Black Rebels Motorcycle Club

marlon-brando-johnny-strabler-the-wild-one

In the 1953 movie The Wild Ones Marlon Brandon plays the leader of a group of riders out for trouble in California. The movie is a landmark of 1950’s genre of youth disaffection and rebellion. In an iconic scene the main character Johnny Strabler is asked:

What are you rebelling against?

To which Johnny replied:

What’ve you got?

Generations later three friends from California picked up that spirit and channeled it into one of my favorite rock bands of all time: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Taste in music can be very subjective, but there is something about them that has captivated me since the first time I listened to them. Their sound is quintessential Rock & Roll with its roots firmly planted in the American landscape of open roads, rugged individualism, sin and redemption.

“Fault Line” by BRMC

I’ve been waiting on the fault line
Living evil take me on
I’ll be standing with my dying bed
If you care to come along

Racing with the rising tide
To my father’s door

I been lying in the bright light
See my shadow from below
Never wanted from another man
Never wanted for my own

Drowning in the rising tide
At my father’s door

Through a window to the last mile
My living picture on a wall
From the banks of the far side
I see the lights come ashore

Racing from the rising tide
To my father’s door
Racing from the rising tide
To my father’s door
Racing with the rising tide
To my father’s door

They remind me of good old country music. In that their songs often captures the struggle between the desire of the soul and the pull of the world. The great masters of Country music like Roy Acuff, Hank William and Johnny Cash did this brilliantly. They walked the fine line between human frailty and redemption. They acknowledge human weakness, but never glorify it, instead they tried to redeem it. It is the struggle between the good and the bad of human existence that fueled all those great songs.  BRMC follows in that tradtion in their own post modern oblique way…

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