Andre, Blues, Bob Marley, Coffee shop politics, iTunes, Jazz, John McLaughlin, Music, Paco De Luca, Pulling Up the Stone, Ritchie Havens, Scarlet Flames, Sheila Chandra, The Tea Party, Travels Arabian
Warning: this post is gonna make me sound like an angsty sixteen year old…
I might’ve mentioned before that Andre is a jazz/blues musician, who owns more guitars/other instruments than one person will ever need. So when we were together, a big chunk of our time had a lot to do with music.
Before that one horrible night – when he wasn’t playing me his own stuff or other songs in amazing mini-concerts right in my own home, we were seeing live gigs or doing music swaps.
I had numerous Tea Party albums he wanted, as well as some trip-hop/instrumental/percussion based stuff. And in return he gave me some of the classics and his favourites including people like Sheila Chandra, Ritchie Havens, John McLaughlin, Travels Arabian, Bob Marley and Paco De Luca.
And I loved all the stuff he gave me.
But – I haven’t been able to bring myself to listen to it. Especially Ritchie for some reason. The combined charms of his mellow vocals, profound lyrics and brilliant guitar playing just… got under my skin or something. And it hurt.
They’ve all been there in my iTunes, and I’ve spent a great deal of time avoiding playing those tracks – yet never quite being able to bring myself to delete them.
I mean, it’s not the musicians’ fault or anything. That the person who gave me this stuff…
Anyway. So today, sitting here at work and finding little else that hit the spot, I decided – damnit!! – enough is enough! No more avoiding Ritchie. I really, really wanted to hear Scarlet Flames and Pulling Up the Stone and all the rest again.
But it’s been a bit reminiscent of the old high school days… you know, when you couldn’t be friends with someone who your friend was no longer friends with. Or like in more recent times, when we had to change coffee shops here at work because our regular stopped giving us a discount (despite the ridiculous amount of money my team spends there every day on coffee and food), and now we go elsewhere…
Be who you are, be who you are, be who you are…
Say what you’re feeling, say what you’re feeling…
~ Ritchie Havens
Just like that old friend that you couldn’t really talk to for social/political reasons, it’s a joy – tinged with sadness – when you finally sit down and get reacquainted.
I’ve got no words of wisdom but I can relate.
I can’t listen to Led Zeppelin anymore because I heard that my friend Jim was listening to them REALLY loud the day he killed himself.
After he died I couldn’t even listen to the radio. Songs we enjoyed and rocked out to hurt my heart and made me cry.
A Zeppelin sing came on the radio last week and I didn’t turn it off immediately, I waited about 10 seconds before switching the channel.
I guess that’s progress, eh?
I am a musician–I have played guitar for more years than I will mention here 🙂 and music always speaks to my soul–always. Regardless of what is going on in my life, music has always been a part of it–and there are many pieces that I still haven’t listened to again. What comes to mind is some old Lou Reed stuff, in particular–that I absolutely loved–and I haven’t listened to some of those pieces since the late 80’s, early 90’s–but I would never get rid of it either–because music has defined so much of my journey–yet, I can’t bring myself to listen to some of it again either because of the intensity of emotions that it brings back.
I read your linked piece also–which I hadn’t seen before. Whoa–took me back to another time and place–a rough time in my life. Thank God you survived–so often, abuse like the assault you experienced ends up in a death.
Music tends to reach to places in people that don’t get gotten to very easily by other ways–which explains why we sometimes seemingly inexplicably like something that just somehow makes us feel good, even if, on the surface level we think it’s cheesy or whatever. It’s tied to some experience in the past, or some emotion that doesn’t usually get tapped. So, it makes sense that it works the other way around, too. I’m not much of a fan of heavy metal, but I have recently realized that the incredibly deep, visceral hatred I’ve tended to feel towards that stuff really has far less to do with the music itself–some of which isn’t that bad–than with the fact that it seemed to be the music of choice of bullies in my high school….
One Time said:
Music is one of those crazy things that can take us back to a good moment or bad in an instant. There’s a song out there that can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up just because it was the song I was listening to over 15 years ago when my fling at the time almost got me shot.
I don’t blame you for listening to tunes that may make you revisit bad times.
@Christa – yeah, that would suck! I’m not sure I’d be up to listening to the Zep again under the same circumstances. But it does sound like you’re making progress there!!
@Melinda – I am a dancer actually, and so although not a musician, the music speaks to me pretty personally as well. Like it does for so many… Its funny to think of these little libraries we have of music we just don’t play.
@Jay – I’m not much of a fan of heavy metal myself. But… that sure makes sense that you don’t like it if it was some sort of soundtrack to the bullying you experienced!
@One Time – Ah, almost being shot. Well, that’s something that’s bound to sting!
Music has always been apart of my life until this last depressive episode. I’m slowly moving back. Some concerts are back and talking in song title and lyrics comes and goes. But for some reason something that has been such a comforting expressive part of my life ceased when I became depressed. I guess, I just didn’t want to feel anymore. Sorry for the “me ramble.”
I am so happy for you and proud of you that was brave and a huge step and you did not sound anywhere near like an “angsty sixteen year old.”
I love music all kind of music from classical to jazz from blues to rock.
I guess the only music I don’t like is rap.
But then again I don’t consider rap music.
Have you ever listened to Ravi Shankar?
If you like guitar you might like sitar music.
@CC – oh, I know only too well the whole game of denying yourself the things you enjoy. Don’t appologise for expressing yourself!!
@buddhaofhollywood – yep, I love a range of music too. ALl sorts of stuff. I’m not into rap or heavy metal as such. But yes, I listen to sitar, and a lot of arabic percussion and other world music too. Have you ever listened to traditional ragas? 🙂
Confession. Yesterday, was the first time that I was actually able to read about your assault and aftermath in detail. I think, it was too triggering. It still is, but I’m okay. What is even better is that I know you better and admire you more and am continually inspired by you. Thank you for taking the courage to blog about your assault.
@CC – oh! Y’know, I’m beginning to wonder if I should put a ‘trigger warning’ message on my blog like you have… I honestly find it hard to believe that people find what I went through as bad as I do. But it seems I’m mistaken.
Well, thanks for reading and I’m glad you’re okay.
I’m also inspired by you. And I appreciate you coming over here to read my stuff. 🙂