THE KEY

January 14, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State

Roger Fisher burnin up the fret board at California Jam II

One of the first realizations I had when learning how to play the guitar was the “flavors” different chords had, particularly the contrast between major and minor chords. Major chords are happy while minor chords are sad. And that difference alone tells the aspiring musician that to express different emotions in songs, we use chords that help tell the story. Add rhythm to the mix and one begins to really sense the value of music: IT MOVES YOU TO YOUR SOUL!


Let’s take a quick trip down science lane and see what’s so powerful about
music, as opposed to the higher wavelength vibrations.


The following includes excerpts from David Fairhurst’s Absorb Physics internet
site:
“Sound and light both travel as waves. The properties of these waves differ quite considerably. Sound waves travel a million times slower than light waves. They have wavelengths between 1 centimetre and 10 metres, and will easily diffract round corners. Light waves have much smaller wavelengths, and only diffract through very small holes. This difference is the reason why you can often hear things that you cannot see.”


Also, light is an electro-magnetic wave, whereas sound requires the stimulation of material to travel. But that difference partially explains why music is so powerful in relation to a body. The only places in your body you see light from are tiny holes in your eyes, as they are higher frequencies. When you hear a kick drum and bass guitar, you feel it through your whole body.


To put waves in perspective, look at this: from short to longer wavelengths...

Gamma rays 300EHz                         1 exahertz = 10+18 hertz
X-rays 30EHz
Ultraviolet rays 30PHz
Visible light
Microwaves 300MHz
Radio waves 300kHz

Our hearing ranges from about 20Hz to 20kHz. Radio waves go as low as 3kHz, but that’s different from an audio wave, as mentioned before. Thing is, these are waves that affect us, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

So one difference between visible light and sound is that you don’t feel light the way you feel sound. Sound moves the air, which moves your body, which elicits a physical response and is hence, MOVING. Watch a movie with no sound. Nope...doesn’t work. Listen to the soundtrack without watching the movie... wow, works!

The “aha” moment for me came when I learned that the major scale, played in the key of C, for example, contains the notes, C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. That major scale is precisely the same relationship in every different key. It sounds happy in the key of C. Play that exact same scale in the key of A and it sounds sad. Now we are in a different mode - Aeolian.

mode | mōd

noun
1. a way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done... compare to “mood.”

So a happy-sounding scale merely played in a different key sounds sad. Profound! Isn’t that like the way we choose to look at Life? One person sees tragedy in a situation where another sees opportunity. And it’s everyone’s choice as to what key they choose to see Life in. And isn’t it amusing that it’s called a “KEY?”


The following is a note from my sister, Kay:


“On November 17, 1998, around 1 PM while in a Boeing meeting, I was paged, so responded to the page, and it was the Redmond Fire Department. The woman said after verifying who she was talking with, and without any emotion, “You have a house fire.” My response was, “How bad is it?”, as I visualized smoldering, and not a big concern. She replied, “I don’t know.”, to which I said, “Well, can you find out and call me back?” She said she would call me back but after about 10 or 15 minutes, she didn’t call me back.

I called my friend Carol Strange in Longview, as her husband was my insurance agent and my home insurance had been with his company over 40 years, with no reported claims. When I told Carol what had happened, she and her husband were watching the news on Channel 5 and she said, “Kay, your house is on TV!!!” Carol and her husband Ray were watching my home burn on TV on the local news!


I drove to the top of the hill near my home and there was a policeman there who said I couldn’t go down the street because there was a house fire. I said, “It’s my house!” There were 5 fire engines there, along with my Dad, friend Lana, next door neighbor and another friend. We were watching my home burn, totally destroyed.

Many things happened afterward, but I just wanted to forge on. I received a call from my Senior Manager at Boeing asking what folks at Boeing could do to help me, and I just said I didn’t want to discuss it, I just wanted everyone to carry on as normal, as if this hadn’t happened. It was quite an upset for me and didn’t want to get into conversations with person after person about the same devastating thing; that wouldn’t do me any good, or them either.

