A Season in the Warrior Utopia: Introduction

Greetings –

Thank you, everyone, for all the interest in the new book.  I’ve had a lot of great responses so far, as well as a lot of questions!  I’ve also had some requests for the book’s Introduction.  I’ll include that below.

Additionally, we’ve uploaded the Prologue to the Preview Page (which includes a lot more about the history of the “warrior utopia”) and a super cool entry from Day 12 called “The Collector.” It’s all about my encounter with a 99-year old Shaolin monk named Bosh…who happens to be a world-class collector. Super cool character…with a lot of wisdom.

Click here for the Preview Page – http://www.bobbyrock.com/warriorutopia – or see below for the Introduction.  It was written in one sitting and is about as brutally honest as it gets…

Excerpt from; A Season in the Warrior Utopia by Bobby Rock

Introduction

I am seated at a black wooden desk in front of my laptop, surrounded by candles, clutter, and the chirp of a single cricket.  My North Hollywood studio/office has no windows, so I can embrace the timelessness of creating without any idea whether it’s day or night.  One of the world’s largest drum sets resides in the other half of my sanctuary here and the walls are lined with hundreds of books.  I have a blender and small fridge near an old purple couch where I sleep.  There is also some art, a few lamps, a couple filing cabinets, and a big black Buddha statue, which smiles down from the top of a bookshelf as incense constantly burns nearby.  And when I turn off the lights, I am back in the womb, suspended in darkness and silence.  This is the only place on the planet where I feel 100% comfortable.  The only place that is truly me.

My name is Robert Randall Brock, although I’ve scarcely used any part of it since my fortuitous renaming in the mid-80’s.  I’m a drummer, writer, health and fitness fanatic, vegan, activist, producer, philosopher, educator, seeker, son to two, brother to one, and Godfather to eight.  My favorite color is black and my favorite word is motherfucker.  (More on this later.)  I live alone and love to practice, write, work out, meditate, contemplate and create…always, create.

Speaking of which, I’ve ridden the mysterious ebb and flow of life as a professional artist for well over two decades now and, by worldly standards, have both scored large and lived below the poverty line…often at the same time.  Last week, a drum solo earned me a standing ovation in front of a crowd of 5000 screaming Midwesterners.  This week, I’m a professional bum.  It’s been a joyous ride.

Today, my life revolves around an insatiable harem of muses who hound me to wake up each morning after keeping me up all night.  They pound on the door, like rabid nymphs, and I answer…every time.  The problem is, there’s seldom the same muse there when I open the door, and this has been an amusing dilemma for most of my career.  I suffer from artistic A.D.D.  Of course, I live for the buzz of simply engaging the harem, and I especially love when the work is made manifest.  In a way, every record or video I’ve done as a band member, sideman. solo artist or producer, every single live show, tour or speaking engagement, and every book I’ve written, have all been thrown into an ever-expanding pile of evidence that I was here, on this plane, at this time.  That matters to me somehow.

At the same time, this revolving door of muses has inspired quite a stout catalog of unfinished works. The most infamous of these is a book that I have come to refer to as The Grail.  In many ways, it’s my life’s work, stretched across an exasperating 13 years of writing, research, revision, delays, title changes, rewriting, more research, an infusion of new revelations, many interruptions, serious procrastination, followed by more life experiences and research.  In other words, I haven’t been able to bring this one home.  Apparently, The Grail wants to be born into this world as a most definitive work about the total mind/body fitness lifestyle, but he’s comfortably suspended in limbo and not leaving the uterus until he’s good and goddamn ready.

Then again, maybe it’s me who is comfortably suspended in limbo.  Maybe I’m not ready to leave the cozy womb of my sanctuary, the invisible wasteland of an impending midlife, or the continuum of engaging a journey that has no destination.  And when it comes to having plenty of cool projects to work on, I’m like a homeless wino with unlimited access to a well-stocked cellar.  Hey, I know there’s probably a better life for me out there but, in the meantime, I’ll just uncork another one here and medicate myself through another day of engaging the muses…and work on The Grail. Always, work on The Grail.

Which brings us back to this sanctuary, this laptop and this desk.  While this place had been a three-to-four times per week sabbatical from other living arrangements this past year, I walked through the door several weeks ago with a duffle bag full of clothes and other plans: I would not leave this fucking room until The Grail was complete.  So in an effort to get some momentum going, I set up an ironclad schedule for writing and research everyday and eliminated as many distractions from my life as possible.   I also rifled a few copies of this 600-page beast out to a few of my publishing world colleagues for feedback, even though it wasn’t quite done yet.  And as a copy happened to fall into the hands of a particular person, at a particular time, under a particular circumstance – boom.  Everything would change.

Many stories have been built around one’s quest to find a grail.  This one is about my quest to finish one.

© 2009 Bobby Rock

______________

Read more here: http://www.bobbyrock.com/warriorutopia

Enjoy…

BR

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About Bobby Rock

Bobby Rock is a world renown drummer, the author of seven books, and a recognized health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition and meditation. He has recorded and toured with a variety of artists, released three CDs as a solo performer and is recognized as a top drumming educator. (He is currently touring with rock icon, Lita Ford.) Through speaking, writing and activism, Bobby remains committed to a number of animal and environmental causes. Bobby lives in Los Angeles.
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10 Responses to A Season in the Warrior Utopia: Introduction

  1. Trevor says:

    Interesting reading again Bobby. And deep.

