The Emperor wears new Clothes

January 13th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

I feel great this morning! I am sitting at my desk in my office looking outside and it is a wonderful day.

My new cat “Lid-Beh” is all over the place and it is amazing the amount of joy and energy an animal can bring into your life.

I woke early this morning and had some Acai for breakfast. That stuff is good!

Acai is a berry harvested from Palm Tree’s located in Brazil’s Western Amazon Rainforest.

The berries are processed through a unique maceration process that has been in use for thousands of years by the indigenous people of the Brazilian Rainforest and other bordering South American countries. The process uses the Epicarp (which is the dark purple/black outer skin); the Mesocarp (the pulpy meat approximately 1mm thick) and the Hard Endocarp (which contains the Acai’ Berry Seed).

Acai’ has many beneficial health qualities and promotes:
* Healthy Energy Levels
* Healthy Immune System
* Healthy Cholesterol Levels
* Healthy Cardiovascular System
* Free Radical Scavenging
* Gastro-Intestinal Health

I used to buy it from Sambazon a Brazilian company that imported it in frozen packets. It can be hard to find, but most major health food chains will carry it or at least order it for you.

I was first introduced to this wonderful fruit by the Gracie family from Brazil. Not only are they healthy and in phenomenal shape, they have perfected the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and proved it’s effectiveness consistently in the field time and time again.

They invented the Gracie Challenge which ultimately became the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

I will post a video blog on how to make my famous Acai shake soon. So stay tuned.

I have always been intrigued by fashion. When I was in Junior High I was the first person in my school to have “checkered vans”. There was this cool Surf Shop by the pool where me and my sister were taking swimming lessons called “Shelli’s Surf Shop”

It took me several weeks to talk my Mom into buying me a pair but eventually she did. I remember being so excited wearing them to school. When I got to school and walked down the hallway it was weird how nervous I got and how I got butterflies in my stomach. This was the first inclination I got about the “social pressure” you feel when you draw attention to yourself. Everyone asked me where I got them and of course a few people made fun of me as well. Within a few weeks they were all the rage at my school especially after the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”

I abandoned the Vans and got these “Indian Nature Boots” that were made of brown leather and went over your jeans all the way up to the knees. They were a bitch to lace up as you had to weave the laces back and forth several times to get them tied all the way up to the knee. These garnered an incredible amount of attention and my friends used to negotiate with me to borrow them so that they could wear them on days that I wasn’t. At this point I was hooked on the power of fashion.

I went on to High School and this is when I got a guitar my freshman year. In high school I had a super cool black guy that was my friend named “Baptiste”. He was in my metal shop class and he had an incredible “gift of gab” He worked at Chess King which was kind of a hip clothing store in Houston that catered to High School age and a little older. He used to lecture me all the time on fashion.

He used to tell me “Keyes, it all starts with your base, that is ground zero” Your shoes better be tight, because that’s the first thing a lady will notice”

He used to say “If your shoes ain’t right, you can forget about it! You can have a $1000 Italian suit and if you put with some bullshit ass shoes “forgettaboutit”! He would lecture me everday and I have to say after a few weeks it sank in.

I didn’t have a lot of money in high school. But I did mow lawns for extra cash. Whenever I had an extra few bucks I would go to Chess King and have “Baptiste” hook me up. He was always so happy when I came in. He fashioned himself as kind of a pimp and a tailor and he reminded me of one of my favorite characters Antonio Fargas who played a lawyer and a tailor on Sanford and Son and played “Huggy Bear” on Starsky and Hutch.

He even dressed me for my high scool talent show and we won and I noticed how image which I now call “Avatar” amplified your presence, especially when you can back it up, That is the key.

There is an old saying; “If you act like a Rockstar, people will treat you like one”

Avatar is a Hindu term for the incarnation of a higher being. Avatar literally means descent (avatarati) and usually implies a deliberate descent from higher spiritual realms to lower realms of existence for special purposes.

I believe that I came to this planet by choice and I came her for a special purpose. To wake people up with my music. I have had too many experiences in my life that constantly reinforce this. This is why I look up to the guys that aspire to this and do it with class.

I never related to the “grunge era” of music for this reason. While Nirvana had some great songs that I loved, it seemed most of that movement was rooted in it somehow being cool to be a “hack” on your instrument and to dress like a slob. Thanks but no thanks, I am not interested.

I was starting to become “hyper-aware” of this and a lot of people do not know this. But I started playing guitar because of a picture I saw.

