Thursday, January 28, 2010

“Soul of the Rose”

c. 2010 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Writing professionally offers unlimited opportunities to opine thoughtfully about everyday events in print. Frequently, these writing exercises are personal in scope.
But occasionally, subjects arise that seem to transcend the narrow boundaries of familiar ideas. These bursts of inspiration make wordsmithing an easier task.

Recently, a friend from my days as a retail manager in Chardon offered this kind of extra inspiration. Christy Hoefler, a regular customer at the grocery store where I used to work, sent a link to her new company website. The fledgling business was called ‘Soul of the Rose.’

A quick glance at her online catalog quickened my pulse:

“Lifestyles today are defined as works of art and expression through our fashions and music. At Soul of the Rose, we believe in exploring all things cool that define you. Here at Soul of the Rose, you will be introduced to the hottest of haute in beauty, accessories, fashion and lifestyle. Life, Love and You are the inspiration that drives the creative passion in us! Our creed at Soul of the Rose - Live to Love, Love to Live, Life Rocks.”

Shortly afterward, Christy and her husband Mark visited with an unexpected gift – one of her incredible creations. I marveled at the sparkling, teal jewelry box, patterned after a vintage ‘arch-top’ stringed instrument. It was pure Rock ‘n’ Roll - something akin to a fifties-era Gretsch.

“These products are all my original designs,” she said. “I have been working on them for a long time. It isn’t easy to take the shape of a guitar and make it into a makeup case!”

It looked like an artifact from Graceland, in Memphis.

Pondering the item later, I was even more electrified - the creative spirits of Les Paul, Chet Atkins, and Duane Eddy seemed to fill my heart.

A column about Christy’s visions seemed in order.

When creating useful prose for music reviews, I have often scribbled first impressions while listening to a new recording. The technique also seemed right for this new task. So I sat at my desk and played a CD of Classic Rock tunes.

With that surge of melodic energy in my veins, new words began to flow. It was a rhythmic epiphany of the highest order.

I let the magic ‘rose’ have its way:

- Soul -

SOUL EMBRYOGuitars at the ready. Gritty, backwoods performers, dripping sweat. Robert Johnson at the crossroads. His fingers dancing on the frets. Leadbelly, King of the Twelve-String. Let the Midnight Special ring. There’s something happening here. Attitude is everything.

SOUL SISTERSBessie Smith, Empress of the Blues. Billie Holiday on stage, with a new pair of shoes. Josephine Baker got a ticket to France. And Big Maybelle made even the shy kids dance.

SOUL ON THE RISEChuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis staged an uprising with a dance beat. Brought their down-home revolution to Main Street, and made a raging river from a wandering creek. Little Richard gave a Rock ‘n’ Roll blessing to this surging tide. And Fats Domino took the wave for a ride.

SOUL TOWN GETDOWNDiana Ross and her court. Smokey Robinson, and the miraculous Matadors. Temps, Tops, Vandellas and Marvelettes. The Jackson 5 kept hope alive. No one could forget. The whole world was watching Hitsville, U.S.A. – they put the spotlight on me, I had somethin’ to say.

SOUL INVASIONThe Fab Four, and so many more. Lads from Liverpool, London, Leicester, and Leeds. Nothing but grooved vinyl, if you please! Echoes shot across the big pond; there was a new generation comin’ on. The Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Animals. Petula Clark and Marianne Faithfull.

SOUL GODFATHERJames Brown on the good foot. Played music ‘on the one’ and the beat stayed put. Took a rainbow shield and made the doubters kneel. Lived on a dream, a bassline consciousness stream, stayed on the scene like a funk machine.

SOUL ON THE MARCHFrom mystics to minutemen, both here and beyond. A generation yearned for liberty, in song. The result was unstoppable, colorful, and raw. Like a cheeseburger dream on a milkshake straw.

SOUL REVOLUTIONHands on the university clock said it was high time for Woodstock. The hour arrived suddenly. The gate was unlocked! Janis, Jimi and Jefferson Airplane - set the table for a few, but so many came. Square heads ached while the new age was born. Temple stones sent asunder. The veil was torn.

SOUL AFTERGLOWDisco dancers hand-in-hand with glammed-up, tuneful prancers. Reggae, Punk, Metal, Hip Hop, Grunge, Techno, and Emo - echoes all of that yonder vibe. The ride to Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven began with a thousand knob-twists to ‘eleven.’

SOUL SATISFIED - A hundred years gone away, my generation has won the day. From child to chieftain and back again. The circle turns and we pretend. Buddy Holly to JFK. A wandering tribe, with songs to play. Time has no end. Oblivion is our friend. These nuggets of glory are ours to spend.

SOUL OF THE ROSEA new collection by designer Christy Hoefler. Now available at fine stores everywhere.

Once I’d finished my composition, further study was required.

A second look at the website revealed that Soul of the Rose treasures were being offered in stores from Los Angeles to New York.

Mark had reported that they bought ads in Rolling Stone to promote this new line of products. I guessed that his strategy of marketing was right on target.

Christy observed that the jewelry boxes were on sale locally in Cleveland, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and at Bonnie’s Goubaud in Woodmere.

As night took hold, I sat at my computer with the jewelry box nearby.

If Rock music in general had inspired such things of beauty, then what about the rowdy tones of one specific artist… known for cycle-film soundtracks in the 1960’s… ‘King Fuzz’ himself, Davie Allan?

It was an idea I would have to suggest.

Postscript: For a closer look at Christy’s work, go to:

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