Where we start

As something of a preamble to forthcoming posts (call it a warning, if you will) I thought I might address the matter of my nostalgic canon becoming well near untamable in the last year.

Most people who will read this know a version of me that’s only come to be in the last half-decade. They know the me who drives for hours, queues for hours, talks for hours and is altogether ambitious and unencumbered all for the love of music.

They don’t know the me that wouldn’t have fathomed driving into a city — any city, let alone one 500 miles away — parking somewhere unknown and walking into a building unknown full of people unknown.

When I started going to concerts in my late 20s, I started having friends. I started having a self outside myself, I started having stories to tell. In some sense it feels like the start of me.

But it wasn’t. And even though my life is profoundly better for those changes, I’ve started in some way to miss the strange secluded condition in which I became inextricably glued to music, when I had nobody to tell about it, nobody to laud it and nobody to tear it down.

It was just me and my mind and the Coldplay CDs I spun in near perpetuity. I had a career and dreams and ambitions but most of that’s gone and the farther it seems behind me, the more I appreciate what stood through all of it: a few songs and my cars.

In years since, I’ve been exceedingly lucky to have my world blown open by live music and the people I’ve met through it. I belong there, which I don’t altogether do anywhere else. But a piece of me also belongs to the music I loved alone, because that’s how I got here.

Twenty-sixteen gave me two opportunities to let my desperate obsession with nostalgia ride full-speed while still moving forward, rather than the backwards that nostalgia tends to want to go. One of them was a powerhouse year for Coldplay that I needed more than I thought I did; the other was a bucket-list titan of a tour from David Gilmour.

I hope to post some belated thoughts on both in the coming days, with pictures to keep it marginally interesting. There are a handful of other bands I’ve come to love intensely that will make appearances here, but Coldplay and Pink Floyd seem a good lead off.

Because they are, in so many ways, where I start.

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Hello, is there anybody in there?

I’ve been telling myself since about 2010, when I started going to concerts and otherwise doing things that seemed marginally blog-worthy, that I ought to start a blog.

My stories are not spectacular or particularly unusual or more interesting than anyone else’s, and I’m not sure I’m any better at telling them than most anyone. But I love them, and I love sharing them, to the extent that my Facebook timeline has probably gotten a bit self-indulgent and cloying to anyone who doesn’t care to know, for the 12th time, the particular details of how A Rush Of Blood To The Head changed my life or Pink Floyd changed my life or my first oil change changed my life or things equally overreaching for an Instagram caption.

I keep those thoughts to those platforms because those platforms are binding and limited and no one cares if you write flawlessly or even coherently on them. I haven’t started a blog because I don’t ever again want the pressure of living up to my own standards I long-ago set for myself as a writer. My journalistic writing career was short and underwhelming. I stopped for good in 2010. I wrote one piece in 2014, a month before I was laid off for the last time from the copy editing job I backed into — quit my way into — because I couldn’t write. Or thought I couldn’t. Whatever was in me that fueled my overwrought but heartfelt creative nonfiction, I lost, and I’ve never really dared look for it in myself since. I know what I find won’t be what I thought I was 15 years ago, and my hubris doesn’t want to settle for the mere mortal that’s there instead.

But I miss writing. I miss telling people all the things I think are profound and know probably aren’t. I read beautiful things on other people’s blogs and wish I had been the one who wrote it. So, I’m going to try.

In order for this to work I need to try more than anything here to forgive myself for leaving a little slack in my writing, choosing a drab word when I can’t think of a perfect one, and writing like a normal human being.

So, here it is. It will be about things I like a lot. Bands. My car. Cats. It won’t be terribly eloquent, it won’t be my best; I hope it won’t be either as who can relate to that?

My blog name is a Pink Floyd reference, and the name of this first post goes with it.

Cheers.