Some long time ago, I found a band that I loved called the Sleepy Horses. They let me follow them around, played to me at the Caledonia, signed a promo copy of “Golden Light” that I now keep on the stereo, and then left. The band underwent a lot of changes. Band members came and went, projects were started, relationships changed, and it had been a long time since I’d seen any of the band.
Then one day Nic and I found each other on Facebook. He’s out in the country now but maybe one day the Horses will play again or release some new material. It’s on a semi-hiatus for now. But that’s fine by me. Why? I just had the chance to fall back into the music of the Sleepy Horses and it brought back memories and feelings of a vastly different time, even though it was only about two years ago. I pressed play on my cd player and closed my eyes.
It was a cold night at the Caledonia. I stood under the heater as best as I could, back pressed against the cold wall, hands rubbing together in a feeble attempt to create warmth. I could see my breath and my head itched under my hat. My WUOG hoodie, newly purchased at that point, was thicker but still was not enough to provide any sort of shield against the cool air. The Caledonia was dim, as usual, lit only by the band display by the doorman, the lights of Farm above, and the string of little bulbs around the Horses’ merch.
The Horses were theatrical from the beginning, carrying a fog machine, lights, and a lot of pedals with them wherever they roamed. As hypnotic as the sounds were, the one thing that always brought me back to attention was that little sign on the drums: Believe.
It’s one of those hokey little things, almost kitsch, like the little figures that you see in some old lady’s living room that read “Faith. Hope. Love.” But there’s a power behind those words. We’ve diluted them into the wallpaper of our lives, much like music itself, stripping them of power and not noticing them. Just figures on a wall. On a drumkit. Random graphics that are meant to take up space on a wall.
Believe. “Believe in what?” I wonder. The epic sounds of “Lights” are pounding down the walls, echoing into and out of the room. It’s a pounding rhythm, driving you towards something, guitar chiming and swirling. The light shines all around, just like in the song. “When I Go” nearly brings me to tears. I don’t belong… But you know it’s hard to leave you when I go, don’t you know it’s hard to leave you when I go…It doesn’t matter that I’m the only other one there for this show. I would’ve felt like I was alone anyway. My eyes are closed, taking in every single note. Heart beats are drum beats. The lights are just distant memories.
It’s an incredible thing to experience, giving yourself to a song. There’s nothing that matters in that moment. Not jobs, not worries, nothing. You’re just letting go of everything and believing. Because sometimes, despite all that you’ve done, all you have, and all that you know, all you can do is believe.
Thanks Jordan. That was beautiful. Believe came about in a funny way…I found my yellow roses…they became my Zoso…we all had light and fog..but each of us had our little charm as well….justin's changed all the time..and was sometimes just an old ash tray. Dave found Believe somewhere on the road and that was his. And then it was ours. It really wan't much to us..not meant to speak to the audience. Just something for us…a stuart smally kinda thing…believe that this is gonna become something…that our little gang can take on anyone…we did. I still do. I guess our lives have seasons…mine has…I am not the man I was at 25 (thankfully). At some point it just felt better to be out in the middle of nowhere….I can empathize with Bill Barry. But, everyday I think about music…I hear songs in my head that I wished I would have wrote three yrs ago…I get home to my guitar and play shows in my music room…I talk to the other Horses and conspire to get back out there….and I read things like you wrote…and get emails from folks. So it makes me believe in what it was we were doing all over again. There was a point right before I moved where I thought that all I had given to music and to the band were not worth it….I had died, been divorced, washed dishes, so many other things. But now, looking back…they were worth it. I was a devout believer and still am…that the things we love take alot and can hurt you sometimes. I'm rambling…..we'll be back. there will definitely be new music. there will definitely be shows in the new year. that I can promise.
Lights has shown me the way. It’s an odd thing when, in 2015, you tell your friend about a band, and listen to an album all night with the freeist of thoughts… and all you have to share is a download you have from their website from over 6 years ago. Thank God it was free or I would have had to decide between having a copy and doing laundry.
At this point, I hope this album resurfaces and the Horses awake.