Singled Out: Jon Geiger's I Dream

Keavin Wiggins | 02-21-2022

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Jon Geiger Promo photo
Promo photo

Jon Geiger tells us about the song "I Dream" from his Jon Geiger Live album. Here is the story:

Talking about a song that has been written is always a mixed bag, as one of the joys of music to me is the multi-dimensional possibility of/for interpretation and thus personal connection... I remember countless days in my room as an adolescent losing myself in what I was hearing and trying to find inroads into lyrics that were more than a literal translation... A news report of an event... But rather more so coming from the world of metaphors and similes, of poetry and journaling... of things of the heart rather than things of the mind... And so in the discussion of something that one has written there is always present the mixed feelings of relaying where something came from, and at the same time not wanting to create guard rails of the imagination and preventing what it could mean to someone else... And indeed to not limit the understanding of one's own writing as if we only mean one thing when we say something, or it only came from one place... Often times even in personal experiences we find the things that we have said or heard actually connect to other memories as well beyond what we thought at the time of the import... That being said, the song "I dream" is an example of my penchant for metaphors and a poetic way of seeing the world... Not to say that I am one... But I aspire to those who are... And I certainly think in abstracts and relay things in metaphors and feel much like a painter when it comes to words rather than an engineer... So many moons ago... Or suns... I was going through a physical experience that seemed like a metaphor for emotional experiences of the heart... I was living in Texas and based in Austin and I had a show in Corpus Christi and the show the next night was an opportunity to open for an artist I had tremendous admiration for; the great Doyle Bramhall Sr... Back in Austin. So I wasn't going to turn that down! And I knew that it was a long drive of many hours and set out with my things I already packed into a Volkswagen Fox in the days before cell phones and GPS - and weather reports lol and I headed from Corpus towards Austin with great excitement for that night's show only to run head first into Texas weather... First rain, then clearing, then drizzle... then monsoon... I had no idea if it was getting better or worse because the technology at the time was pretty much akin to Alexander Graham Bell trying to get the score of the Rangers game...(that's New York Rangers)... and as such your awareness of the world around you was extended to the length of your arm or the decibels that your voice could shout... And so, inevitably, I missed my turn. And I continued happily on the road that I thought was the correct one at the time that the rains increased to the point of whiting out the windshield of my car, and I needed to seek somewhere to pull over as I had hit dirt roads which were fast filling up with mud and water, and it was two in the afternoon and it looked dark as night and I had no idea where I was- much less where I was going... And I saw a general store for the neighborhood that I happened to be in... a farming community clearly, and it had a tin overhang by the gas pumps, the lights were out inside and I thought this place was surely closed but I could pull under the make shift awning and try to wait this out or come to a better idea. And as I did approach said awning I saw that there was movement inside the store, so I pulled under and I walked in. And what I saw was the entire community shelter from the storm, trying to wait it out together and getting news reports from the people coming in; "The water is up to 5 feet at Frank's, Jake's cattle might be drowning, I saw it heading this way and may be here soon even more powerfully... " at this point the outside air had become still in a manner that I have never experienced nor that most have in nature unless you were in a very particular weather system, the sky has turned an emerald green that even in the Wizard of Oz looked artificial and yet here it was, the air and nature itself had quieted to a stillness that was unnatural and yet... here it was, and the reports began of twisters, tornadoes being seen flying through and touching down in the area... Quite a number of them... And I felt like I was standing inside a barn with a bull's-eye on it... And I wasn't the only one... And being a New York City kid, whose extensive background in nature encompassed watching the Yankees game from the bleachers, I was really scared. And so I scanned the entirety of the store, noticing that there was a bar at one end... Just a wooden saloon type of setting that had draft beer so people could pull up and sit down and take a load off on other types of days then this one, and there sitting at the bar with a Shiner Bock was a man fit for a Hemingway novel; thick bushy unruly beard with gray and black and who knows what else in it, hair that looked like it was brushed with a pillow and an outfit that looked like it was used for serious and regular farm work... This man looked like he had seen so many of these come and go, he looked like a voice of experience and wisdom, a voice of reassurance and perspective... A calming voice... And so I walked unsteadily towards him in the hopes of such reassurance... And as we acknowledged one another I spoke up in a respectful tone and said to him "well, I'm sure this will blow over anytime now "... And he looked at me and sized me up and sort of paused before responding "nope. This is going to be bad. "... I ordered a Shiner. After some time I decided that it wasn't going to get better and I had no way of knowing where they were appearing and touching down or floating by and Goddammit, I have a chance to open for Doyle Bramhall tonight! So I got in the car and my my knuckles most surely turned white within three minutes time and with hunched shoulders I peered at the road ahead and around every corner and at each bend sent out prayers to make it to the next bend... I did that for five and 1/2 hours... Well, there are so many metaphors in this entire experience for feelings and fears, for hopes and dreams and wishes and challenges in life, and relationships...so many times that are reminiscent of those emerald dark mid-afternoon skies that shouldn't be there but they are... And so this journey, this quest, this experience in many ways gave birth to the metaphorical unfolding of an emotional journey, quest... experience of the heart... And with it, as often happens in life, when we speak of the yin it makes us aware of the yang... And as I spoke to and of the uncertainty that can plague one's stomach lining and unease in the realm of the heart through the verses, It brought me to writing a chorus that focused on the wish in the dream... The yin to the yang or the yang to the yin... "I dream of a clear sky way up above me, I dream of a world that's filled with love... But if all it took was wishing, to make this dream come true, I'd hold on to this dream of being with you... I hold on to this dream of being with you. "

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the Jon here

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