Sorry for the light posting recently. Holidays, heartbreaks and hauling shit across the country occupied a lot of my recent time, but now life is back to a place where I will be writing again.
Anyway, New Years Eve I was thinking of traditions. How they start, what they mean, and why we like them.
The tradition I was thinking of at the time was listening to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on New Years Eve. I’m not quite sure how it started, but I’ve been doing it since about 1993. When it started, we timed the end of the song with the ball drop. The finest math in the world can turn to shit with enough Barney (grape soda and grain alcohol), we hardly ever timed it right. After we stopped having parties in Hereford it became difficult to convince others that my tradition was important. Seventeen minutes and five seconds is a long time for people who don’t love acid rock drum solos and organs. Still, I would get my In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida in sometime in the last couple hours of the year. For 13 years I’ve ended the year with Iron Butterfly.
One year, while spending the New Years Eve in a hotel in Orlando, I’m convinced something good would have happened to me if had only went out on my own and I followed the signs. Five miles away, Iron Butterfly was playing a New Years Eve show. I didn’t go; my friends weren’t interested (the hero of canton was macking on a girl who ended up throwing up all over him and Walt Welt wanted to hit on Corbets sister). It was a good night though, I ended up taking a fully clothed dive in the pool (scarf and all) and nearly freezing in the 40 degree weather. Still I wonder what might have happened if I went…
Anyway, after the first couple years, I can’t really imagine not reflecting on the past year without that guitar riff, without that organ, without those nonsensical words.
My brothers girlfriends family, besides drinking like fishes, have their own traditions involving grapes, hiding under tables and giving out dollar bills all designed to help fate and encourage good luck and fortune. At what point does Iron Butterfly for me become almost a superstition. Has it already?
Beyond the luck and the good fortune there is comfort in the familiar. I listen to an old techno song called “The Bog” by Bi-God 20 every time I near a camp site at night. My friends and I did it once, and every time afterward it just seemed right to do it again. The feeling of being apart of something bigger than you is appealing. Doing something just because that’s they way we do it.
I like how a winter party can become a tradition once it gets a name. Slackers Weekend. A summer camping trip. Bourbon and Burn. Like gaining influence over a demon, a name gives power.
Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about this New Years Eve. I wish everyone a happy ‘07. Otter