Rockin' soul

Give yourself fully to every role you play


Tijn Touber | November 2005 issue

I recently saw my old friend Bram. I’ve known Bram since the days we were punk musicians and our focus was working as little as possible while partying as much as we could. Bram and I were like brothers. We both sang and played the guitar and we both planned to make it big in pop music. But the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle took its toll. To avoid going to an early grave I got out of the music business after 15 long years to focus on “a higher path.” It was healthier and cheaper than drugs, and a much better high!

Most of my punk friends considered me a softie, especially when I decided to stop drinking and smoking, and become a vegetarian and celibate. But Bram found it very intriguing and started taking meditation lessons too. In a few weeks he realized he wasn’t really the rock and roll star he imagined himself, but a soul. He looked at me somewhat regretfully and then made the following legendary statement: “I’m a soul, but I’m also still a rock and roller.”

That made me laugh out loud, but I was also a little disappointed. Apparently Bram hadn’t fully seen the light and he was still hanging on to a contrived sense of identity. I tried to get him to understand: “Bram, your eternal identity is simply ‘soul.’ Your body and the role you’re playing in it are temporary and continually changing, while the soul is eternal. You can decorate your body with leather jackets and trendy boots, but that’s only the outside.”

I also tried to explain to Bram that nearly all the problems in the world stem from the fact that people have forgotten who they really are. The fear and insecurity that result make people hang on to all kinds of contrived identities: “Christian,” “Canadian,” “intellectual,” “president,” “punk,” and so on. But Bram remained adamant. He stuck to his guns: He was and would remain a rock and roller. I was and would remain a soul. That’s how we lost touch.

Then, recently, I saw him again—at my wedding, where he performed an amazing rock song he had written specially for me and my bride. The power with which he sang—complete with cigarette, Martini and a contagious dance step—was so intense it revitalized for me the dying métier of the pure rock and roller. And suddenly I understood what Bram meant when he said he was a soul and a rock and roller. If Bram had not been completely convinced that he was a rock and roller as well as a soul, he could never have sung so beautifully.

Now it was my turn to learn from Bram. If you’re going to play a role, play it with all your heart and soul. Give it your all. Don’t hold back. Make every performance a spectacular show. Thank you, Bram. That was a wonderful wedding gift!

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Rockin' soul

Give yourself fully to every role you play


Tijn Touber | November 2005 issue

I recently saw my old friend Bram. I’ve known Bram since the days we were punk musicians and our focus was working as little as possible while partying as much as we could. Bram and I were like brothers. We both sang and played the guitar and we both planned to make it big in pop music. But the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle took its toll. To avoid going to an early grave I got out of the music business after 15 long years to focus on “a higher path.” It was healthier and cheaper than drugs, and a much better high!

Most of my punk friends considered me a softie, especially when I decided to stop drinking and smoking, and become a vegetarian and celibate. But Bram found it very intriguing and started taking meditation lessons too. In a few weeks he realized he wasn’t really the rock and roll star he imagined himself, but a soul. He looked at me somewhat regretfully and then made the following legendary statement: “I’m a soul, but I’m also still a rock and roller.”

That made me laugh out loud, but I was also a little disappointed. Apparently Bram hadn’t fully seen the light and he was still hanging on to a contrived sense of identity. I tried to get him to understand: “Bram, your eternal identity is simply ‘soul.’ Your body and the role you’re playing in it are temporary and continually changing, while the soul is eternal. You can decorate your body with leather jackets and trendy boots, but that’s only the outside.”

I also tried to explain to Bram that nearly all the problems in the world stem from the fact that people have forgotten who they really are. The fear and insecurity that result make people hang on to all kinds of contrived identities: “Christian,” “Canadian,” “intellectual,” “president,” “punk,” and so on. But Bram remained adamant. He stuck to his guns: He was and would remain a rock and roller. I was and would remain a soul. That’s how we lost touch.

Then, recently, I saw him again—at my wedding, where he performed an amazing rock song he had written specially for me and my bride. The power with which he sang—complete with cigarette, Martini and a contagious dance step—was so intense it revitalized for me the dying métier of the pure rock and roller. And suddenly I understood what Bram meant when he said he was a soul and a rock and roller. If Bram had not been completely convinced that he was a rock and roller as well as a soul, he could never have sung so beautifully.

Now it was my turn to learn from Bram. If you’re going to play a role, play it with all your heart and soul. Give it your all. Don’t hold back. Make every performance a spectacular show. Thank you, Bram. That was a wonderful wedding gift!

Solution News Source

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