    Not that it’s any of my business, but I am curious to know how Bosh acquired the means to acquire such collections. Assuming that money was the link here.

    Gotta say that during my time as a serious collector of all things KISS (and that includes Vinnie Vincent related merchandise), I often asked questions about my hobby’s purpose and validity.

    Was it a financially sound thing to do?
    Did the items themselves, the actual collection process, or the sharing of my collection with others, give me greatest fulfilment?
    Which items would I never part with?
    How much did these items mean to their former owners?
    How important was it to have an item in my collection that few others, if any, might have?

    I’ve pretty much stopped collecting at this point, and have recently sold a number of things with which I once thought I would never part. This was initially difficult to do. The financial profit made (if any) only softened the blow a little.

    Thanks for sharing more of your work Bobby. As always, it gets me thinking.

    Finally, the chapter reminded me of a story about a Buddhist who asked a hot dog vendor to make him one with everything…

  2. Lisamarie says:

    I enjoyed reading this too and getting a better understanding/view of the aspects of your life that you’ve been gracious enough to share with us, Bobby. I also love it where you say what your favorite word is–got me LAUGHING–LOL!

  3. Trevor says:

    Bobby,

    A quick follow-up to my previous entry, where I referred to my KISS collection.

    I recently read that KISS are about to release their own M&Ms.

    http://kissasylum.com/Archives/News/2009/08/20090802-05AdBIG.shtml

    Hypothetically, if you were the drummer for Kiss, and Gene Simmons mentioned this latest merchandise deal, how would you react as a vegan?

    And on a different note altogether, the culling of Australian camels has been in the news recently. Are there always alternatives to the culling of animals, be they camels, kangaroos, rats or any other animals for that matter? Sorry if you’ve posted on this previously.

    Regards,

    Trevor.

  4. Lisamarie says:

    Oh I haven’t heard about that, Trevor. I didn’t realize they had camels in Australia(mostly think of kangaroos, koala bears, wallabees, etc when it comes to there); why are the culling them?
    I say ALL animals have right and reason to be where they are. If it’s an “overpopulation” issue like it ususally is, then I think we need to think about other species’ existence and consider it BEFORE urbanizing an area.
    We need to learn to live HARMONIOUSLY with other species just as well as we do with each other.
    The main reason we run into conflicts with wildlife with regard to our homes and offices is because we still haven’t learned to do this, and it’s not only us but the animals who suffer for it.

  5. Bobby Rock says:

    Yes, I think there’s always an alternative to killing. It’s just that, for most people, it’s not always an easy one by comparison.

    I just spent several nights this week TNR-ing (Trap-Neuter-Return) a colony of feral cats here in LA. (This is where you trap them, have them spay or neutered, let them recover for a day, then return them where you found them. I definitely want to write about this soon.) My friend’s been managing this colony for ages, so many had already been TNR’ed. Still, we managed to TNR about 13, preventing hundreds of future births as a result. So…this is one way to control population…a population, by the way, that has skyrocketed due to human ignorance.

    Of course, every situation is different, and “overpopulation” (real or imagined) can be dealt with accordingly. The first step, however, must take place in our collective mindset. And in a world that largely insists on seeing animals as either pests, pets or commodities, we have our work cut out for us!

    As for the M&M example Trevor gave – yes, it would be tough…especially if they wanted me to personally participate in the promotion (like holding up a package, etc.). This I couldn’t do. Otherwise, I would shoot for a win-win somehow – use dark chocolate instead (typically dairy-free), or play on the angle that the “drummer” does NOT eat them…something. Hard to say, given all the variables (and personalities!) that would no doubt exist in a deal like that.

    Glad it’s hypothetical!

    BR

  6. Lisamarie says:

    OH BRAVO job on the cats, Bobby! Glad to see your involvement in that and that there is apparently a shelter in the area that is able and willing to take in and spay/neuter so many.
    Did they do this for free, or give you a discount on the service since you’re doing it in the interest of reducing the number of animals killed in shelters, thus really doing a community service as well?
    About how many cats, total, would you say, are in the colony?

  7. Bobby Rock says:

    We use a clinic called “Fix Nation.” They do great job and, as long as your paperwork is in order and the cats are feral, they do it for free.

    I would say there are around 20 cats in this particular colony, but it’s hard to know for sure…

    B

  8. random says:

    As someone who has been involved for a few years with a no-kill animal rescue, inculding feeding & TNR with 3 feral colonies, I have great respect for your work on behalf of animals.
    20 years ago I had great respect for you as a musician. While I”m still a sucker for a killer drum solo, I have far , far greater respect for you as a man with the courage of his convictions.

  9. k. says:

    Your work is alway ssuch a joy to read….it encourages me to check back in with myself when I go on “automatic”…thank you.

  10. Bobby Rock says:

    Random and K –

    Thanks much…

    BR

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