Many one-of-a-kind things from Norway including many years of photographs, were gone.  Mom said strongly and adamantly, “Kay, don’t worry about those things; they’re just things, they’re not a human life!”  She was right, and she just made me do an about-face!  I immediately quit crying and said to Mom, “You’re right, Mom, and you just watch - I’m going to take these lemons and make lemonade!!!  You just watch, Mom - it’s going to be OK!”

I told my friend Lana, she could have the listing. Lana and her significant other, Joe, both having years of real estate experience, felt that I should have the lot cleared to prepare it for sale.  In thinking about this, I came up with another idea.  I told Lana, if you do a paradigm shift in your thinking and look at this in a positive way in terms of assets instead of devastation - i.e., the fireplace is still standing; the driveway is an asset; as is the foundation; the landscaping, the water lines, the sewer connection, and electricity going to my home are all still there, which are all assets! Instead of thinking about my destroyed home as a place of devastation, think in terms of all the value there.”


Kay went on to sell her burned home for a good price and now lives in a beautiful house on a golf course with a spectacular view, healthy, happy, and HOME.


I remember clearly the first day I was allowed to walk to school by myself. I was in kindergarten. Maple Leaf Elementary School was about a six-block walk. I went out the door in my yellow rain-proof garment and began walking, thinking with great pride, “I’m a real schoolboy now!” Pausing to look at a mud puddle on the street, I noticed how each rain drop caused a perfect circle in the water, and all the circles intersected in ways that made a beautiful picture. At that moment I thought, “I really love the rain!” And I’ve always loved the rain. It cleans the air, cleans the ground, allows life for all that depend on it. It feels wonderful on the face. In a storm, there’s nothing like that feeling of being cozy and warm in your home while it’s raging outside.

And then the TV meteorologists! Aaargh! “Tomorrow’s going to be another gloomy, miserable day. Expect a 90% chance of rain.” WRONG! Why brainwash and program your public with a negative perspective? A pet peeve of mine, for sure:-)


By choosing to love what most others tend to regard as negative, I’m a happier guy.

Youngest son (he’ll be 18 this Halloween) Roger asked the other day, “Can you tell me your perspective on the law of attraction?”

I replied, “People are attracted to people who are happy, charismatic, intelligent, and having fun.” So if you’re a person who tends to have a gloomy outlook on things, you may find that you have friends who are supportive in this view. And if we take this perspective further, where parents are passing it on to their children, we shouldn’t wonder why the suicide rate among young adults is rising. “More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24.” (2015 CDC WISQARS)

It’s clear we need a paradigm shift. If you love your children, do more than tell them - SHOW them. Spend time with them. Get them out into Nature. Remind them of the beauty that is all around. Figure out how to get them pro-active doing something they love. Teach them to GIVE. There are great movements in our world right now. Among them is Global Citizen. It’s a great org that one can belong to and do good things for the planet. When we become part of something bigger, we then belong to a team. Children... your team needs you! More than ever before in history!

“Everyone's path to happiness is different. Based on the latest research, we have identified 10 Keys to Happier Living that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling.” ActionForHappiness.org


In an earlier blog, I quacked about BASH - a method of practicing meditation anytime, anywhere. In the moment when we are quiet inside, there is no doubt, no fear, no suffering. By practicing getting to and sustaining that state, we become liberated from that wicked dictator, GLOOM.


“The key ingredients to achieving happiness are twofold, yet they are really two faces of the same coin: mental stillness, and being present. When our minds are still, all is well.” (Psychology Today)


The key is available to everyone, always.


The key is probably the most important decision you will make.


THE KEY IS FREE.

THE THREE I’S

January 4, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State

American society has traditionally been all about achieving financial success. Of course this appealed to the rest of the world’s instinctive need to provide for family, and in the context of freedom and opportunity, the world flocked to America.

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For example, in the 1800’s, more than two-thirds of Norway’s population moved to America! They came, traveling usually with a single trunk, riding in the bowels of ships under extremely poor conditions, to Ellis Island. Upon entry, names were often changed to accommodate American’s language barriers, and the New Americans found ways of heading west, motivated by real estate ads that looked wonderful - almost too good to be true.

