Holy shit. It's been like four months since I've posted on here. In that short period of time, I've acquired an eight year old and a 14 year old. Birthdays, man. Those runts grow up way too fast. Don't even get me started. Urgh.
Either way, I'm taking a break from cleaning of all the things and listening to Jason Mraz's Sleeping to Dream. Which made me ponder the question about how music affects the writing process. When you're in the middle of a story/article/poem, how do the words of the artist singing shape the story you're writing? Sometimes I listen to the LOST soundtrack, to Michael Giacchino's instrumental works, and it helps block out the world and helps me concentrate on what the characters are trying to say to me or to the reader.
Right now I'm working with a friend on a story about a band (rock, pop, whatevs) but finding the dynamics of four people who are making music together as something that binds them together and their words, songs, lyrics tie them to other people, their fans, and what's it like to fall in love with a band. Remember that? Falling in love for the first time with a band?
I can remember my small hometown was having some sorta huge centennial celebration with a street dance. This four man group had played earlier in the day and I'd gotten permission from my grandparents to go. The July sun was wicked hot and causing sweat to drip down the small of my back but it didn't matter because everything was 'Amarillo by Morning and up from San Antone...' and George Strait and Matt playing away on those drums. Sure, the lead singer was great and so was the lead guitarist and bassist. Someone broke out a fiddle now and again, too. Do you ever forget the haunting melody of a fiddle? Not really.
But, more often than not I was watching those sticks flying through the air as Matt drummed and twirled his way into my heart.
My best friends and I sat out on my lawn that night hearing the music waft up the main drag in our small 'burg. We sat on those lawn chairs and giggled like 15 year old girls do about boys, especially older boys. Lisa, the boldest one of our bunch, probably brought up what it'd be like to kiss him. Pretty sure I had a set of mini-palpitations with the thought of kissing Matt, let alone any boy back then. (My first 'real' kiss would come at the end of the following school year on the last day of ninth grade courtesy of a boy who had a crush on me. The only thing that sticks out in that memory was the watermelon gum he'd been chewing and how it might be really rad to French kiss, but it sure as hell wasn't with this kid. Anyway, back to Matt.) I talked to Matt a few times and we hit up a couple dance halls that Summer, following our band around and each time was just as magical as the first until we got up enough guts to go and talk to him. Bless Matt's seventeen year old self back then. He was kind, gracious, and funny. We teased him about getting his autograph - I think I still have this somewhere (I'm a Cancer. We hoard memories like some people hoard china dolls) - and he supplied each of us a rendering of his name on a cocktail napkin written cleanly and clearly with a sharpie.
He also winked a lot. I remember that pretty distinctly.
Matt faded away as first crushes often do and as Summer faded into Fall and we all got back to school, life, dreaming, and eating the small world we lived in then.
There's probably three things I took away from that Summer with that country band: 1. My on-again off-again love for Country Music (Seriously, I still have my George Strait's Greatest Hits Cassette somewhere and to this day I can't hear Amarillo by Morning without smiling). 2. My love for anything musical that 'speaks' to me in one way or another. 3. Loving music men.
Now, for the record, I didn't marry a music man. But in my mind there's nothing sexier than a guy and his guitar (or drums, or piano, or jeez even his cello). Talent is intoxicating. Otherwise, how else could anyone explain David Bowie and Iman. I digress.
Either way, who speaks to you?