Heartstrings of a Robotic Introvert
In the years since I first saw him I’ve been thinking about a man frequently. I’d love to see how he would handle the situations that I encounter on a daily basis. A band called Primus released a VHS tape called “Videoplasy” which I bought in 1999, during my senior year of high school; I could hardly believe that a simple tape could show an individual just as different and unique as I am.
I watched the video with some friends on a muggy August evening. A seven foot-tall guy with long, curly hair wearing a school-bus yellow rain slicker and navy blue Adidas track pants walked out onto the stage during a performance. Unexplainably an expressionless mask covered his face. There was also an overturned Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket that sat on his head, like the helmet of a lunatic! With arms pressed at his sides like a tin soldier he stood still a few moments. Then from behind this statuesque form a pair of whirling nunchuks appeared, and as he maneuvered the weapons with great skill our jaws dropped! His creativity made me envy his scope of imagination, and the required talent needed for the act gave me respect for the cartoonish madman.
This gentleman is an accomplished guitarist, and although I cannot play an instrument or read music, I feel that his songs are structured to make it seem as if a robot can have a soul. “Sometimes it takes a thousand notes to make one sound,” he once said through his puppet, Herbie (A mask used for ventriloquism.) The noises from the strings he plucks pass into my head and a vibrant garden of contemplation is born. This person has taught me about the lyric within the instrument. I couldn’t feel the emotions inside of instrumental songs before I heard the depth of feeling in his work.
Buckethead’s guitar is his brush, and my mind is a canvas for feelings and ideas to be painted upon.
Bucketheadland is a theme park of the mind’s eye. This place is a mental escape where no thought is unthinkable because it’s not reality. Many of the horrific yet wonderful themes in Buckethead’s compositions are born there. I can also cross the threshold to Bucketheadland by attending his shows. It’s there I feel the energy this performer releases as he strives to be the best; that has given me a new point to reflect on: my own determination to be a unique person.
What started with a video has stayed with me for seven years. I believe that Buckethead helps me to see the world anew. He demonstrates to me through his art that thought can be profoundly preposterous, yet intelligently inquisitive. That lesson helps me know that it’s alright to be seen as unusual and that there are probably many others like me. If my world was stripped of imagination, I’d flee to Bucketheadland via a one way ticket.
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