Stairway To Bedlam

Please use the elevator located
in the foyer. This stairway is no
Jacobs Ladder. Thank You.
~ The Management, CLUB 27 ♣️

I consumed my freedom
like a herb of prohibition
in those shadow places
where nothing really matters
since life itself
has been downsized
branded and marginalised

I wore out
my freedom
like a cheap
moth-eaten suit
showing it’s age
Prescription shades
disguising hungry eyes
smouldering with rage
All the better
for perceiving
those rabid wolves
of mammon
and superstition
Hidden in plain sight
Promenading in sheep skin
Ever since Marc Bolan
sang the national anthem
of haute couture faux rebellion
No … you won’t fool
the children of the revolution

Doing a James Dean
Marc Bolan became
an inductee into
the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame
He was one of a kind
At the age of 29
the T. Rex front man
took a short cut through a tree
Amid the grief
the news was a great relief
to many
No need to be twenty seven!
It may not be too late
for Mick and Keith
or even the Boss
to crash that bitter sweet
Rock ‘n’ Roll heaven?
So keep releasing those
lame and tame
septuagenarian recordings

Led Zeppelin flying high
playing that stolen song
in the House of the Unholy
The music tainted
and interwoven
Perjury and money
is an age old story
Most fortuitously
for Robert Plant
he survived his car crash
with the cash
the prayers
and incantations
of his coven
There’s just no buying
a stairway to bedlam
But it does help
to have better lawyers

Allen Ginsberg
read the eulogy
wearing a daisy chain
weaved for him
by some Dharma bum
Obviously a lad insane
Lou Reed and David Bowie
sang ‘Bang a Gong’
as Elton John played along
on a baby grand
The Weeping Madonna
made an appearance
with her adopted children
It was all very moving

I didn’t make it
to the reception
On the way
somehow I got lost
in Itchycoo Park
eating humble pie
with Robert Zimmerman
I was then arrested
and sentenced
to thirty days in the hole
for the crime
of loving Rock ‘n’ Roll
Especially when
there’s a fire raging
down deep in it’s soul

Way down
in the slammer
I spied a sparkling glimmer
covering a pot belly
all greasy and sweaty
It was sly old Gary Glitter
singing . . .
‘Do You Wanna Touch Me?’
I just ran like
a Vietnamese victim
after an attack of napalm
The Glitter Twins
Mick and Keith
were right to disown him
But then … Glam Rock
was never my thing
(not at least … until I saw what
Ed Sheeran insisted on wearing!)

I was soon released
and led by the force
to a concert at Club 27
with the promise
of an accidental overdose
and a complimentary
front row ticket
aboard a stairway to bedlam
They call it Heaven’s
Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame
With Kurt Cobain
riding shotgun
Amy Winehouse
made a grand entrance
crashing that Rehab bus
into the building
then landing on the stage
just in time
for the opening curtain
It was great entertainment
for the assembled audience
high with anticipation
of the next sacrifice
An odd assortment
of sleep walkers
and big talkers
with a snootful
of stone age spirit
making absolutely no sense

Jimi Hendrix
and Jim Morrison
were sitting out the back
drinking beer
and talking trash
with a Medicine Man
dressed in black
Marc Bolan
and his band T. Rex
were all wearing tuxedos
made of spandex
ready for the big induction
I took my seat
next to the staircase
just as a red exit light
in the far corner
began  flashing

You tell me …
did I have a choice?
Always the whispering
of a seducing voice
A  yearning
forever relentless
A candle unlit
stills melts in the heat
of an exploding comet
A life short lived
in a vainglorious instant

Here . . .
in the shadow places
freedom knows no fences
as the morning’s light
seems ever so distant
A lingering reminiscence
An epitaph left at the grave
of Sid Vicious  . . .

“Life is a blast,
but it don’t last.
So drive fast, and
leave a mangled corpse.
You’ve got no future.
Your time has past.”

It’ll take a lot more
than a rocking  overdose
or a rolling car crash
to scrape that pallet clean
Perhaps instead
a love resurrection
with a divine connection
. . .  down deep within?

~ David B. Redpath. © 2020

But everything exposed by the light
 becomes visible—and everything
that is illuminated becomes a light.
    This is why it is said:

          “Wake up, sleeper,
          rise from the dead,
  and Christ will shine on you.

        ~ Paul of Tarsus

By Multiple Michael   ©  2020

81 thoughts on “Stairway To Bedlam”

  1. To all the old rockers in the Tower of Song
    I still imagine John’s words were not wrong
    Half a decade has been swallow by Two Thousand and Twenty
    And the Stairway to Bedlam still rises above The Land of Plenty

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Just Imagine, Ivor,
      if there was no viral blast
      and no indiscreet tweeting
      from the Stairway of Bedlam
      This world would be
      a much nicer place
      where even the lion 🦁
      could lie down with the lamb 🐑
      and not get into
      a carnivorous jam 😎

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This is truly perfect!!! I love, ” … Glam Rock
    was never my thing
    (not at least … until I saw what
    Ed Sheeran insisted on wearing!)”
    Ha good stuff. I’ve been think a lot lately about the demise of rock ‘n roll, especially with Geddy Lee and Eddie Van Halen dying this year. Amazing poem!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sadly, there’s a constant
      changing of the guard.
      The old soldiers
      of Rock ‘n’ Roll
      they keep passing on.
      But . . .
      I guess it’s been that way
      since Buddy Holly.
      Big wheels keep rolling along
      as the music drowns in money.
      At least we’re left
      much richer for their song,
      and a new generation
      can take up the baton.
      Rage is at the beating heart
      of Rock ‘n’ Roll . . .
      Pop goes the money, Honey.
      Yet, what I’m hearing today,
      on the airwaves
      full of pleasant tunes,
      just sounds wrong.
      The jingles of mediocrity
      for a homogenised society

