GUEST POST: An ode to a life in a minor key
Kevin is another amazing person I have had the pleasure to get to know over Twitter. Having a passion for both music and writing, I asked him to write a guest post for the blog, as he (just like so many of us) has so many great stories to tell that are all related to music in one form or another. So I hope you enjoy this very first guest post and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter. Much love! x
September 1983, I’m four years old and sat on a Thursday night in front of the television, the blue grey glow lighting up the gathered family like the moon bathing the waves of the sea. A normal early evening scene and one that would never normally be particularly memorable.
The programme isn’t just any old TV show, instead it’s that sadly parted show that introduced so many of us to music as a spectacle for the first time. Top Of The Pops. And on screen comes a man so different to any I’ve seen before, dressed almost like a woman and singing about karma and chameleons, this man is so a pop star.
The funny thing is that this wasn’t just the moment I first became conscious of the spectacle of music, but one of my earliest memories too. As a person that struggles to remember their own dad’s birthday, and occasionally their own age, it seems testament to the power of the obsession that I can remember songs, gigs, TV appearances and records so clearly.
Music has always played a vital role in my life and perhaps it’s that, combined with a strangely romantic view of the world, that has made the reverberation of the airwaves so pivotal in who I am.
Music, and especially records have been my memories and photos down the years, all the major moments of my life have been soundtracked. From the great moments that linger long in the memory, such as the first night with the one that you love, a gig, a date, arms wrapped around her and the smell of her hair floating in the crowd as the music moves you as one with the beat.
Or the childhood memories of sitting, bathed in the warm yellow light of the early morning sun, listening to the needle drop, hiss and pop, on a classic Motown 45, the Beatles white album or slab of straight down the line Rock and Roll – delivered with the power and fire only Chuck Berry or Little Richard could bring – feelings that have travelled with me into my adult life. Helping me form my fetish with a medium, one that holds a modern nostalgia, a feeling of safety, awe and romance.
But then too when life turns, and the rhythms of the world aren’t in your favour music can be your worst enemy. How many times have you felt that pang of regret? or the pain of a moment long forgotten, brought back by the words, feeling or lament of an artist. To hear Jimmy Ruffin sing What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted when you’re feeling good is to revel in the humanity and force of feeling of a great artist portraying the human condition so perfectly. But to hear it when you’re that person, it knocks you sideways, stops you in your tracks and surrounds you once more with the misty fog of emotion. A fog that drops on you, surrounding your soul and isolating you from all around.
But I love the way music makes me feel, good or bad, the power and the fury of it, and I never want to lose it.
So I listen.
I listen when Seu Jorge sings,
Tanto tempo pra pensar
Mas no meio na correria acho que não deu
Eu tentando concertar a nossa história
Mas sem a sua ajuda, não aconteceu
(So much time to think
But in-between all the running around
I think it didn’t work)
And as those final strains and notes leave my ears, whizzing and buzzing round my mind, small fairies of imagination that spread their magic on my mind, I’m thankful. Thankful that my passion can help me find things I’ve never found before, open doors I never knew of and even articulate hurt in a way I never could.