Hold that thought.
A while ago, my friend Seb told me that his favourite blogs of mine – or really, the better ones – were the ones I didn’t plan, and where I just typed anything that was on my mind. For the longest time I refused to believe that unplanned writing was my best, but sometimes, in the heat of the moment, it’s when my mind works best. I’m not saying that every time I write a blog post, I plan everything I write.
Speak of the devil! Seb just asked me a question on Tumblr. And yeah… I’ve sort of found my love (or like) for Tumblr again. I’ve changed my username to hey-georgie. I guess Tumblr is just one of those things I’m going to forever have a love/hate relationship with. I even went so far as to make some tribute Tumblr blogs for my favourite bands. Whatever, man. I guess this is how I roll, huh? I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who spend all day on Tumblr. I have nightmares remembering the time I was addicted to Tumblr a few years ago.
Anyway. It’s high time I slept, but a few little things just tickled my mind and made me want to write. Basically – stuff that makes me cry. I can’t get over things easily. I really can’t. But when I think of the numerous things that have made me cry, I realise that they’ve made me cry once, twice, maybe three times, but after that, it’s not something I cry about but something I get more upset, or even angry about. One of my favourite albums of all time is What To Do When You Are Dead by Armor For Sleep. Armor For Sleep are easily my favourite band, but now that they’ve disbanded, and have been that way for a few years… I feel like they will have that special place in my heart, but they can’t be my favourite band when they’re disbanded.
What To Do When You Are Dead defined the darkest years of my life so far, and yet helped me power through a lot of them. The album is a concept album and tells the story of a protagonist’s journey through the afterlife following his suicide, which was a result of a straining relationship with his girlfriend/partner (it’s rather vague). It goes through the Kübler-Ross 5-stage model of grief management:
I can’t say that any of the little things that make me cry are actually even worth crying about. But they’re tiny as hell. It starts with… well, to be honest, the whole thing encompasses something that means a lot to me – music. Every time something in music makes me sad or upset, it leads on to something else, and that makes me even more upset. I don’t even know why I’m upset. But let’s start with Armor For Sleep. They disbanded, and I was crushed. They had a farewell show, in New Jersey, and I would have given my left foot to have gone. But I didn’t. It was sort of beyond reasonable circumstances. Some people might think, “Heh, then you’re not that big a fan of the band, are you?”
Some people would go to extreme lengths to see their favourite band live. At the same time, you have to be real. You should be real, in the words of March of the Real Fly. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, and around that time I was studying, not to mention at such short notice I wasn’t mentally prepared to sit on a plane alone for 22 hours and travel to the other side of the world. Yes, now, these days, two hours to travel to a venue for a gig to see one of my favourite bands isn’t much hassle at all. It is the furthest I’ll go right now.
Maybe three? Yeah maybe three. Which brings me to my dumbest regret of the year: not going to the Fat As Butter festival. It was three hours up north, but it couldn’t have bothered me – if I didn’t have class that day. Andrew offered me a free ticket, and even offered to write me a doctor’s certificate when I said I had class.
You know what? Next time, I’m taking the offer. I’m such an idiot. What did I tell myself back in August? Hey Geronimo > uni. Always. So next time, if there ever is a next time, music is more important than education to me, and if I miss one class, FUCK THAT. LOL.
But that’s honestly one of the dumbest regrets I have.
It also makes me upset to remember that I missed out on seeing a lot of bands every now and then.
Back to the deepest cut of them all, is when bands do disband. There are two cases. If it’s a band you couldn’t care less about – there’s no point discussing that. Let’s assume you like the band. The two cases are:
- You know them before they disband. You follow them from beginning to end, or even just from middle to end.
- You find out about them after they’re long gone. Or just after they’re gone.
I don’t know what hurts more to listen to. When I think of the second case, I think of cases like The Beatles, Nirvana, Electric Light Orchestra, and other bands that stopped recording long before I was born. Right now, I don’t feel sad for them, because I didn’t watch them split and separate and disband. Logically, this should be the case that hurts less, or shouldn’t hurt at all. But sometimes, it does. Sometimes you learn about the entire history behind a band, regardless of their “dead” status, and you walk through that life and that era on your own, in your own time, at your own pace. You don’t watch it unfold, but how is it different?
It hurts, just as much, to love a band after they’ve gone, does it not?
I’ve taken myself to the history of Hey Geronimo and to the beginnings of the musical careers of some of the band members. I’ve taken myself through listening to Montpelier and Blame Ringo and The Quills, and I’ve pulled myself through all that music. Why does it make me cry?
Is it because it is so powerful, because of the style of music, the nostalgia it brings? Why do I feel pained when half those band members still perform in another band? Why do I listen to these songs and feel tears well in my eyes? Is it because I realise that further music by this band will never exist? Is it because by being in the past, those songs are sometimes forgotten? If they were a popular band, perhaps it wouldn’t feel that way. But they weren’t huge bands, they were only known in this country.
Even though bands change their sound, over time, why do I feel sad that no new music will be made? So many artists these days write new tunes, and their old ones are long forgotten.
Why do I even bother taking myself through the back catalogues of bands that no longer exist? It is like I’m stuck in the fourth stage of depression in Kübler-Ross’s model, struggling to accept. Or I have accepted the truth that some bands don’t exist anymore… and maybe I just weep because the music, in itself, is incredible.