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Retro is the way to go 🎸👍
      Computer generated music is
      for robots 🤖 and had no soul.
      Civilisation has been going
      backwards since the existence
      of the compact disc 🚫
      I’m sure the CD is not to blame.
      It’s probably just a coincidence 😎


  3. Powerful, David. I always admire your wit and ability to reference multiple sources of inspiration. (Have had trouble w/ my browser lately, so difficulty commenting or even “liking” posts. My apologies.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Greatly appreciated, Anna 🙏 😎
      Yes, it does help to have a good
      lawyer, especially if he’s a certified bona fide Saviour ✝️
      (Lately my WordPress reader has
      been a little bleeder ❌ Must be
      something going around? I do hope
      it’s nothing to do with Corona? 🤔🕶️)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually saw Gary Glitter in
      concert 😱 Mind you, it was not
      by choice. It was an outdoor event
      with Leon Russell as the headline
      act. Old Sleazy was just there as
      a support. When the MC did his
      big introduction he happened to
      mention that Leon Russell was
      soon to be ordained as a Baptist
      Minister (In the pursing silence
      you could’ve heard a pin drop).
      If the MC knew then what we all
      know now he might have added
      that Gary Glitter would eventually
      end up in jail.


      1. It was a great concert, with a stage
        packed with musicians, and backing
        singers, Leon Russell was brilliant.
        It wasn’t that long after his stint with
        Joe Cocker, and the ensemble had
        that ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’
        feel about it (despite Gary Greaser
        being the opening act).


      2. I was lucky enough to catch Joe
        Cocker in concert twice. Once as
        we wild man of Rock, back in ’72,
        and then many years later as a
        totally sober reformed character.
        The Melbourne Festival Hall gig
        was historic, and I was privileged
        to be there. It was just after the
        police raid of his entourage’s hotel
        rooms, and prior to them all being
        deported for marijuana possession.
        Joe Cocker included. Believe me,
        he had a few things to say about
        the whole debacle in-between
        songs, drinking a whole bottle of
        Johnny Walker, and puffing on a
        huge joint … all on stage. He was
        daring the police, who were in the
        audience, to come up and arrest
        him again. He still managed to put
        on an amazing performance!
        Being angry, drunk, and stoned,
        seemed to work brilliantly for him.
        But, I guess, that’s Rock ‘n’ Roll 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      3. what a story! and yes I remember the ruckus of deportation. Of course, rock ‘n’ roll is wild, and that’s how we should be too — not go quietly into that good night —- what’s good about it anyway — but to party and howl and let our wild side rage, the spirit of rock in our attitude and poems. Fear the tameness 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks muchly, Christopher.
      Old Winnie did indeed like to get his
      rocks off. Whether on the beaches,
      on the landing grounds, on the fields,
      in the streets, or even in the hills.
      He was a real cigar munching, fully
      locked and loaded, Rock ‘n’ Rolla 😎

      Liked by 1 person


    Top of the charts, teenage guitar hero
    All those girls down on their knees

    Fast forward thirty years
    Nothing to see here

    Just another clapped out muso
    Comes awake mid afternoon

    A sobering thought
    Sends a shiver

    Sends him scuttling
    For a hair of the dog

    A glass or three
    Of Old Paint Stripper

    Down at the Rickety Crotchet
    Where the mandatory optimism prevails

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Prayer for Idols Fallen

      From the top of the Hit Parade
      to sundowning in the evening
      The bed that you made
      that bed inside your head
      is the one you’ll be lying in
      The sowing and the reaping
      of extreme addiction
      mixed in with a big dose
      of screaming teen rebellion
      May the flame of fleeting fame
      ever so brightly burning
      lead you to a far greater Kingdom

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, you have taken so many name in your poem.
    I am unknown about Bedlam. Maybe there would be
    happened any tragedy, yeah. Like you I like freedom
    in all situations, dear Redpath!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a heaven, with a sure
      and true stairway. That narrow
      path …. sadly less taken.
      Thank you, Aruna, for reading
      my poem 🙏 💛 😎

      “Freedom is never voluntarily
      given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

      “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

      “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

      ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a spcial place in my
      psychosis for Ed Sheeran, Niki 😎
      I was once stuck in an Edinburgh
      café, waiting for my dear wife to
      finish her shopping, for what
      seemed like an eternity ♾️ That
      café just kept playing Ed Sheeran
      over and over again 😩 🕶️ The
      owner was obviously a big fan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh hmm! Yeah that would put me off anyone — at least for a while. I love Ed Sheeran. I also outplay songs I love and, were it not for headphones, would have long ago been disowned. Especially those two weeks I learned Tong Hua by heart. My son kept his door shut and used earplugs, poor guy! ♥.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve been lucky enough to see
        Dylan in concert about 6 times 🤔
        I can even remember a few of
        them 😎 You have been truly
        blessed, Niki, to have experienced
        such a grand occasion 🎸🎶


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