O.G.T.

Yes, I am an O.G.T. I admit it. That’s an Old Gangsta Tool for the unitiated. When I first became interested in rock music back in the sixth grade (1996), it was just in time for “Stinkfist” to be played everywhere on the radio and as “Track #1” on MTV. That video made me spit out my rather meaty dinner when I first saw it, by the way. I also sat in a stupor for the entire 4+ minutes, moved as I had never been by music. Who was this “Tool” group anyway, and what was up with that geetar and that man’s voice? No other band’s music can do to me what Tool’s can. So I loaded up on Tool CDs, anxiously awaiting Lateralus with the rest of the world until its release. How anyone can say that CD is a letdown, I don’t know. I have found that Ænima and Lateralus are two of the best CDs in existence. I listened to “Jimmy” for hours on end, for months at a time. “46 & 2” was next. Then “Pushit”, maybe the most interpreted of Tool songs. I’m extremely glad that most Tool songs are too long for the radio, as the radio butchers songs. Not only are the acoustics wrong (there seems to be a narrower band of sound transmitted via radio, less bass and less treble), but they cut out the longer instrumental stuff, ruining the effect of the song. If you have never heard Tool, download “Parabol” and “Parabola”, create a new playlist, with “Parabol” first and let the two play, one after another. Listen to the words and the music, and do nothing else (like surf the Internet or read). Just listen. It will grip you. Listening to “The Grudge” or “Reflection” on stereo headphones (the big poofy ones) very loudly can be more therapeutic than crying.

We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment,We are choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay insideThis holy reality, this holy experience.Choosing to be here in

This body. This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone inThis body, this body holding me, feeling eternalAll this pain is an illusion.

Alive, I

In this holy reality, in this holy experience. Choosing to be here in

This body. This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone inThis body, this body holding me, feeling eternalAll this pain is an illusion.

Twirling round with this familiar parable.Spinning, weaving round each new experience.Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing.

This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality.Embrace this moment. Remember. We are eternal.All this pain is an illusion.”Parabola” by Tool, Lateralus

When I first purchased Lateralus, I listened to “The Grudge” first (it’s track 1). Then I listened to it again. And again. It was the only song I listened to for six months. No radio, no other CDs, no other tracks. From 5 until 7 in the morning (my bus ride), then from 2:35 to 4:30 (my bus ride home), and from 5 to 11 every night (my homework time). Every day, from April until the middle of September, when I moved to “The Patient”. It took me almost a year and a half to get through the entire CD (which I did shortly before attending the Tool concert in Greenville, SC this past August). I have plenty of CDs I have never heard the last tracks to, despite having for years, because I became hooked on a previous track.

“Am I crazy?” More than likely. “Do I need to be cured?” Am I qualified to answer that about myself? Probably not, on both counts.