Jason, words fail us……. thank you for this………….
In 1998 I fell ill with a mystery illness that robbed me of the love of my life – music. For two years I suffered badly with fatigue, muscle aches and bad dizziness. When I was finally diagnosed with ME I could hardly stand listening to music. It disorientated me. It made my head spin. Music, my consolation, my invigorator, my passion was causing me pain. Listening to music would make me feel really ill. So, what did I do? I stopped listening to it.
So for six months I forgot about the cotchets, the quavers, the power chords, the pizzicato and the scat. I had said goodbye to dub, reggae, grunge, rockabilly, waltzes and arias. My head was calm, but deep within me was a growing void. I was living a life without music, and to be honest, life was looking pretty grey. But at least I was feeling well.
Then, one day, a day that is really clear in my mind I found an old CD copy of the Bluesbreakers album. You know, the Beano album. The one that Eric Clapton made with John Mayall, Hughie Flint and John McVie in 1966. And so, being in a reasonably good mood, feeling less ill than I had I slid it gently into the CD player, turned the volume down and pressed play. I held my breath slightly as the CD sped up, whizzing into a hiss as the laser scanned the disk; and then it happened.
It just happened. Like the sweetest kiss from a long lost lover. Clapton’s guitar belting out the intro to “All Your Love”, the old Willy Dixon/Otis Rush song just washed over me. And it was bliss! Shivers raced up and down my spine. My head was full of colours, shapes and words as Clapton’s playing began to fill me up with emotion. I was shaking with emotion as the sounds, the vibrato and the rhythm got inside me. I closed my eyes and let that wonderous sound wash over me. Clapton pouring out his emotion through his guitar, poured into me and filled me up. Yes, I shed a tear, I’m not ashamed to say, but they were tears of joy. My lover had come back and was being as tender and as loving as she always used to be. And somehow, having lost her, her return was all the more special and the effect she had on me was even more profound than before. That day I played that track over and over and over. It felt good. No, that’s rubbish…it felt right, as if someone had finally replaced something vital that had gone missing.
And I am pleased to say that she’s never left me since. My ME has gone totally. Even in times of great stress my music is there to console me, make me strong and help me through. She’s also there to join me in times of celebration. Whilst music isn’t my life, I know she will always be there for me and as I prepare for my wedding next year I know music’s going to be a big part of the day.
To all those amazing people that put pen to paper, finger to key, foot to pedal and pick to string and create this powerful force that we call songs I slaute you and thank you. From the bottom of my soul, without your work and dedication my life would be less. Keep rocking, keep writing and keep performing. What you do makes the lives of people like me even better.
And for those of you with a talent, don’t keep it for yourselves. Share it. You never know, you just might touch someone deep inside.