Cult Following

While out and about in the bustle of SXSW the idea of attaining just a small but loyal cult following was presented as the ideal fan base. Naturally, I thought, who has a cult following? I just discovered Roky Erickson by seeing him perform at this festival, so I may be off base, but a pioneer of psychedelic music must have some very avid fans. Maybe a cult? Who’s to say.

Brian Wilson was brought up. He was definitely bigger than cult-status with the Beach Boys, but maybe now, in his later years, he has the comfort of a smaller, but ever-loving fan base. Or maybe the folklore surrounding him is enough to make him a cult figure, no matter how generally popular he actually is.

Townes certainly creates cult followers with every listener he touches. I am whole-heartedly one. He was a pivotal figure in our Austin ‘folkster’ scene a decade ago. His music is pure poetry. You must have a heart to enjoy it. If you do, please start here…

Townes Van Zandt :: Townes Van Zandt

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Perfect rainy day album

All these men have cult followings and you know what, reader? All these men have lost their minds at some point. I am not alone. And now I know there is real life to be had, even after being publicly ostracized for being perceived as crazy. Hunter S. Thompson summed up my predicament nicely…

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Tragically, Roky and Townes were involuntarily submitted to shock therapy that forever affected their capacities. I thank God that I was not subjected to any permanently damaging treatments. Puffed-up on too much Lithium and the painful monotony of incarceration were my worst fates. Aside from the strange satanic rituals performed on me when I was admitted. I am convinced that this is where the satanists thrive – the psychiatric ward. They can conduct any kind of wickedness and no matter what, it can be written off as insanity. The psych ward is where I learned the power of the words LEAVE ME ALONE! You should’ve seen it, reader… it was a wholly spiritual experience.

With that said, it seems that people like their artists unstable. Existing on the edge of reality. Returning to earth with tales of the hereafter or the under belly of existence. What good is singing about the day-to-day – something the listener is already well-versed in. They want escape. Magic. To be taken away from this God-forsaking place, if even for 3 minutes. I can do that. I want to do that. I will do that.

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