Saturday, 11 December 2010
It feels strange that I have been writing this blog for a couple of months now and not really discussed the impact of music. Music has played a huge part of my life. It's excited me, consoled me, directed me, and inspired me. Music grips me, and without it I wouldn't be the person I am today.
Although I'm not terribly musical - I don't play an instrument - I am musical in terms of the way it surrounds me. It was music that inspired me to start Diy Womp. Sure I wanted to put on nights where people could party, but really the party was only happening because my friends and I loved music and wanted to enjoy it. Using my natural organization and people skills I managed to create some great music nights. Although Diy Womp moved away from music and closer to arts I'd be kidding myself to say it wasn't music that was my major inspiration.
I feel as though with music there are two lives I have lived. A similar thing is said by born again Christians. They feel as though they were living a life where religion just existed beside them and then one day its as though their world opens up and religion is a reason for being. I am by no means religious - a clear example of this is the angel on my tree, which I will get into in a while. It's a similar thing but with music. I think I was always listening to music from an early age but it was only when I was an angst ridden (emo!) 11 year old that music suddenly made me really listen.
Sitting in my room at 11 years old I heard Oasis and it sparked an energy in me. I felt that feeling you get when you hear that song that speaks directly to you. I know it's not exactly cool to say that Oasis was my kick start but it was. Live Forever was an eye opener and since then I have evolved and refined the taste of my music, but at 11 years old it was Oasis that woke me. You'd think then that my inspiration might be from Noel Gallagher, or more shockingly Liam. Well you'd be wrong. I like Noel Gallagher but he's not a musical inspiration to me. I think there has to be more than lyrics and melodies to make a music idol, and that's not the Gallaghers.
Over the years my inspirational musicians has altered. Some stay, some go, but mostly it comes down to 3 men. John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and Joe Strummer. These three men have all spoken to me beyond music. They're all very different and I don't doubt they were inspired by each other too. Well not Elvis, he was influenced by some of the great black musicians of Americas southern states.
The thing about these idols is that none of them are perfect men. By no means was Elvis, Joe, or John perfect men before they died. They were probably complete bastards at times. They didn't live perfect lives and they didn't need to. I think the lack of perfection makes them inspiring, and has meant they've dug deep into the hearts of those around the world that share similar feelings and emotions.
The things that inspire me about these men is that they gave their lives to music. They existed for it, and I think there is not many more beautiful things in life that seeing a person give their life to their art. To see the passion for it is fantastic. It's a shame that John, Joe and Elvis died at such young ages but it's amazing to think they touched so many lives in such a short time. I never saw The Beatles, Elvis, or The Clash. God I would give my right nut to see them. However their influence resonates all around me.
As I write this I am sitting in my apartment in downtown New York above the mural of Joe Strummer, sitting opposite my Christmas tree with Elvis on top, and thinking about the evening this week when I went to Strawberry Fields and sang The Beatles with about a hundred other New Yorkers. This blog will never do justice to the greatness these men portray but it at least tells you what to put on when I'm partying at your place. I would also recommend a bit of Jackie Wilson, there's no party with out Jackie.
Who is it that inspired you in music? Go listen to them now and let me know.