I realised something quite important today. I am not currently fixated on any one musician or musical group.
Not a one.
I searched back, but could hardly remember the last time such a thing happened. I’ve been listening to Julie London a fair bit the last week or so, but while I’d willingly be her when/if I grow up, it’s not the same as listening to the same song six times over because you like the chord change at 1:23.
I had this particular realisation while listening to The Doors, who are mightily pissing me off at the moment, and for once it’s not the singer’s fault. Yes, there’s another Doors compilation out, this time with yet more unheard bonus tracks which you can’t get singly on iTunes. Well, a handful you can, but a lot of the stuff actual fans would want is ‘album only’, which is code for the company screwing the fans again. Remind me to show you the piechart of who gets what in the 79p per track (clue: between 7-11p is for the people who actually created the music) one of these days.
So, I’m walking along, cursing the names Manzarek and Krieger (Densmore’s banking his cheques I’m sure, but as someone who was not in the Doors For the 21st Century/Riders on the Storm, I’ll give him a break)… and I realise that I’ve got my iPod on shuffle because I’m flitting between everything like a moth with ADHD. None of the artists whose music is on my iPod has my attention sufficiently these days.
Now, normal people would say this is because I’m entering society as a more rounded human being, but they’d be wrong. Some would say it’s because I have actual real life stuff going on and I’m concentrating on that, but they’d only be half right. The Inner Circle would point out that I probably can’t concentrate on Rudolph Valentino and anything else at the same time They’d be a bit right.
Fact is, this obsession thing, for me at least , is pretty cyclical. Dunno about anyone else, but I can’t sustain it at Defcon Whatever’s The Highest forever. Years, certainly, but not forever, especially if like me, you’re dealing with discographies that don’t get added to, with artists who cannot create new and interesting things because they’re, you know, dead. Even I can only listen to Jailbreak so many times before needing something else. Even I can only endure The End all the way through so many times. I haven’t abandoned them, but they’ve been put aside.
This would be OK, but nothing’s replacing them. In the wake of Thin Lizzy, there were The Small Faces and Humble Pie for awhile, about a year ago; there was the George Harrison Renaissance. There was even a time when I was hardly listening to anything but Mario Lanza. Now? Nothing. I listened to nowt but The Planxty Collection at work today, but I’m not sure if they’re a band I can fall in love with, much as I like and respect the music.
Where does this leave me? Am I capable of being interesting, or even existing successfully, without someone there in my head to latch onto? Perhaps this ridiculous Valentino thing will be enough, perhaps it won’t, given that the man was tone deaf and left only one recording of the Kashmiri Love Song. I need the music, you see, and without it…
I’m self-honest enough to know and accept that I define myself, my character, by what music I like, what music I listen to. I do the same to other people, which is why I find it important to know what they like (theory being that Robbie Williams fans should be treated with caution and Phil Collins ones with near-contempt, of course). I define myself by the music, and if there’s no music, what’s left?