This is not going to be a post about roller derby. I was writing in my journal and thinking a little too much of Miss Pamela when I was hit with the strong, inconvenient middle-of-the-night need to go get my laptop and write about it on a blog that nobody reads.
I’ve been hanging around with this band recently who are just starting to make it big. I’m genuinely thrilled for them every time they get another big break, and I love love love seeing them play.
I’ve always loved live music, ever since I can remember. My mother took me to my first big concert , the Mushroom Records 25th Anniversary at the MCG. It’s a great example of how lucky I am to have a good musical upbringing thanks to my parents. It was also, at the age of ten, the first time I can recall feeling at all turned on, when Matt Thomas, the lead singer from The Mavis’s, took his shirt off during their set. I suppose I have always had an attraction to performers, but how is it possible not to? Anyone who loves what they do and is damn good at it just gets me going. And it’s not just musicians or actors – the scene in Firefly episode ‘Ariel’ when Simon Tam steps in and saves a hospital patient’s life (then furiously berates the doctor responsible for the near death) makes me incredibly hot for Dr. Tam.
But I digress.
I was talking after this band’s gig last night with the guitarist’s girlfriend.* We were talking about music and I started gushing on about all these bands from Melbourne that I’ve loved in the past and how brilliant they are live and what each experience felt like and inspired in me. And I realised that I really have quite a history with being a fan, even with being a groupie – just not that kind.
I started going to gigs with friends in high school thanks to FReeZA and it’s been something that I relish ever since.
There have been so many bands over the years for whom I’ve made trek after trek into the city, or trendy surrounding suburbs – often on my own, usually leaving to catch the last train or just driving because it’s easier. I’ve always been either broke or driving so I’ve never really gotten drunk at gigs – but why would I need to drink alcohol when I’m drunk on the vibrations that float through the air and make me sway or stomp or twirl? I leave feeling happy and tired with a familiar ringing in my ears, and finally collapse into bed after the lengthy trip home covered in sweat with songs in my head.
Countless musicians have given me the pleasure, and I get excited to think about how many more there are out there that will one day come into my life in one way or another.
By the time I reached uni, I had no problem going to see my favourite band at every single gig they put on, even though it mostly meant going on my own. If the band members spoke to me of course I just lost it. When I started getting invited to their parties I was giddy with nervous excitement. But when one of the guys tried to kiss me one night, I pulled back.
“Sorry…” I began. “I just… really love going to see your band, and I don’t want anything to change that experience for me.”
It’s probably the first time in history that a guy has been turned down specifically because he’s in a band.
I realised last night (when one of the girlfriends was questioning me, trying to figure out which band member I’m after) that I have always just wanted to be best friends with awesome musicians. I want to be around them, hang out with them, be part of their inner circle…
Sure, I have fantasies about them being blown away upon hearing me sing, and being invited onstage or into the recording studio with them.
And yes, a part of me would love a romance with a sexy musician, to have songs written about me as I sit in dappled sunlight with messy hair and a sleepy smile, wearing nothing but bedsheets and his oversized shirt…
But it’s much safer to just be friends with them, because that way (even if it means no songs are written about me,) I won’t have to face breaking up with their music, which I honestly love.
An ex-lecturer of mine recently retired and at his retirement celebration he said something that keeps coming back to me.
“Live life in the deep end.”
He couldn’t swim when he was a child, and was in absolute awe of the children who would swim in the deep end of the pool. He would watch them with such longing but would never move from the shallows.
Hearing this man speak again, feeling his words filling up the space and hitting me right in my heart for the first time in years, made me feel more inspired than I have in a good long while.
I’ve got to stop staying safe. I need to stop sitting on the steps in the shallow end just because it’s familiar.
I need to DO things, not just have things happen to me.
I need to stop coasting.
I need to start taking chances and risks. Stop thinking about what could happen and start finding out.
Do I just want to experience the music or do I want to inspire it?
Hell. I’ve got it all wrong.
Why settle for inspiring it?
I need to go out there and MAKE it.
“Live life in the deep end.”
– Simon Fisher
*If you’re a girl trying to get in with a band, make really good friends with their girlfriends. Otherwise you don’t stand a chance.