An Evening with Maynard James Keenan

Well, what can I say. Back when I was a head-banging hair-whipping teenage rocker gal wearing long-sleeved band t-shirts under my white school uniform dress shirt, I never thought this day would come: sitting in a wooden folding chair, 20 feet from Maynard James Keenan, singer of Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, with a gifted copy of his first book in my hand: A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, listening to him speak about his life at the University of Toronto Convocation Hall.

As soon as I found out that he’d be in Toronto for this unprecedented event, I bought a ticket. I never in a million years thought that I’d be attending alone, but alone I went; no one I’d asked had wanted to go. I’ve been lucky enough to watch Maynard sing countless times before at shows he put on with his various bands throughout the years – but this was different. This time, I would actually be able to hear what he had to say. I could focus, pay attention, and mull. I wasn’t going to miss this for anything.

It was a cool, clear Monday night, and the November full moon was high in the sky as I crossed King’s College Circle to reach the building’s entrance. How fitting. The moon was yellow and misty and uncaptureable by my phone but try I did, because how could I not?

November full moon, taken from King College Circle.

Going to see this man (whose career I’ve followed singe teenagerdom and whom I find to be incredibly intelligent and inspiring to this day) speak about life, art, mistakes, and learning (not losing; “you either win or you learn, losing is on you”) was simultaneously somber and uplifting. Like life.

An audio snippet I recorded of Maynard reading aloud from his book.

I was reminded that I should never expect things that inspire me to necessarily inspire others; what I find amazing and incredible may not resonate with even those who are closest to me; in the end, my thoughts and my feelings are my own. Despite this, I won’t ever stop going after and talking about the things that I’m passionate about. Be it music, trees, books, or sunsets. We just never know how something we do or say or share might have a deep and lasting effect on those around us.

Thank you Maynard, for sharing your life with the world, and for coming to Toronto to spend time with your fans.