Just like I said in my Mind-Mapping blog “A picture is worth a thousand words” I saw this picture of Joe Perry from Aerosmith and I thought he looked so fuckin cool with his B.C. Rich Bitch guitar I was hooked. I had to do
that and there was no looking back.

Once I had my first guitar I started listening to Jimi Hendrix. I quickly noticed that not only could he play. But here was a guy who understood “Avatar”

Every album or photo I saw of him he looked so fucking cool I just loved it.

The guitar store I took lessons at in Houston was called Texas Tom’s. The owner was this flamboyant charismatic guy named Tom that was friends with everbody. Including Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top (who I am also a fan of). Billy is a hell of a guitar player with an incredible sense of Avatar and panache.

He wasn’t always that way though. Growing up in Houston he was a lot older than me but my friends older brothers and sisters had “Moving Sidewalks” (his first band) and all the early ZZ Top records. I used to listen to them and check out all the album photos and liner notes and by the time it became the mid 80’s Billy had an incredible image developed that he had no problem backing up.

Check out this early photo of Billy hanging with Jimi Hendrix. I can’t help but think that some of Jimi’s mojo rubbed off on Billy like it did me. How cool must it had been for Jimi to mention on the Dick Cavett show that he saw this guitarist in Texas named Billy Gibbons that was a guitarist to watch?

Billy Gibbons is the guy in the white shirt with the real short beard.

Quite different from this eh?

There is a great story about the time I saw Billy Gibbons at a Jay Leno comedy show at The Aerial Theatre in Houston. This story is a massive testimony to the power of Avatar.

There were about 1500 people at this event and Billy was sitting in the middle of the audience with a date. His “mug” was so recognizable sitting their with the beard and the “cheap sunglasses”. Everyone was constantly whispering in each others ears and pointing. It got to be such a distraction that Jay himself had to make a crack at Billy to try and get his audience’s attention back. When Jay did that the entire audience noticed him and became aware of his presence. At that point people were walking over to Billy and wanting to have their photo with him and get autographs, it was crazy.

It got so crazy he had to leave early in the middle of the show. I will never forget that.

Another cat who has a strong identity is Prince. His music has been a big influence on me. If you listen to the track “Burn Up” from my album ‘Wake Up’, you will see what I mean. Prince is also a hell of a guitar player like Jimi and Billy and he has gone on the record several times to say he is very influenced by Jimi Hendrix.

A lot of people do not know that Prince was staying at a Hotel in Austin one evening and was watching “Austin City Limits” and saw Eric Johnson another badass guitar player (and a Jimi Hendrix fan as well). Prince was so impressed he called his label Warner Brothers and suggested they sign Eric to the label. Eric’s debut album “Tones” was released on Warner/Reprise shortly after.

I like Slash because he seems like a cool cat and he has stated that he is very influenced by Joe Perry as well. His autobiography “Slash” is a great read.

Before we wrap up I also wanted to mention that it is important that your Avatar is congruent with who you are. It is is important to look inward to find your style. Early in development we all mimic and learn from our peers. However when we develop the Moxie and Courage to take the “fashion” past where we got it, and do our own thing, is when we found our true selves.

Willie Nelson has been around for so long a lot of folks don’t know his full story. Willie got his start as a writer in Nashville. He tried to make it as a clean cut “Elvis” type guy that was the marketable image at the time. It didn’t fit him and he had a hard time selling that image because it wasn’t congruent. Here is a photo of Willie in the early days:

Isn’t it crazy to see him as a clean cut crooner?

Willie finally got fed up and with trying to be what everybody else thought he should be and decided to re-invent himself on his own terms. He started being honest about smoking weed and let his hair grow and did his thing.
Here is the Willie we all know and love:

Quite a difference eh?

He looks a lot happier doesn’t he? I recently attended a Willie Nelson concert at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, TX. He had several thousand people there to see him. I noticed a lot of good ol’ boys in the audience with their “squinty eyes” and their pickups with Pro-War stickers and etc. I guess it’s just me. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these guys that were there to see Willie, would beat their kid up if they caught him with weed or call some guy a “hippie” that had long hair and want to fight him. It’s is one of those little ironies in life but I just couldn’t help but think about it.

On Monday nights if you get the chance gather some friends and go see Paul Slavens at The Silver Leaf if you live in Denton. It is so fun it is therapeutic and you will laugh your ass off. You will also see a local cat named Jeffrey Barnes that knows all about Avatar and waking people up! My friend Pops Carter has a great sense of fashion as well!

Until next time Much Love and if you would like help getting your wardrobe together contact me. I have a friend that is a genius in this area. She will take you shopping and get you where you look just like a Rockstar!

Eric

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