The picture above shows the John Lennon Wall in Prague. It is a very unique spot for art and expression. Anybody is allowed to spray their pieces of graffiti on there, so it is a rare little piece of freedom, inspired by music. And the title of my blog post is inspired by the song “American Pie”, which moans the loss of various musicians due to a plane crash. The day the music died. I have never been the sort of fan that gets really deep into a band – of course I have got my favourites, but I would still not know every single album or song. I just listen and take in whatever I like. And I always found it weird when people are totally devastated when a musician passes away. This is until I found myself shedding a few silent tears in my car on the way to work when I heard that David Bowie died.
And then I started thinking… actually, I did cry in three cases, and I sat back and tried to figure out why.
A morning in April 1994. I went into the kitchen to have breakfast before school and opened the newspaper. And there it was: Kurt Cobain, frontman of Nirvana, killed himself. I was in shock, and I cried! Looking back, it was not because Nirvana’s music was so great – it was not at all. It wasn’t because I felt so connected to Kurt Cobain – I thought he was pretty much an idiot (sorry, Kurt!). I cried because a part of my generation’s feelings just passed away. Grunge was big at the time, and for me – for us – it was like an attitude. Not the no-future part, but it had been something new, and not much new had come afterwards. It was how I felt growing up, and all of a sudden, a part of it had decided to leave the world.
It took exactly 20 years to happen again. In December 2014, Joe Cocker passed away. I cried, and I cried hard. Joe Cocker’s music is the first I remember liking when I was a kid, and I still do today. I had the chance to see him in 2013, and my heart ached already knowing that this was probably the last chance to see him. It was wonderful. He was an old, sick man, he had to take breaks during the gig, and his voice cracked even more than it used to. But when the last song was over, and he bowed and gave us the peace sign, he was still the young hippie from the 60s.
And then, David Bowie. His music consoled me when I was down, made me dance when I was happy – I just have so many emotions when I think of his music. His music, not him.
I fear that many more will follow (rather not throwing names out there, I am a bit superstitious like that). I KNOW that they will follow, because many of the musicians that blessed us with great music are quite old now. And nothing really new will come. I don’t think that many more will be as big as the now old musicians were. It is rare these days that I discover a new band that I really, really like. It happens, but rather seldom.
Last night, I went to the cinema and watched “Little Girl Blue”, a documentary on Janis Joplin. I always loved her music, and it was a really loving homage. I cried at the end of the movie as well – not because she had died, but because she was so lost and insecure. I wished she had understood how much she was able to give people.
“American Pie” is wrong. The musicians might pass away, there won’t be any more gigs, but the music will never die! It lives on, and it will continue to create emotions. Last year, I attended a summer party in my old job. There were a few rather alternative kids (yes! They still exist!). You know what they played on their ghetto blaster equivalent? The Doors!!! I was so happy, I wanted to kiss them!
The music will never die, and I am so happy about that! No matter how bad the world is, all the wars, the fights, the envy, the misery – there will always be music to get us through the night!
Yours truly, madly, deeply!