Soundcheck with an Angel. 10.22.2017 South Carolina
“She's the merry widow on the widow's walk…”
I am back. It’s been quite some time since I have had a moment to sit and write about my journey in the blind. I often feel like Stephan when it comes to writing, especially knowing that it will be read by many different people out in cyber space.
We are in the month of October, and in Los Angeles its been quite hot, hitting 105 degrees all week. However, we are in the fall season and the band is still touring. The first ticket I purchased was for the last show, and of course as most of you know me (if you are keeping up with my other articles) that I often leave this entire walk to Faith.
When I do decide to let go of control and planning, I find myself taking last minutes trips to see Third Eye Blind, in South Carolina. Years ago, I would have probably questioned everything about this trip and need about a month to plan it out, but these days I am truly living a Weightless life, especially with all the issues the world is having right, I find it extremely refreshing to just be carefree and in the moment. I find that when I let go and live in the now, that I can welcome the magic that Stephan Jenkins, speaks of.
"This is why it’s my favorite time of the year because I have this sense that anything could happen. Magic could happen. " - Stephan Jenkins
The number Twenty Two holds so dear to me, that everything around that date starts to really show up in signs and wonders. I am one of those individuals that truly lives to see the supernatural in full effect through people, places and things. I actually don’t make any moves unless I have confirmed all of my surroundings and know that my path is being guided by my Creator. My husband was born on June 22nd, 1974, and for many years I led a very confused life of not understanding why he had to die, especially in such a tragic way. At the age of 23, I had no clue on how to digest this, it was only through Third Eye Blind, that I was at peace and could hear his voice speaking through his favorite band. So my entire lifestyle has a lot to do with the lyrics of the genius behind them, Stephan Jenkins.
When I found myself once again in the presence of the band on the 22nd, of October, I knew that was a divine appointment. Now I am not about preaching, or leading the sinners into a walk of freedom, to each their own, but as for me, that Ghost that Stephan speaks about, is one of peace and a very real one to me and its a very deep journey.
I think at this point I enjoy soundchecks more than the actual show, as I can see the organic beauty of the relationship that Stephan has with Brad, Alex, Alex, and Kryz. The way he speaks with them, jokes and practices with them. Even the way they hold themselves with the audience. It’s a very personal and private gathering, and one where you might witness, some jokes, some new music, and some miracles.
It takes a lot for me to cry these days, especially during soundcheck, but I leave my shades on in case I do shed tears, it’s just the way I roll. On this particular Sunday afternoon, I took in the scenery of South Carolina and this venue outdoors. Stephan often makes his way out to the stage after the guys are already rehearsing a bit. He greeted all seven of us, He looks comfortable and you can tell he truly enjoys what he does.
I am automatically drawn in with the first song, I am big on tuning into the lyrics because to me, it’s truly a download from heaven. It’s a way that keeps me connected to the love of my life, who I haven’t seen in 18 years. The guy that owns my heart, who I feel really close to even though he is not of this world anymore, but yet very much alive within the chords of that guitar. Hey we all have our way of mourning our loved ones, it’s only when we embrace that loss that we are truly free of that burden of never being able to see them again.
I start hearing the amazing songs from Kryz’s guitar, Brad’s Drums, LeCav’s sick Bass, and Kopp’s keyboards/guitar. I start to wonder if this is the new Summer Gods. And with every move they make I am drawn closer in.
Stephan Begins to Sing these words.
Nothing's serious Everything's a joke When we smoke It's all in smoke
I feel fine, when we're high I'm gonna light you on fire We laugh so hard, and then we cry Let's light everything on fire
Getting better at forgetting Anything that's heaviest All a joke When we smoke
I feel fine when we're high I'm gonna light you on fire We laugh so hard, and then we cry Let's light everything on fire
And for the next twenty minutes they spend time perfecting it. Stephan’s voice sounds amazing and the entire session we are just jamming out, seriously if you haven’t gone to a soundcheck yet - it’s the most amazing experience to be had.
Now back to the journey I am on, this is pretty fascinating for me to hear these words, and it instantly brings me back in time. As this is happening the sky starts getting darker, and that is when Stephan comments on the sky.
