No one cares that Gary Clark Jr is black.
He still shreds.
No one cares that Allen Stone is white.
He’s still got soul.
No one cares that Neil Young is pushing 70.
He’s still innovating.
No one cares that Brandon Niederauer “TAZ” is eleven.
He’s still skilled.
No one cares that Tedeschi Trucks Band is lead by a woman.
No one cares that Adele has curves.
She’s still making hearts bleed.
No one cared that Freddie Mercury was gay-ish.
Better for us that he had a four-octave range.
Music, and especially live music, drops all pretense and prejudice.
People who participate in this scene don’t even talk about these things, and especially not at the shows themselves, because in the community of musicians and appreciators prejudice and racism are completely antiquated concepts. It be like arguing about whether washing your hands was a good idea or not.
I’ve danced next to black guys, white guys, every type of girl, married couples, older folks, young spirits, by myself, in giant groups. I’ve gone to festivals wasted and stone cold sober, dressed in shirt & tie and nearly naked. I’ve been offered food, drink, drugs, and shelter from complete strangers. I’ve seen more smiles, warmheartedness, presence of mind, and happiness at shows than anywhere else.
While part of the world spends their time in vapid debate over gender roles, affirmative action, immigration, woman’s rights and all other kinds of dividing topics, some of us just stopped caring and started doing great things together.
It’s more fun that way.