Raoul’s Two Cents: June 2, 2023
POWERFUL GIFT OF MUSIC
I practiced with my band last Monday. Yup! Believe it or not, I have a band. We play popsy-folksy-Christian-classic rock. To be honest, we aren’t good. We’re tolerable. Our common love for music brought us together. Despite our lack of talent, we’re very ambitious. We take on difficult songs from popular performers like Chicago, The Eagles, Rondstat, James Taylor, Carole King — and after all our practicing, we get to perform at the local Art Gallery whenever they have a big event. No sane person would pay good money to hear us so this is our sneaky way of getting an audience. Suckers!
Music. What a wonderful, powerful creation of God that swells up colorful emotions that remind us what it is to be alive. It brings tears to the country music lovers; joy during Christmas and birthdays; anger to the neighbors of a teenage rock band. It gets feet dancing and hearts pounding. It even returns memories to the lonely prisoners of dementia. Like many of God’s gifts, it can be a blessing or a curse.
One beautiful example of how music unites people across cultures and political divides is a Russian band called “Leonid & Friends.” In the heart of the impoverished communist regime, Leonid grew up with American music of the 70s. His parents discouraged a career in music but Leonid never lost his passion and kept in touch with like-minded musicians. He transcribed the notes and the arrangement of his favorite band – Chicago. Just picture this: in a freezing and tiny room during the cold war, in the middle of winter, this young Russian is listening to a U.S. band from his hard-earned expensive record player. His thoughts aren’t about the enemy but of the enemy’s music.
In his retirement years he decides to form the band he had always dreamed of. Go to Youtube.com and search for Leonid & Friends to listen to his band perform Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire favorites. Many say his band sounds even better than the original. They’re amazing. Tens of millions of people all over the world think they’re amazing. Today they have concert tours all over the world. Tickets at $80 a pop isn’t cheap.
At the very end of most of their videos you see them rejoice knowing they accomplished something amazing. What an inspiration to the free world. It reminds us that dreams can come true no matter what age and that, even amidst a world tainted with political disparity, God’s gift can still unite us in a language we all understand.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Thanks to Tina of Whittier, CA
Videos of the Week
Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines
DeepFake Tom Cruise
Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA
I found these
The Traveling Boy
My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.