In the course of this long life that glides by so swiftly, I’ve learned from different traditions and practices. Last Saturday, insight and inspiration appeared at the Venice Beach Music Fest – Free! Outside! At the beach! where I went to hear the Ace of Cups, the first all-girl rock ‘n’ roll band, founded in the 60s (there were all-female R & B bands). Their story is common; the women who shared the stage with The Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendricks never got to make an album like their brother bands who are now famous in rock history. Their story is unique; now in their 70s, they’ve released their first album and are working on their second.
Good musicians can take the heartache and challenges of life and transform them into rollicking music and haunting song. Singing about the milestones in our lives, these musicians celebrate love, connection, wisdom – rocking their joyous tunes with the energy that unites us all in love. Sometimes when they are singing wild rock ‘n’ roll, the sacred flows through our hearts as we move with the beat. They sing about love and loss, about justice and what matters. It’s an ecstatic practice that calls to mind meditations on lovingkindness, compassion, beautiful places where the heart can awaken and grow strong.
From Denise Kaufman, beloved friend, singer/writer, bass and harmonica player: “We thought that society would have made many more radical, positive changes by now in terms of tolerance, diversity, equity and a sense of shared humanity — all the things that were values of those times…So the connections that we can have with people who hear our music now are really holy, because we need to sing out together with people who stand for those values. We need to reach each other and hold each other’s hands and gain strength and inspiration from each other. Getting to be at the age we are, and being able to play as we’re playing, helps us and helps everybody who sees us nourish or recover that faith that the hard times won’t prevail, and that our planet will survive, and that we can work together, and it’s not too late.”