Many of these travelers wound up at their destination to find they had been swindled to varying degrees. By now, their personal assets had been used to the point where they had no choice but to try to make it work out. After years of hardship, many of these victims of over-ambitious salesmanship committed suicide. Welcome to America!

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Now, at a time in history when Artificial Intelligence is promising freedom and opportunity, of course it would be wise to tread carefully. The number of people being displaced from their jobs will continue to grow, along with the number of displaced people by rising tides. The need to come up with a new paradigm of humane living on our planet is what is needed more than the ability to make money on an individual basis - AI is much better at that. In general, humans are no longer needed to generate revenue.


ENTER - The three I’s.


Paul McCartney will tell you he doesn’t know where his great songs come from, he can’t describe how they’re born. No artist I know of can tell you how to create something out of thin air. They’ll all tell you how you can set the table, invite the guest to dinner, light the candles and put on some light music. But how to get the guest to enjoy your meal?... apparently no one knows.

Photo by Michaela Fisher

Photo by Michaela Fisher

The guest is INSPIRATION, without which, there would be no America - no Artificial Intelligence. Inspiration is way more valuable than money. Without inspiration, there is no home built, no matter how crude. Without inspiration, where is joy?

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.” ~Steve Jobs

“We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.” ~Ernest Hemingway

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~Winston Churchill

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

Roger's Grandson, Leto.

Roger's Grandson, Leto.

Most of my life I had no problem sleeping - could fall asleep easily, most anywhere. Nights were spent dreaming of a myriad of wonderful and scary things, nonstop, until waking. Now, a solid night’s sleep is the exception. Not one to be flummoxed by not getting my way, I enjoy meditating during these waking times, using the BASH method described in an earlier blog. Something that seems to come out of thin air in these moments are solutions to problems. Could be how to have a complete guitar amp and effect setup at my feet for live performance; could be the finishing design to part of a new koi pond; could be many things... it’s all up to IMAGINATION.

The inspiration comes, and in the quiet darkness, the mind conjures up many potential solutions. When one of them “hits,” when you know that is THE best thing you can do in a particular circumstance, it’s either time to get up and implement it; write it down for future reference; or file it in that place in mind where it will be found next morning.

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Peoples from all around the world imagined a better life in America. Having moved and encountering hardship, the Norwegians previously mentioned imagined something better and many of them moved to the west coast, finding conditions more like their home, and prospered, becoming the basis of communities in place today. It’s going to take some serious imagination to come up with the solutions for tomorrow’s world, and we all hold that power.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know
what you truly want to become.” ~Steve Jobs


“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” ~ Albert Einstein


“Logic will get you from A to Z. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” ~Michelangelo Buonarotti

As we all know, ideas and inspirations are relatively easy to have and find, and our imaginations can lead these ideas to amazing places, leaving us little doubt that we hold the answers to the universe in our grasp. But it usually takes a lot of work to bring an idea to fruition.

Visit rogerfisher.com/store to buy All Told.

Visit rogerfisher.com/store to buy All Told.

In 1995, I came up with the idea of a four-album concept entitled One Vision, wherein all four albums are dovetailed, creating interesting, pertinent messages, recurring through the entire project. In 2016 we released the first of those four albums. It took that long, learning various editing platforms; creating audio and video-for-audio; paying meticulous attention to detail, facing deterrents and setbacks, to finish one album! What bro Mike and I are working on, and the way we’re doing it, has never been done before.
 

invent | inˈvent |

verb [with object]
create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator
of: he invented an improved form of the steam engine.


Thomas Edison combined a passion for invention with a desire to create revenue. There were times in his very productive (he holds more patents than any other person) life when each new invention spawned an entire industry: the light bulb; phonograph; motion picture photography. What one man can do to change the world is amazing. What a species can do to prolong life on earth is something we hopefully will discover. When I was in high school, inspired by authors, poets, and musicians, I decided to be a poet. That was added to the already-existing intention to be an inventor. Each night in bed, I would write something - anything. It didn’t matter what, “Just write something everyday!” I thought. That trickle begat a dribble, which eventually became a stream of free association.

