by Curtis Lanclos
“Instant Karma!” was a song released by John Lennon in February 1970. The philosophy perpetuated by Lennon and Ono in this classic track is the idea that the causality of one’s actions is immediate rather than borne out over a lifetime. While this song refers more to a more immediate concept of accountability for your actions (i.e. “what comes around, goes around”), I have definitely come to learn over the years that this works in the positive realm as well. In other words, if you have a friendly and generous heart, ultimately people will be friendly and generous to you (and it’s not necessarily the receivers of your kindness who will be the reciprocators).
While people criticize prosperity preachers for abusing this apparent spiritual principle seemingly for their own gain, the Lord Jesus Christ did in fact say “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38, NIV). I have rarely (if ever) experienced an INSTANT dose of positive karma (or giving and receiving), but my son and I DID this past weekend!
My son Christian and I have the same birthday, August 13 (today, as of the posting of this blog post). Since he and I both are fans of rock music, as a part of our birthday celebration together I decided to take him to the third annual celebration of the Nashville RockNPod Expo this past weekend! This is a wonderful event described on the website as “a unique annual event bringing together rock fans, artists, podcasters, and vendors for events that celebrate the past, promote the present, and look to the future. Rock is NOT dead and ROCKNPOD is an annual reminder of that!” This gathering is hosted by Chris Czynszak and Aaron Camaro of the very popular weekly podcast Decibel Geek.
Michael, Michael and Robin
One of this year’s musical guests at RockNPod was Michael Sweet of the Christian Heavy Metal band Stryper. At the pre-party for the expo on Friday night, Sweet performed two songs with Thee Rock N’ Roll Residency: Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” and Stryper’s “Soldiers Under Command.” It was incredible, to say the least!
Christian and I had the opportunity to have a very friendly chat with Sweet for a few minutes at the expo on Saturday. I told him about my friends Michael & Robin Legat from LA who, along with their friends Christina Willis and Eileen Faulk, dressed up as Stryper for one of the theme nights on the Spring 2018 voyage of The 80s Cruise. I showed him a photograph of their group costume, and it brought a huge smile to his face!
After snapping the picture of Sweet holding the photo, I had him sign it so I could send it to Michael and Robin as a unique memento of their awesome creativity. This amazing couple attends The 80s Cruise every year, and they ALWAYS have the best costumes for the theme nights!
Since I am a big fan of podcasts (as I indicated in a previous blog post), one of the self-indulging things about this expo was meeting hosts of my favorite rock music commentary podcasts like…
- Ken “The Podfather” Mills (along with Christine “The Button Queen” Wolfe) of Podkisst (A KISS Podcast)
- Matt & Anthony Porter of The KISS Room
- Steven Michael & Sonny “Hollywood” Pooni of the Growin’ Up Rock Podcast
- Ralph Viera & Ian Wadley of the Rock and Metal Combat Podcast
As we conversed with the Growin’ Up Rock guys, I mentioned the fact that Christian plays the bass and is becoming quite good at it, but is not in a band as of yet. Sonny mentioned that his son is a guitar player in a band out west, and he really encouraged Christian to keep it up and be aware of opportunities which may arise. He likes nothing better than to see the next generation carry the torch and to keep rock and roll alive, and took a special interest in letting Christian know he can do that in a big way! This laid the foundation for what was about to happen…
One of the fun things about this event is the end-of-the-day (5pm) charity raffles. With a luck of the draw, you can leave with some great items like swag, t-shirts or even a guitar for a mere $5 or $10 raffle ticket. I entered three raffles…
- KISS Fan Pack (Swag)
- Michael Sweet Fan Pack (autographed photos, CDs, etc.)
- Acoustic Guitar signed by the members of Tesla
15 minutes before the raffle drawings began, Christian took an interest in another item up for raffle: a Kramer Nite V Electric Guitar! He asked if I could enter that raffle as well. I went to the table and asked if I could do so, but the young ladies overseeing the giveaways informed me I had missed the cutoff time. They needed time to get everything on stage and ready to go, and another entry would slow things down. I was a little bummed I couldn’t try and get him this amazing guitar, but I was looking forward to the other drawings. Hey, it’s all for a good cause, right?
To make a long story short, I didn’t win any of the three raffles I entered. However, something totally amazing and unexpected happened next. The drawing for the Nite V finally took place and Sonny “Hollywood” Pooni was the winner! After he went up to claim his prize, he walked right up to Christian on his way back to his seat and handed the guitar to him!! My jaw dropped, as did my son’s!
Christian said, “Wait…. WHAT???”
Sonny responded something to the effect of, “I am not a musician. My son is, and he already has 10 guitars! You take it.”
Christian and I were in shock! The very guitar which we couldn’t try to win was the one we won! I posted the photos above on my Facebook profile and gave a brief summary of that which had occurred. Robin Legat (one of the Stryper cosplayers from earlier in the story) responded to the post and said…
“It’s all those good karma points you earned by getting our Stryper photo signed!”
I’m not sure if that one act of seemingly insignificant (to me) kindness had anything to do with what occurred, but I know it meant the world to Michael and Robin. Before she even said anything about our unexpected blessing, I was already contemplating how random acts of kindness do indeed come back to you if you make it a lifestyle to practice them.
And hey, you might even be on the receiving end of some (positive) INSTANT KARMA on occasion! Be kind to everyone, and share the RETRO love my friends!
P.S. Be sure and check out the podcasts I mentioned in this post. If you are a fan of classic hard rock and heavy metal music, you will enjoy them immensely! All of these hosts are wonderful folk!