Wedding Song, 130 162cm, Oil on canvas, 2012
I loved Godfather series and Scarface when I was 15 but a year later, I discovered music; rock and roll (without sex and drugs ‘yet’)
The first album I stumbled across was “An American Prayer” I could not move. I could not even breathe. The words were too beautiful, not in ‘thou art my rose’ sense but brutally and harshly. I was mesmerized by Jim Morisson’s voice but more, by the sounds that Robbie, Ray and John were making. Their music opened me. This was my first love. Later, I learnt that this album was produced after Jim’s death. Also learnt that Jim Morrison wasn’t a chubby chap with beard. He was young, smart, all-knowing, bored, lonely, rebellious and beautiful. Young man in North America in the 60s. Soon, I purchased all albums of the Doors and listened, listened and listened. None of my friends were into the music I was into at that time which only made it more special. I was truly ‘in a relationship with’ the four amazingly gifted men.
Since then, I uncovered many other truly brilliant musicians. In this handsome world of music, there were B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Tim Buckley & his drowned son, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tom Waits, Lou Reed & John Cale, Nick Cave, Talking Heads, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, The Cure, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Clash, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Sonic Youth, The Smiths, Prince, David Bowie, and even the Waterboys! The list goes on and then there is 2 Pac on the other side and god only knows what Russia and Lebanon can offer! This was the growing up for me. At least half of my days I was thinking of either Bobbie in his walking boots or David in his make-up. Though still, I never ‘left’ Jim, Robbie, Ray and John. They were always with me. They were my secret kings and princes. I had to be loyal to them.
They say your tastes will change as you get older. It is true. I did, once upon a time, have A.J (Backstreet…….eh..)’s photo on my desk. On the other hand, I still have a copy of lyrics ‘Riders on the Storm’ in Jim’s handwriting on my desk. I look at it and think about my ‘loyalty’ What is it? I am not going to get compensated for loving the Doors all my life. Yet, I feel good knowing this about me. I guess it is belief. Believing in my taste and my self. Having something you like/love for all along, you won’t feel old just because you start having some white hair. You leave the framework of ‘youth’ and look at other youngsters. The feeling of pang at seeing new people placed at your previous places. The feeling of deep resentment that life is too short. You start noticing that you often have watery eyes and sudden flashbacks of your first day at school. Well, but you still listen to the same music and it energises you. You are impressed by the music the way you were twenty something years ago. You have the same emotions. You are aware of the time passed but your heart still beats.
Perhaps this is one of the reason why people practise religion. Even, love; having someone next to you at all times. Somethings got to stay and these things become your belief. You are practising it by being loyal to them. Sometimes I worry about the children born in the 21st century. Everything changes too quickly nowadays. You may dance to one music today and tomorrow you won’t even remember and worse, you wouldn’t like it anymore. I hope not. I hope there will always be somethings for each of us to love forever. Forever as long as we can.