NOTE: This post doesn’t really have much to do with travel except they were thoughts I had while traveling with the Salty Dog Cruise. Also, musicians travel a lot. I just needed to get some ideas down.
Not so long ago I had an active blog on the alternative music scene. I was fortunate enough to meet quite a few musicians and artists along the way, some were fantastic people and others left a bit to be desired. At every concert and show I saw people throwing themselves at these artists that they didn’t even know and it got me wondering, why do we obsess over and adore them? They’re people just like us with good and bad personalities and habits. So what is the quality that draws us in? It certainly isn’t just charisma or fame. What sparks us initially to want to be in their presence, beyond their ability to write catchy lyrics and play their instruments well?
I believe we hold musicians in esteem for the same reason we hold generals, revolutionaries, and leaders in esteem, because they have courage. They take the negative feelings we’re all too shy, ashamed, inhibited, to admit we have as well as the positive feelings and translate then into something we can intertwine ourselves in. They provide a voice and a space where for just a few hours we can really say what we’re feeling, even if they aren’t our own words. They make all our trials, tribulations, and successes sound romantic and even cinematic. They put a sound to our lives and provide the outlet for the emotions society tells us not to share. They are the ones who are courageous enough to every day wear their hearts on their sleeves for a group of strangers. Through musical osmosis we take courage from them, courage to cry out when our emotions get the better of us, courage to stand up for what we believe in, courage to tell the world we aren’t happy with what’s going on and we want it changed, courage to remind us that we aren’t alone in how we feel, courage to dance for joy even if we aren’t very good at dancing.
So to all the musicians out there I say, thank you. Thank you for pouring your heart out to the world. We are listening and every time you hear someone singing back your lyrics please know that that’s us telling you you’re not alone. Thank you for having the courage to do what you do, to work on being a better musician, work on songs to share with us. Thank you for having the courage to follow your dreams because you do more than give us hope that we can do the same. Thank you for the trials and tribulations you’ve gone through, the countless hours spent touring, the sleepless nights, the times you were broke and hungry bringing us music. Thank you for those moments you helped is to truly be ourselves. Thank you for making a soundtrack for our souls.