Not sure how to begin, here, other than to say January, 2016 sucks! Mind you, December, 2015 won no prizes either and, to top it all, the computer kept my last blog all to itself! Yes, it was full of cheer and, on the brink of saving my latest masterpiece, a message flagged up saying the ‘machine’ was shutting down. I don’t know whether it has decided to hibernate until Spring but there has been no sign of life since. So, here I am on the antiquated desktop and I have no doubt that it will self-combust at any moment.
Anyway, back to January, 2016 and the highs so far…. and that was a short entry! Seriously, what is going on? The world has lost David Bowie and Glen Frey, both only in their late 60s and both a huge part of my life and that of millions of others. Concentrating on me for the moment, David Bowie was just always there! Space Oddity, Jean Genie, Suffragette City, Changes … those songs were the backdrop to my teenage years. Yes, Donny covered my walls – and my ceiling, and my door and my skirting boards – but David Bowie conjures up sitting on the floor in my brother’s bedroom watching the old turntable go round, thinking we were so cool; or better still, age 16, going to a party or disco – in long dresses, I might add – and taking your own 45s. The innocence of it all … happy, happy days long before mobile phones or computers.
As for Glen Frey and the Eagles … that is the Summer of ‘76 and cheesecloth all to the backdrop of Lyin’ Eyes. Of course, there was Desperado, Tequila Sunrise, Best of My Love and, then, Hotel California but Lyin’ Eyes remains my favourite. In fact, to this day, it is my favourite song and largely because it transports me back to that time. The power of music. I don’t think I could do without it. I once explained that I never put (should I have used the word ‘download’, here?) a whole album onto my ipod. I select individual songs, not the whole thing at random, and the reason being that, if something happens to me – God forbid, I hear you say – then my ipod and its content will go some way towards depicting me! I think you can tell a great deal about somebody from the music he/she loves.
Am I rambling? This was leading somewhere. Oh yes, I was thinking about why the death of those such as Bowie and Glen Frey, as with that of John Lennon, ignite such an outpouring of grief? Most never met them but the impact is no less. Is it merely the power of music? No. I think it goes much deeper in that the music of the aforementioned encapsulates a period in time; a part of one’s life which was happy, innocent and full of optimism. The music of the Beatles, David Bowie and the Eagles, whilst primarily rooted in the late 60s and 70s, transcends the decades and will, I’m sure, continue to do so. For so many, though, it was the soundtrack to their formative years and, thus, to lose the protagonist is a reminder of one’s own mortality. There’s the rub! Nothing lasts forever. Innocence is transient. Life is hard and can be very cruel but we all crave escapism and music can transport us back to that ‘Age of Innocence’ – ask Don Henley! Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion and should never be down-played. The past is what makes us and, ultimately, has the power to break us. Happy childhood equals the strength to cope with life’s blows; difficult childhood ….. I wish we could turn the clock back to a time when families were valued and ‘childhood’ wasn’t just a word in a dictionary. Makes me think of, arguably, one of the saddest songs ever penned – ‘Have you seen my Childhood‘ by Michael Jackson. Give it a listen.
Who’s next? My ‘age of innocence’ is being taken apart bit by bit. Billy Connolly receiving his lifetime recognition on the National Television Awards … I remember reading about the death of Eric Morecombe and one of his grandchildren was quoted as saying, ‘Is that the end of the magic?’, or words to that effect.
Hey, ‘Take another shot of courage’. Tomorrow is another day. Thank you for the music Glen Frey and David Bowie. R.I.P.
This is Trish, signing off. As always, I didn’t force you to read it!