Dear Mr. Fisher,
I just wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you for the wonderful music you were so instrumental in creating in your time with Heart! I was 16 when Barracuda came out and I bought the Little Queen album back then and fell in love with so many of the songs.
RF: Thanks, I was very fortunate to have been in such a great band.
That position - of being exposed to good musicianship for the first time - is one whose influence is life-lasting, as I well know, having been raised on the Beatles.
Unfortunately, about a year ago, I had to leave my job as an engineer at Ford here in Michigan due to a rare condition that blinds me in either or both eyes. I never know until I open my eyes in the morning whether I'll see and it usually takes five weeks before I get my sight back. I will usually have 1 to 5 days of good vision before the whole thing starts again. Because of this, I have had a lot of "down" time (both literally and figuratively) in the last year and when I can see, I look for things to do on the computer. I heard a Heart song on the radio the other day and decided to look at some Youtube videos of some of those great songs and it occurred to me that I didn't know the name of Heart's main guitarist and found it was you! Since then, I have watched a lot of the interviews of you on the web and I especially love the Youtube video of you doing "Love Alive" acoustically.
RF: That was at Delta State University, where I was talking to students and staff in 2008. Pretty crude compared to the version of the song that will be on my new album, All Told.
From your interviews, I can tell you are truly a kind and thoughtful person!
RF: I view the position of a public figure as one of great responsibility, as we influence much more than many realize. To be a positive influence, one can't merely act a role, one must be that which inspires and uplifts, which is why I enjoy receiving messages like the one you sent today.
You also seem to be so joyful in your life. My favorite author, C.S. Lewis talked about how important it is to be joyful in one's outlook in life and one can just see it in your eyes that you are there.
RF: C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors as well. Think about the "pools of possibility" in Narnia. This pool will take you to this magical place; this other pool leads to another magical place, and on and on. We have the same capacity with our soul consciousness...to go anywhere. Knowing this through practice and accident, I manage to stay engulfed in the fascination of the wonder of it all, which is such a source of joy.
With global warming and the synergistic effect of several calamitous powers acting together, the possibility of great loss of life and grand-scale tragedy loom in our direct future. Your blindness brings to my mind the common denominator so many may soon face: hardship. I've felt personal hardship a few times in my life. The thing that always works to lift my spirits is the realization that we'll soon be out of this body, so, "what the fuss?" I know, easy for me to say, but all it takes is a half-second glimpse of who we are without a body, and wow! Life is so precious and beautiful whether or not we have arms; can see; or can walk. There are human conditions so incredibly deplorable and painful the only way through them is spirit-realization...what humanity seems to need above all.
To me, the only way to unite humanity is with a global foe that threatens us all to the point we have to help each other, practicing pure, simple decency and caring. No religion, government or set of laws has managed to achieve this. The opposite seems to be true: division. Sure, division, greed and hostility produce an evolution that brings many great things, but ultimately will fail. The earth's humanity have an opportunity to show we can unite, combine resources, weather the approaching storm and come through with integrity. Enter music: possibly the most catalytic, congealing force we know.
I guess I'm not sure exactly why I am writing as I don't believe I have ever in my life written someone well known like yourself. I think it is because my rediscovering your wonderful music after all these years has given me "joy" and seeing that the person who created this incredible music is such a wonderful joyful person who seems so at peace inside has temporarily pulled me out of the scary, uncertain place I've been in. I guess this may not make any sense, but for some reason, I just felt like I needed to write and say thank you.
RF: Thank you, John. A musician in my position can never fully grasp what it is we have brought to the world, but I'm very grateful to be in the position to add a smile to your day and lilt to your heart. I think you'll like the new album:-)