52 date winter Pilgrim Tour throughout all of Canada and all of the United States. I also organized and created an amazingly successful 3 day festival.. The One Man Band Festival with over 22 artists and 6 venues. Finally, a 2.5 month mega Passenger Tour across all of the United Kingdom, Europe and Scandinavia, a well honed live show that has turned many heads including media with over 160 media features on the Jon Cohen Experimental in just 2 years alone. Most importantly though, I’ve made new fans all over the world, new faces, new people to play for, new friends have made these amazing experiences we’ve had together. Lots of people ask me why I do so much and how I do it. It’s funny I always ask myself the same thing before heading out on these adventures because they are sometimes so difficult to plan, so gut wrenching and require a will of steel.But playing for you, meeting you, sharing music with you is an ADDICTIVE activity. I need to do it, simple as that. It is sharing love in one form or another, and the generosity, the kindness, the admiration and the support you have all shown me in the last couple of years alone has made me more of a fan of you,  then you of me. Can’t wait to see you in the great wide open at the start of september, stay tuned by next week’s post I should have all tour dates up (over 25 tourdates). I’ll be sharing and touring a few shows in the Ontario leg of the tour with another amazing artist called Jean Paul De Roover. I highly suggest checking out some of his tunes, he is pretty unique.

This summer has been beautiful and intense, with highlights like a visit form Lisa Baum, Camping trips, tour managing work for Shakespeare in the Park This month is jam-packed with weddings (three of which I’m officiating one of a close friend) it’s bursting with tour preparation, with an outdoor festival I’m playing called Duckstock this coming weekend, and with a complete music gear overhaul, new songs, a new show, new energy, this shit ain’t gonna be for the nibbling, ;)

Anxious to See you all again on the open road! In the meantime, here’s a video I did for Balcony TV that just came out of a performance I did in Hamburg this past March on top of one of Germany’s biggest bomb bunkers called the Medienbunker, it was a powerful experience.

and here’s an interview on CBC with my employer with Paul Crawford , the Shakespeare in the Park artistic Director as well as the two lead actors..you can listen to the interview here.

With love and Excitement!

Jon Cohen

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