I’m interested in a world where Elvis played the tuba.
In this world where Elvis played the tuba, The Rolling Stones also played the tuba. Bob Dylan played the folksy tuba. The Ramones likely played dinged and dented tubas very loudly. And The Beatles played the tuba, as one would expect of The Beatles, in a yellow submarine.
But because one man, armed with a perfectly tailored white leather jumpsuit, decided to pick up an electric guitar instead of a tuba, he single-handedly shaped the entire future of music. (And for once, I’m not actually being overly dramatic.)
Because one man, swiveling his narrow hips, decided to run his fingers over the orderly and metallic strings of a guitar and not press in the tiny buttons on the side of a red accordion, he inspired millions of people–still continues to inspire million of people–every single day with his smooth, crooning sounds.
And because one man, his inky black hair slicked away from his sweating forehead while the heat from the stage lights bore into his pores, concentrated on making the least popular choice?
He fucked with the future of the world.
We all know Elvis is an icon. Handsome, talented, and debonair–a deadly trifecta, if ever there was one. But besides his love for peanut butter and banana sandwiches, the most important thing about him?
He chose to literally rock an instrument that most critics of his time deemed at best to be a passing phase and at worst to be a grave annoyance. He saw the box he was expected to fit so neatly into, and hauled his taut tush in the other direction as fast as he possibly could.
He explored rock and roll, ultimately raking in the rolls of cash.
And while we can’t all be Elvis, (because let’s face it–that white leather jumpsuit would cause a serious swamp ass situation in the middle of June), we can choose to stray. To say no thank you to those outdated adages that have always governed how we go about getting things done.
When you conform to the course, you’re making the path deeper, more weathered, more resistant to change.
But when you step out of stagnation, turn up the volume on your volition, and take one tiny nuanced step into the never-befores, you’re changing the landscape of living. You’re pushing new paths into fields of thigh-high wildflowers. You’re picking up a guitar, sitting on the sidewalk with your feet in the rainwashed gutter, and reimagining what it means to make noise.