…in every parting there is an image of death…

I met a guy the other day, this guy goes by the name of Brian…
Brian and I (briefly) went to the same high school in my junior years…
But we never knew eachother.
Brian has a twin brother…
I knew him…
Sort of.
I don’t remember his name now, but we used to spend time in “detention” together… If it could be called such a thing.
Infact, now that I think about it, I think the teacher was just lonely and had no one to go home as he always kept the same kids after school..
Maybe we were that mans only friends that year…
Brians brother was a good guy, he would smoke weed with me, he would drive me home when it rained and he would often say hi to me in the hall way.
But this isn’t about Brians brother…
Its about Brian..
There are two things about Brian that anyone who knows him, knows…
He loves rock and roll music,
and
He is blind…
He lives a normal life.
He works a normal job.
And he doesn’t complain.
In a way, he seems to embrace it.
Now, what really gets me about Brian, is his love for rock and roll…
This man can tell you anything and everything about rock and roll.
If you name him an Areosmith album he could tell you everything about that album.
The studio it was recorded at.
The name of the producer.
Hell he could probably tell you who Steven Tyler thanks in the liner notes.
And this goes for any rock band.
Nirvana.
Green Day.
Kiss.
The Scorpians.
You get it.
You can ask him about what bands won a Grammy and it what year and he could probably tell you…
He can likely tell you who married who.
Who cheated on who with who.
You get it.
Now, the one thing Brian doesn’t know about rock and roll, is the way people look.
He has never seen the image of rock and roll..
And this is amazing…
This is amazing because image is everything in rock and roll…
At least it was.
the hair.
the clothes.
the sunglasses (think bono beck and elton john).
the boots.
the cons.
the leotards and spandex.
the neon?.

Chances are, he could tell me more about kiss then I will ever know, yet he doesn’t know what they look like…
It is kiss for fuck sakes…
Its all about the look…
Motley Crue…
Same thing…
Slash.
Fuck me it goes on and on…
I imagine he has been told what they looked like, he could probably tell you Paul Stanley has a star over his right eye.
I assume he knows what the shape of a star feels like…
But to never see it almost feels like it takes away from what they represent.. It would be like watching a movie and not being able to hear anything.
What would “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” be without dialogue?
He isn’t alone.
And I don’t think he cares.
It is something he has never known…
This now happened a couple of weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it…
I can’t seem to figure out if it means…
Do we see music in two different ways?
I’m sure we can agree on timeless songs but am I to quick to judge based on looks?
Would Brian like Twisted Sister if he knew what Dee Snider looked like on stage?
Does Bon Jovi’s hair or Mike Reno’s tight red leather pants mean anything?
I like to think it does.
I think image (or the lack there of) is the reason why music sucks today…
Justin Bieber…and his hair…
Lady Gaga… and well,her…
Nelly… and his band aid…
There is nothing believable in those people.
At least, I cannot believe them…
I find it easier to believe that John Lennon really was a working class hero…
I feel truth and sorrow in the flannel shirts and ripped jeans that signifies the spawn of the North West.
Grunge.
I wonder what Brian thinks…
Maybe he thinks “The Fame Monster” is a masterpiece and “Bad Motor Finger” is crap and will never be remembered..
That would be an impossible thought though..
At least it should be…
Maybe Brian doesn’t give two fucks…
Maybe he would agree…
From all that I know (which isn’t a lot) I think we would share the same thoughts…
I imagine we could agree that “Free Bird” could easily be in the top ten greatest songs ever written (if such a list could actually be composed).
Hell, I think he may even agree that Nickelback (as much as I wish this weren’t true) may be really the only timeless band of the last ten years(the foo fighters also fit into this list but they started in the 90’s)…
I think that says a lot coming from me.
I can appreciate what they have done, and I can enjoy the music when I hear it but they aren’t my thing, its not music I crave,it is nothing I personally would spend the money on, their live show hasn’t changed except the pyro has gotten bigger and merch has gone up in price.
But that’s why they sell albums…
That’s why they can go anywhere in the world and sell out arenas…
Their fans know what to expect in the same way promoters expect Axl Rose to not show up, or how fans expected Kurt Cobain to smash his guitar…
These people have the same things in common…
Nothing changes…
And it works for them…
It works for the world…
But what happened to that?
What happened to rock and roll?
Was it the “nu metal” explosion of bands like Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Coal Chamber etc?
Was it the wave of “pop” music of the mid 90’s?
Maybe it was the slew of singer songwriters like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.
Or maybe its just me…
Maybe I am to critical…