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Now, INSPIRED by the notion that people need to provide solutions for conditions we may not even know or fully understand yet, IMAGINATION sets in and voila! The INVENTION of the Three I’s Rogblog. I hope you liked it :-)

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mohandus Ghandi


“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.” ~Dalai Lama


“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. ~Dale Carnegie


“The future is invented by what we’re inspired to imagine” ~Roger Fisher

Hey, I'm Being Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

When Steve Fossen and I simultaneously agreed to learn how to play guitars and start a band back in 1965, there were no credit cards. People had to carry money around all the time. Cell phones?

Forget it. Computers? Sure, the size of a refrigerator.

One thing there was? The BEATLES. That sound that ignited one’s spirit upon first listening, that gave the feeling there was new hope in the world, that made most of a planet fall in love. Their influence changed the world, not unlike when flowering things emerged all over the planet, millions of years ago.

What there wasn’t, included the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, at that time not even a sparkle in Jann Wenner’s eyes. Thank you, Jann Wenner. I think it’s a good idea, though impossible to ever be perfectly fair or just.

Sitting here in the Delta Airlines emergency exit seats provided by the Rock Hall, Linda, who got the window seat for a change, catches up on the latest style-oriented magazines on her iPad, another thing that didn’t exist back in ’65.

She’s a guitar player’s dream girlfriend: a rocker chick who adores electric guitar. Acoustic is alright, too, as long as its sounds are genuine and well-played. I often marvel at her quick wit and keen intelligence, wondering why she’s with someone as wacky as me. Then I remember: Back in 1965 I vowed to become what I had seen in a vision - a major dude musician.

Roger Fisher’s ability as a guitarist is specialized - it’s only rock and roll. He’s no Tommy Emmanuel, no Steve Howe, no Django Reinhardt. But he is Roger Fisher, and almost certainly the best one on the planet. He’s a wacky player and a wacky person, as anyone who knows him will tell you. Maybe that’s why Linda likes me. One-of-a-kind. Being me is to be caught in a world of wonder. I always wondered why all the kids at school told me I was weird... crazy. I obviously didn’t fit, except with a few, like Steve Fossen. Always wondered why there was so much cut-throat ruthlessness that created hostility and division. Wondered how people could be so mean and stupid.

Music! Our savior. Our door out of a room of doom. Our vehicle to the heights of joy. The planet’s sage teacher. The hidden government of all people. Music - my life!

And so began a new diet, one that nourished the soul, one that demanded many courses day after ravenous day. A diet of Louis Armstrong with his impossibly high, strong trumpet notes and radiant smile which revealed a beautiful spirit; a side dish of Elvis Presley, whose youthful energy and sexy swagger disarmed and discarded any doubters; a good portion of Aretha Franklin who sent tingles up the spine; and for dessert - the BEATLES. Thank you, God, for the Beatles.

Bro Mike and myself were busily wending our way through the myriad steps it takes to reach the goal of finishing a great album. The date was December 11, 2012. 

Mike is sitting to my right, using the digital audio workstation, Studio One to mix that song of the day, the title track to our new project - ONE VISION. I’m just to his left, working on a music video on a different computer.

We’re in a new world now. Mike and I both remember having to daily clean and demagnetize the two-inch tape, 16-track tape recorder we used back in the ’80’s. In today’s world there are much more complicated ways to enmesh one’s self in tediousness.

I hold Michael Chester Fisher - aka the Magic Man - in the highest esteem as an audio specialist. He hears detail that, even after I’m shown, takes me days or weeks to clearly perceive. We can spend weeks making something right, only to discard it and start over with a new tack, seemingly on a whim. No wonder we’ve been working on the same album - ALL TOLD - since 2009. But it has to be right! You, our beloved audience, must be thrilled to the core, magically manipulated, deeply moved, changed forever.

