On a dark night with a chill in the air and the wind at my back here in the Bay Area I found myself listening to Led Zepplin’s, When The Levee Breaks. Don’t ask me why but I was struck with a strong sense of longing.
There’s something about music that was produced in decades past that calls to me. If you’ve ever moved away for a couple of years and then come back and felt that sense of “home,” that’s what it’s like. And for the life of me I cannot place my finger on what it is about those old tunes that makes me feel that way. Is it hearing that old warm analog tape sound? Is it the fact that I heard all these songs growing up? Perhaps it’s a romantic nostalgia for things that I’ve read about those artists over the years in countless guitar magazines or the cynical audio engineer who knows how much modern music can be manipulated in a computer. The fact is, I don’t know. All I can say is that I get a tangible feeling in my chest, like the release after a well deserved sigh.
Certain friends give me hard time for liking all of these old tunes and the bands of yore. They say that I need to be in touch with what’s current and hip; that, “I need to know what people are buying and what people want.” For some, this is the formula for success.
All of the sonic fruit of that bygone eras IS what continues to inspire me today. It’s the romance and the struggle and the tragedy that draws me to it. It’s imagining those four or five guys sitting in the same room together and hammering out the greatest songs of all time; and not knowing it. They were just trying to write the best tunes they could with the tools that they had. It just seems beautiful and pure, not digital and calculated.
Enough of the ranting though, the point is who ever you are and whatever it is that you do, find your inspiration and do your best. When I see pictures like the one below (of Jack White) or come across that particular song that just happens to strike me the right way, I get inspired. It’s the little things, like that, which keep me up late at night playing guitar to no one but the four walls of my room. It’s about nothing more than the love of the art and the need to better myself and skills.
Stay inspired and spread the love,