From Punk To Monk – Ray Raghunath Cappo (Insight Editions)

For legions of Hardcore kids the world over, Ray Cappo was, is, and always will be the frontman for Youth of Today, Better Than A Thousand, and Shelter, and along with Jordan Copper, was the founding force responsible for Revelation Records. But for almost as long as he’s been a guiding light in the Hardcore scene, Ray has been searching for answers to life’s big questions and the everyday enigmas that plague all of us, which ultimately led him down a spiritual path, devoting his life to Krishna and a higher calling, before eventually becoming a yoga instructor and helping others to find their truth, and some meaning on their journey through the physical realm. 

From Punk To Monk is Ray’s story, in Ray’s words, and splits its focus between music and his quest to find happiness, fulfillment, and purpose in a chaotic world devoted to sensory pleasure and the empty accumulation of wealth and possessions. Okay, I know I’m sounding a little like Ray right now, but the more time you spend in his literary company as he explains his reasoning and the undiluted joy that he found, and continues to find in the small things, the more you begin to understand this incredibly complex man. And if you didn’t, and don’t, like him before you start reading this book, by the time you turn the final page, you’ll consider him an old and dear friend, whose conversation and stories provide a welcome relief from the trials and tribulations of the rat race. 

Raghunath, throughout his story, freely acknowledges and admits that,  just like the rest of us, he’s fallible and a victim of his hubris, desires, and pride, and that all too often he falls short of the goals he sets for himself. And when that happens, the universe steps in and shows him where he needs to be, and how he needs to correct his course. While I don’t share Ray’s faith or his belief system, and admittedly initially wanted to read From Punk To Monk because Youth of Today changed my life for the better, his passion and zeal are infectious, and his prose burns with a bright intelligence and self-awareness that few memoirs possess, and even though I came for the music, I gladly stayed the course because of the man behind the words that meant, and mean so much to me. Tim Cundle 


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