A quiet room suddenly packed with people. Every chair filled; no standing room available. Everyone talking, nobody listening, when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, entered the speaker, the author, one of us from Tucson – Chris O’Dell.
O’Dell wrote a collection of memories of living and working backstage in the Time of Rock and Roll. My Long Days and Hard Nights told it as it was. The work was truly hard and enlightening. The long nights of partying took a toll. At the time, no one knew of the possible and likely consequences.
The people of the 1960’s were truly creative. We owe them much for opening the conversation about drugs and abuse, things never talked about in the open before.
O’Dell left home in Tucson to find adventure. And indeed adventure she found. It was a good idea to follow a dream. It proved hard and yet rewarding.
There was a sadness in the drug culture. Drugs were not seen as a bad thing then. Not one of the rock and roll groups ever thought of the consequences. Each learned too late the true cost and pain of alcohol and drugs. Some paid the ultimate price. Some entered AA and stayed with the program.
It is a difficult program and very few truly understand. It takes a long time to recover. It takes every day forever.
The 60s taught those who would truly listen that you do not control your children. You can encourage them to dream and to do their best always. Then you must let go and let them live and learn. It’s hard and sometimes hurts. But let go one must.
The book discussion went on over an hour of the scheduled hour O’Dell talked. So many questions, so many opinions, so many ideas. As the meeting came to an end there were smiles, thanks, book signings, photos, addressed exchanged. No one seemed to want to leave.
If one has an open mind, if one can truly wonder how to dream and how to do the best, if one can dare to try to accept and understand, then this book is for you. You’ll never be the same.
And the music had a message. Read it and listen.
June 15, 2011