I notice on Facebook a post that says, “Heart has been chosen as one of the class of 2013 to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” I show Mike. We smile at each other and get right back to work. After a couple hours I check Facebook again and it has lit up like a wildfire. PEOPLE ARE EXCITED! Then I start getting excited. Wow, this is damn cool!

Timing is everything in the meetings of people. In his book, One Train Later, Andy Summers talks about the serendipitous meeting of he and Stewart Copeland... pure luck. And the timing and circumstances surrounding the formation of the Beatles... it’s almost as if there were someone pulling strings from above, making everything fall into perfect place.

Steve’s and my band, Heart had just broken up as bro Mike moved to Vancouver BC. Coincidentally, Ann Wilson’s band had, too. We were looking to put new bands together at the same time. Steve and I ran an ad in the Bellevue American, which Ann saw and promptly answered. When we got together in Chris Blaine’s basement for the initial audition, it was like sparks of electricity were flying around the room. There was something undeniably special and powerful going on with this mix of musicians.

After we all submitted names into a hat, Steve’s suggestion, Hocus Pocus, was chosen as the band’s name. We rehearsed thoroughly and then went on the road for nine months, taking only Thanksgiving and Christmas off.

Once again, timing played a key role as Mike showed up at a gig we had in Bellingham, Washington. That was 1971. When Mike met Ann it was game over. Both had intense experiences that shook their worlds. The hocus pocus was kicking in now!

Fast forward to 2013. There are a LOT of people who would love to see the original lineup of Heart - Mike Derosier, Roger Fisher, Steve Fossen, Howard Leese, and Ann and Nancy Wilson - reform, at least for a song or two. They say, “What’s the matter with you people? Can’t you just put the past behind you? After all, it was 34 YEARS AGO!”

Well, sure, as of this moment, 9:40 AM, April 15, 2013, the plan is to do just that - play one song at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on April 18. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. Our first rehearsal is scheduled for tomorrow at 4 PM. Who knows what might happen? It’s not possible for me to black out my memories of the past. I was deeply involved with Nancy for four years and suffered the worst pain of my life when we split, a story I’ll reveal in the dual autobiography Mike and I are writing entitled, Bros.

No, I can’t forget the past and neither can they. That’s what makes me a little nervous about our meeting. In my heart of hearts, I only hold caring, positive thoughts and intentions toward them, as I do for all of humanity. I wish we all could just get along and have a beautiful world. But the play of life on earth at this time demands struggle, hostility, redemption, and conquest. Tomorrow’s rehearsal shall be revealing on many levels.

These sisters who have struggled and pioneered their way around the world, not unlike their ancestors, who forged their way across America on a wagon train, are different people now. The same but different, as am I. We’ve both been victorious over personal battles only we can know. Both have grown, matured, and wised up in many ways.

As the date draws nearer, I find myself waking in the night, head full of possibilities of how things might go at this event. Who knows, there could be sabotage afoot! I’ve seen the ugliness of carefully-crafted mind games inflicted on the unsuspecting when I was in a band called Alias. I’ve seen psychological seeds planted just before a performance with the hope of failure. The most efficient and deadly form of sabotage though might be that which comes from not dwelling in the all-powerful NOW - self-sabotage. Thinking too much? Overly concerned about the past and/or the future? Maybe taking something to relieve the stress? Self sabotage. I don’t subscribe.

Bro Mike and myself - and sister Kay, of course - were very lucky to have had extraordinary parents, Hank and Sylvia. The send-off I got every morning as I left to school has become the modus operandi for my life, and will dictate all I do here in Los Angeles regarding this great honor of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dad said, “HAVE FUN!”

OOH, BARRACUDA!

OOH, BARRACUDA!

“Barracuda” is an aggressive, hard-rock tune, distinguished by its galloping guitar riff, leaving some to describe it as a kind of “a rocked-up William Tell Overture…”  There are novel sounds in the song’s introduction, described by some as “bent” harmonics with the help of the guitar’s tremolo arm.  Ann Wilson’s vocals throughout the song’s performance are driving and powerful.