So, as we enter the apocalypse of rising sea levels, melting ice caps, a global pandemic and a worldwide financial meltdown. Death, decay violence and murder high on the agenda both in reality and via media and home entertainment. Celebrities basking in their own importance and self-gratifying needs complete with bright white teeth and orange complexion complete with inflated ego you could land Chinook on. So, what does a sixty something do to escape such a melange of Hyperbullshitosis? Well, you could watch another box set on Netflix or ponder the most recent conspiracy theories, but those of you that refused to abandon your music collection especially vinyl and cd you could begin using it as a musical library and start picking things from the shelves and revisiting favourite albums.
As mentioned in a previous blog, when times are difficult and oppression looms large reflection is a helpful way to get through things. Music chronicles your life from the formative years of your childhood through adolescence to adulthood. Worry not about how to prepare a celeriac gratin to have with your venison, switch Master chef off and crank up your hi-fi. Rejoice in the things that made you smile all those years ago before the world went mad and we all woke up in the middle of a science fiction movie. For me personally it’s been the Beach Boys and The Monkees through Focus, Elton John, Little Feat, The Allman Brothers to all the things we become to know as progressive music. In no way am I advocating the dereliction of reality or the responsibilities we face as citizens but a sanctuary from the predominance of news feeds, bulletins and the daily dearth of misinformation.
In a recent battle with depression brought about by stress like so many others I began to covet my forays into such musical self-gratification. Always damning of other folks’ addictions, the isolation of Covid 19 made me less so as like so many others I find myself using alcohol as a crutch. Needless to say, this isn’t something I would promote or advocate. I site music as the one of the major things that reduced my consumption of such intoxicants and at my lowest ebb saved me from self-pity and self-loathing. I have heard the phrase music therapy on many occasions and doffed my cap to the philosophy. The pandemic has done little for mental health, financial worries and the frustration of being unable to hug and love family and friends, what it has done is made me realise how important one’s past is and how we should either denounce it or celebrate it. My musical past has been massive in making me survive so many personal blows that I can’t emphasise enough how important your favourite tunes really are.
Of course, living in the past is fine and dandy but what has spurred me on being as I am in an enviable position as an online DJ, I have access to some fabulous music way before it is unleashed on the public. I have indulged myself in music created and conceived by so many talented bands and s artists to whom I am eternally grateful. Such a people are a huge inspiration to me as they go about their creativity, positivity and producing music that is so invigorating and interesting. I would site Ian Jones of Karnataka, Andy Tillison of The Tangent and a man that has become a great friend and mentor Tony Patterson who although better known as the lead singer with Re-Genesis is a hugely talented musician, composer and songwriter. Such artists have allowed me to bask simultaneously in new music as I have wallowed in the old. These things I hold dear and with my partner Helen have seen me through this total shit storm.
So, after your DIY exploits and Homes under the hammer and of course the incessant news programming, don’t forget to treat yourself to some music of your delectation. It’s important, it cleanses the soul and enriches the mind. It reminds you of better days and more fulfilling times. These are the seeds that need to be sewn to inspire yourself and others. There is some fantastic music out there from both the past and the present you just need to make time for it and open your mind. Hopefully as the dark times become grey and the grey turns to light such talent will be celebrated in full at hopefully a re-opened venue near you. In the meantime, you need to imagine a world with islands emerging like mushrooms from the sea or a skull held sway in a vice whilst a worn-out gardener takes a nap on a bench. Should your mind not lend itself to such flights of fantasy then SKY TV it is. Try it for a while and if it don’t work for you hombre’s put a f…..g record on!