"the sky looks ominous" - Stephan Jenkins
The Second Song that Stephan begins to sing with our amazing band, starts with the words …
This time, I'll comfort I saw you standing And I am by your cage I think you should wait now
I can hear you calling I'm reaching you my hand I can hear you now I can hear you calling
[Hook] And I say hey, hey, hey, hey, hey Won't you calm down? Won't you calm down? And I say hey, hey, hey, hey, hey now Won't you calm down? Won't you calm down? This isn't our parade
This time all we heard Forever blending I bridled all my rage You won't make me buy that
And I hear you calling No you won't understand But I'm near you now I can see you falling
Hey hey hey hey ya Hey hey hey hey ya
This isn't our parade
At this moment, I knew I was witnessing a moment of gold. Stephan Jenkins sang his heart out, and it couldn’t get any better than this, so I thought. His voice is beyond and with these lyrics it was what I needed to hear. It was like an answer to many questions about life. How many times I rack my mind feeling as I am not being heard. These lyrics were really speaking to me and the way they were presented were just pure diamonds. This song was rehearsed for about 25 minutes.
The Third and Final Song.
At this point we are jamming, hand is tapping, the guard rail and everyone is focused on every move that Stephan makes on that stage. That is when Danny brings over his guitar, and things start to quiet down.
Stephan, breaks out into what to me is a voice of an angel. I have never heard him sing that high. And the words he was spitting out of his mouth penetrate the atmosphere I was standing in, to the point of tears. I was in the presence of an angel. That is the moment I realized that the magic that Stephan speaks off was very much present on this 22d of October.
I had just witnessed Stephan Jenkins sing Tim Buckley’s Siren Song.
What a special day this was indeed.
I felt complete and it just set the tone for the rest of the day.
I did not expect this, I did not even understand the bigger meaning behind this. And again I will remind you if you are reading, to me this journey is very much encrypted. With each piece I find and discover, it brings me a level of healing for my soul.
To be able to engage with this band at a this frequency gives me a deeper sense of being alive.
This month is super special, on Halloween, was my first date with my husband back in 1991. Yes, 10-31-1991, Halloween; my husband gave me the nickname “Pumpkin” to match the holiday. Why am I sharing this with you, you might ask? Well, after this amazing soundcheck, I quickly wiped my tears, and headed to take photos with Stephan and Brad with their fans at the meet and greet. As they finished up with the last fan, Stephan looks over to me and smiles and says “Come here, pumpkin.” This is not normal talk for Mr. Jenkins. There was no way that he could have known that this was a pet name that Chris would use for me. And, of course, I couldn’t even find the words to ask why did he just called me that. I already knew the answer. And just like every encounter I have with my husband’s favorite band, I had just witnessed the hand of my Creator on my life.
When I returned home, I spent a day researching Tim Buckley. I found this amazing article that held some really powerful statements. Here are some things that I felt needed to be shared regarding Tim Buckley.
"I'm as puzzled as the newborn child" The song's reference to the sirens tempting sailors at sea stems from Greek mythology.
Buckley was always cynical about how that business worked. "You hear what they want you to play when you're breaking into the business," he told Sounds in 1972, "and you show 'em what you've got."
The trick of writing," Buckley felt, "is to make it sound like it's all happening for the first time. So you feel it's all happening for the first time. So you feel it's everybody's idea."
But it was my feeling, too, that Tim felt his success was due to my lyrics rather than his music, so he wanted to see how well he'd do alone. He tended to believe the worst about himself..."
"An artist has a responsibility to know what's gone down and what's going on in his field, not to copy but to be aware," the creator responded. "Only that way can he strengthen his own perception and ability."
"We used to improvise in the film. Tim's character talks to the effect that you can't commit suicide. You can't amend your feelings for other people; you have to find that thing that's good in you and keep that alive.”
Before he died, Buckley had been planning a live LP spanning the various phases of his career. Sixteen years later Dream Letter was released to great acclaim. "Nobody would have listened before," reckons Herb Cohen. "Things have their own cycle, usually close to 20 years. You have to wait."
I invite you all to read the article especially during this 20 years celebration of Third Eye Blind. We are all in the midst of what is the most powerful time for this band, and for Stephan Jenkins.
Once again, I am forever grateful for the amazing vessel Stephan is, and for being an artist that is truly connected with his heart and his soul to his fanbase. Check Third Eye Blind out at soundcheck. I have been invigorated and uplifted after that experience and I know you will be too. And I hope these three songs are ones that we can all experience.