The Myth of Health Club
In the beginning was the radio. And the sound. Over a century of listening. And then came the instruments. And the rehearsals and retreats. And then talk of revolution and a journey into the depths of the decibel. Health Club was born.
According to first-hand accounts and rumors alike Health Club is a rock-n-roll band. But we are here to tell you that Health Club is not simply a band, a punk-dada, performance troupe, a mere garage-grunge-psyche outfit. No, dear friends. Health Club is an invitation, a portal, a machine that processes your information.
Health Club is a self-organizing entity. It assumed intelligence on multiple registers and in multiple garages and basements sometime in the spring of 2015. The exact timing is obscure. The origins draped in unknowing. A raucous roving system across the rolling hills of Lancaster County. Leaving nothing but traces. Joyously seething. Brooding and dancing. Drawing on the histories of popular music and jangly found sounds, Health Club churns and spins, recalibrates and deploys. That’s the source of their sonic revelation. For when the revelation occurs Health Club is changed in the process. You are changed in this process. The world is no longer the same.
The system of Health Club is made up of many subsystems. By day they are doctors, professors, counselors. By night they are doctors, professors, counselors. We are oblivious. Their music is infectious, hypnotic, political, and loud, Health Club is your umbrella on a rainy day. Health Club is the cat that coos, the syntax that smoothes over. Health Club is that poem you never wrote. Health Club is the butter on your toast. Health Club is the medicine you need. Health Club is the air you breathe.
From the heart of Amish San Francisco Health Club works through the problems of this world. All the problems. All your problems. All the problems your friends and lovers point out to you. All the problems you are afraid to name. All the panic and duress. All the furtive web searches for your particularity. All the sciences of addressing those problems, panics, and particularities. Biology. Psychiatry, Pedagogy, Philosophy, History. Mathematics. Anatomy. Myth.
Health Club is a collective. We have agents and we have spies. We are accepting applications. We have stickers. We write songs. We play music. We know your deepest secrets.
Excerpted from The Distinguishing Marks of the Work Of The Spirit of Health Club, Applied To That Uncommon Operation That Has Lately Appeared On The Minds Of The People Of Lancaster County: With A Particular Consideration of The Extraordinary Circumstances With Which This Work Is Attended (2018)
Welcome to the HEALTH CLUB
Spot your neighbor at the HEALTH CLUB
There’s every flavor at the HEALTH CLUB
Don’t get busted at the HEALTH CLUB
You can’t truss it at the HEALTH CLUB
See yourself in the mirror at the HELATH CLUB
There is nothing to fear at the HEALTH CLUB
Sexy stretchy pants at the HEALTH CLUB
Geezers in the steam room at the HEALTH CLUB
Marxist revolution at the HEALTH CLUB
Base and superstructure at the HEALTH CLUB
There ain’t no more pain at the HEALTH CLUB
Get your bosses off your back at the HEALTH CLUB
Dance with the workers at the HEALTH CLUB
Get in touch with God at the HEALTH CLUB
Excerpt from A Faithful Narrative About the Surprising Work of Health Club in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (2019)
Good evening brothers and sisters
We are Health Club!
We are gathered here this evening
To consider these troubled times
And oh boy, these are troubled times!
It takes me back to another time / Another time of trouble
Matthew 14, verses 7 to 36 of the King James
When Jesus found out that his good buddy
His good buddy and resident ladies man John the Baptist
Had been beheaded by that old mean man king Herod
Give me the head of John the Baptist she said
And he did—clean right off!
So when Jesus heard the news
He set sail into the desert
That’s right, a ship on dry land!
Sailed to a place apart, the Bible says
and when the people had heard thereof,
they followed him on foot out of the cities
And in that dusty dry desert, they had a party
A party like you have never seen
But when it came time to eat
the people were kind of freaking out
because there was no food or water to drink.
10,000 people in the desert with no plan, no credit cards, no uber eatsBut Jesus calmed the masses and held up five loaves of bread
And two fishes
That looked exactly the same
And he said
My people shall eat
My people shall drink
And my people will forgive
Because I am kind
And you are kind
And we are woke, honest, and god-fearin’
We have been given the wine
The fish of the sea
And the grains of the earth
to taste and to savor
For we have been given
The Occuli to riff
And the smart phones to swipe
And the news to fake
And the fakes to make
And the world to mediate
And the highest bids
To take it all in
“And they did all eat, and were filled
and they took up of the fragments
of the party that was left
twelve baskets full.”