71. The Secret Chord (for Rocky Green)
Once upon a time, there was a man who played guitar with all his heart and all that was within his soul. Word of his singular talent spread far and wide such that whenever he’d play a show, each crowd was larger and more enthusiastic than the last. And they would listen, silently, rapt in wonder. Women would swoon and men would cry and call their mothers between sets to apologize for stealing quarters from their purses when they were young.
But one day while writing a new song he went in search of a chord that would not come. Interval upon interval, he tried them all but none would satisfy, none were right.
Tours were canceled. Fans went wondering and rumors spread. His critics said he was done, washed up, expired.
And then one morning upon waking, he found it – the secret chord. The one jazz artists strive to find night after smoky night in empty bars. The one composers try to find at the bottom of flasks of bourbon. The one rock stars try to find between lines of cocaine.
It was a chord like no other. Bird, Bach, and Hendrix would have traded their left hand for those notes. But it was Rocky Green who fished it, fresh out of the collective unconscious.
He took this chord to California, back to his love who was waiting for him there. And though she could not fully understand the weight of his discovery, she knew – deep down inside, where wisdom is born – that the chord was her’s and that he had searched far and wide for the sound of it.
And she held him in her arms all night long as he played her song.