I know that’s a cheering title but that is all I have seen and read about in the past week.
First the horrendous bombing and shooting in Norway, then sudden death of Amy Winehouse, which in turn was followed by rumours of other celebrity deaths. It was interesting watching people react to the news of these events, some with shock and other with attempted humour.
I am not going to comment on these events directly. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and whether you liked a person or not has no bearing on their death. With celebrity to some, it’s like losing a friend, even more so with music stars.
Music is such an emotive force that we use it at throughout our lives, at birthdays, weddings, funerals etc. We have it now with us constantly thanks originally to the portable radio, via the walkman and now the iPod ((shiver)) and smart phones.
Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes
This was a nursery rhyme I grew up with, not only because i lived in Banbury but the thought of music where you go as a concept i really liked. Well as I got older anyway.
Now I did not get into music until I was 12-13. I hated Saturday morning kids TV when the “band” came on to do their latest piece I would flick over to the open university. The only exception was Five* and the classic “Why are you so fucking shit?…. click” call, Genius. If you have not seen it go see this clip from a documentary on BBC4
These choice cuts are far removed from where I am today. As I moved away from certain friends and towards others my musical choice changed. RnB no longer cut it, MOR was boring and Euro-Pop was just plain odd. I was shifting towards a more rock persona.
I started to listen to the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. This then lead me on to the grunge era where I became a massive Pearl Jam fan (20 years since Grunge broke with Nirvana -Nevermind and Peal Jam – Ten ). I even had long hair, yes, long hair down to the small of my back. It was hideous with split ends and always looked like I worked in a chip shop. This was the rocking way to do stuff.
I soon realised this was not a good look and just listening to one type of music was bad for you. I think this is why EMO’s are always so unhappy. If they just embrace a bit of sunshine with Bob Marley, they would not see the need to wear black and hug each other a lot.
Music has been there for me through the good, the bad and the weird. It has helped lift my spirits and comforted me in times of need. It has spoken to me more than any other medium as it can relate so closely to how I feel at any one point in time. Or can it.
We hear what we want to hear and each of us will take something away from a particular lyric or even miss hear the lyric completely: Excuse me while I kiss this guy? No woman no pride? Let’s pee in the corner, Let’s pee in the spotlight? Might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove.
Every song tells a tail and not necessarily what the original writer and performer had in mind. We all have a piece of music which is properly very empty lyrically but still means a bid deal to us. It takes us to a time or a place that we were happiest etc.
I grew up in the 90’s. The time of rubbish pop songs and awful dance music. Yet, some of these insidious pieces of music, can raise a smile and lift my mood. How many times have I sat in front of the goglebox and switched on to a music channel to see a top 20/50/100 hits of the 90’s? I even, watched MTC Dance the other day, as it was a 90’s countdown. Sadly I missed Josh Wink
This is why I think celebrity status in the music industry is often revered more than any other medium or art form. Teenage girls scream at the Beaver, I mean Beiber, mass hordes gather outside a London flat to show respect, fans from around the world visit a cemetery in Paris and a New York apartment building becomes the centre of attention on the 8 December every year
Music is power and if you make that one song which transcends all others, and hits the listener just right. You become a god to them. From EMO to Euro-pop to Country to Death Metal. Music is as much about feelings as it is about listening.
When a musical star is taken from us, we should not wallow in pity and sadness. The music will always live on. There are plenty of legendary performers that have stamped their authority on the world before nipping off to see their maker. From Crazy drummers to boundary breaking front men to drug addicted solo artists to murdered peace activists.
It is sad when anyone dies but take comfort in music, take comfort in their music. Their Music lives on in all of us.