I root music in the personal. I can’t really pin tracks to times and places that don’t involve me, and that’s fine, but when I find myself scrabbling to make connections for an entry like this it fills me with a tremendous guilt. I read my friend Mark’s entry for this seventh post, and the compression around my chest made me feel very loved. It’s rare you ever really get that from friends, certainly just from words online. So strong was the emotion that I only fleetingly thought “What a shit song.”
And while the language of this meme is broad enough – deliberately – that I could write about how I ‘always think of Reading Festival when I hear Queen‘ that doesn’t feel enough. The problem with rooting my music writing in the deeply personal ‘I’ is that sometimes the only context that matters to me is me, which isn’t quite enough if I’m honest.
Realising things like that is, of course, part of why I’m doing this.
Someone else doing this meme, whose entries have been a pleasure and an insight, is Russell Davies. Russel’s someone who asked exactly the right question at exactly the wrong time, without realising quite the rolling effect it has had on me since. The first proper chat we had, in the surrounds of Rough Trade East, he asked “What would you like to do right now, ideally?” My subsequent answer was a fumble of words, relating to engagement and education and writing and I don’t even remember what. I felt I had to have an answer, even if it was a bad one, and about fifteen minutes later I was cursing myself for not just saying “I don’t know yet.”
I’ve done a lot of things in the last year, I’ve been ‘available for luck’, and I still haven’t really worked out what I’d do if money was no object. I’m okay with that. A lot of things probably; I’m learning to be more interested. People like Russell and Mark play a big part in that.
(When I met Russell in Rough Trade these guys were on the shop stereo)