Yesterday, Gary Grubb stopped by Zone – Gary is one of the guitarists for the Petaluma based band D’Bunchovous.
He’s more than just a really good guitarist, though, he’s also a very fine songwriter, a humorist, a partner to music activist Peg Grubb, and, he’s a dad.
A few weeks ago, Gary mentioned that his son was coming home from war — and that he was so relieved – and scared, because there were still a few weeks to go, but optimistic that soon his world would be back in some sensible order.
Because no matter what you believe, war is insane.
Talking with him took me back to the days when the Vietnam vets were returning – returning to a country that had radically changed in their absence. These kids had sacrificed the innocence of their youth – for love of country, and because duty compelled them – and they got very little love when they returned. In fact, many vets returned to open animosity and hostility — as if they somehow were responsible for the insanity that was Vietnam.
The way our Vietnam vets were treated was shameful.
And even more shameful is the effect that war has on young people – the insanity, the chaos, the disregard for the precious gift of each life combined with the absolute shock of the bloody dismemberment of your friends, and sometimes your self.
There is no way to harden your heart to war.
Gary’s son, Matt, returning from Afghanistan, met with a different reception – an uncountable number of bikers – yep, we’re talking Harley’s, who escorted Matt home, to his Mom’s house in Pleasanton – where he was met by a welcoming crowd of several hundred supporters, including a Congressman and city officials – he was given coins, letters of commendation and a flag — and most importantly, he was given respect and recognition for the sacrifice he made on behalf of our country.
Back in the day, a prominent musician, Bruce Springsteen, was able to differentiate between the warrior and the war — and he spear-headed recognition and support for returning Vietnam vets . Bruce was one of the few who put his music on the line in support of the vets.
This group of bikers – called Warrior Watch Riders – are putting their music on the line too — it’s the music of hundreds of big bikes snorting and revving, and of the hearts of their riders wide open in welcome – this is a nation wide movement, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about them.
Like Bruce, Gary has put this powerful movement, this recognition that the warrior is not the war, and his personal appreciation for this much needed reception of the return of his son, into a song.
If I can’t get this song into the body of this blog, please feel free to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll send you a MP3 — or go to MySpace, to Gary’s site – HotGrubb.
We’ll work out this MP3-Blog thing because this is a song you will want to hear – and as a fellow musician, I’ve got to tell you that Gary’s instrumental in the song is more powerful and emotional than the lyrics, and the lyrics will touch your heart — so what’s that called?
A masterpiece? Hey, Matt — welcome home!