If Brian could see would he hear differently?
I wonder…

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8 thoughts on “…in every parting there is an image of death…

  1. That reminded me of a serious convo I had years ago with my BFF. The question in that was “If you ever were bound to loose one of your senses which would you prefer to loose, the sight or the hearing?” My answer always was: The sight…

    Because, not hearing a damn thing woulkd finish me off. I mean, I see your point about seeing rockstars but what sense would it all make if you couldn’t HEAR them? And Bono is voice first and then glasses (nevermind that he obvioulsy sleeps with them nowadays which he didn’t in the 80’s…)

    And I do aks myself now: Isn’t this the best way to expirience music by just hearing it and not getting distracted by the looks? Maybe that would be the end of some so-called stars…

  2. This is my favorite yet of your blogs. What an interesting thing to think about.

    So much of the music industry seems to be based on looks. I believe that if it was based solely on talent and the MUSIC itself, there would be a completely different line up of artists atop the charts. I know when I find music I like, it’s generally because I heard a song and then looked up the artist/band, not the other way around. But like you mentioned, Lady Gaga is a perfect example. She has so much going on it’s hard to even pay attention to the music. If you see that before hearing her music, it’s totally overwhelming. I’m all about putting on a good show, but the music should be first and it should be the “main event” so to speak…

  3. Sound and vision offer us a personal perception of everything in life, not just music…. when reading this here blog sweetie, you reminded me of this fact. And it has reminded me of things we often take for grantite. Such as sight and hearing, snesualization of the 2 together…. love your thoughts on this, and I do think that Brian hears music differently, with or without vision. Everyone hears music in their own way. That’s how preferences are born… yea?
    love this.
    love love love
    DeEtta xx

  4. I would have to say that was one of the best things I have read in awhile. I love music and it is the thread that links all aspects of my life together. I don’t think you are critical but rather passionate. You see and connect with music through you heart and soul. So lyrics and sounds must be deeper and authentic. The artist must be that…an artist. Someone who see music as a gift..a way of expression. My feelings have been that music let’s us express our inner most feelings..fears..happiness. the best way to feel music in my opinion is with your eyes closed…it always it to become yours and let the words speak to you. You are amazing writer…thank you for sharing and opening eyes to new ways of thinking

  5. one of my best friends erin… is deaf. she had a cochlear implant put in a few years ago. she can hear… she doesn’t know sign language.. she will look at lips or ask people to repeat things… she LOVES music. she sounds normal when she talks, but sometimes messes up words she never knew or learned how to say properly.

    erin happens to love hip-hop… and here’s why… she could always feel the beat, and feel the music… so she loves it. so here i am, inviting her to these little acoustic showcases, thinking it’ll be perfect for her (not too loud, not insane bass) and she kept turning me down… and i thought, WTF???? and i was judgmental when she always listened to Jay-Z and other top 40 hip-hop and r&b music all the time… but now i get it… she can really feel the music.. and it makes her feel great.

    erin is also a hip-hop dancer… and she’s really amazing too.. she’s gotta pay attention to beats and sound as cues, while all the other dancers can just go with the choreography…

    thanks for writing something so inspiring… i feel just so happy to have erin in my life, because she’s kick ass, first of all… but also because she makes my life richer for learning how to appreciate music in a different way 🙂

    amazing blog… as usual !

  6. Wow, that is not something I would ever really have stopped to think about. Thanks for dragging it into my conscious thinking. I guess there are no images on my iriver when I listen, and some people I hear without ever knowing what they look like. But the visuals can be such an enhancement of the enjoyment….

    Yeah I think the jury is still out for me on this one.

  7. Loved this entry! It made me think…what a nice thing to happen from a blog & getting rarer these days with the loads of crap available online.

    Thank you for an insightful look at music from this persepective. Thank you also for NOT writing “Like OMG, did you see what Blah Blah was wearing at the Who Gives a Shit…la la” you get the idea.

    Do we judge music based on image, much as we do politicians, actors etc? I think if we’re honest we do! Would we love some music as much or give other music a chance if we didn’t run to youtube it first? Maybe next time I’m surfing the net for some new tunes, I will close my eyes & my computer while listening…

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