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Reflection: Leader of the Band

October 13, 2014

Did you see Twenty Feet From Stardom, a recent documentary about the life of backup singers? A few famous backup singers were highlighted, in particular Lisa Fischer, backup for Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones.

Fischer’s voice is incredible. Any doubts, just listen to her on this famous song. 

Apparently, when she isn’t Jagger’s backup on this song, crowds are disappointed. In fact, the duet on this song is so famous, the song is flat without her because it isn’t the same song.

I was bee-bopping to the radio on my way down the highway the other day and Gimme Shelter played. As I listened, I reflected on the role of a lead singer. Sure, we label a person as the lead and we orient toward that idea. In terms of the body, theoretically the brain leads, but it is well-known there’s no life without the gut, the heart, the endocrine system, or the skeleton.

And then, within the skeletal system, where is the leader? Is the brain still in control? To use a psychological analogy, we might say a relationship is only as strong as the weakest, or least functional, member. If we think that’s true, then is the leader of the skeleton the area that moves the least well?

What are we doing in Feldenkrais classes? Aren’t we re-organizing and re-distributing the initiation point of a movement, in effect making more unpredictable who the leader might be? I think we are. I think we need many actors within the skeletal system to function with flexibility and spontaneity.

Maybe when we’re poised and ready to go, in any direction, at any time without a lot of effort, maybe that’s when we’re twenty feet from what we want and where we’re going. And maybe, that’s close enough for stardom. Stardom in our own lives.

 . . . 

Note: And then I got engrossed in finding out more about Lisa Fischer. You could too. She’s got a Wikipedia page and there’s this YouTube

  1. Matt Williams permalink

    Awesome post, Kimmy!

  2. Great post to reflect upon, Kim.

  3. Thanks Matt, Wally. By the way, you two would enjoy hanging out. We could form a band.

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