reflections on the death of an artist

Somehow, without realizing it, there’s a melancholy feeling in the air … and it’s not just winter casting its grey shades

It is because of the passing, the artists who are slowly but inexorably passing … and they are missed

It feels like a silent but steady rhythm of passage, first one then another, a succession of moments of sadness

it’s so difficult to confront mortality; the mortality of others, and the inevitable mortality of ourselves… yet there it is

I’m thinking now about the artists who gave us all so much, gave me so much

there have been great outpourings of grief, and rightly so, for the famous artists who touched millions of lives, who transformed whole societies, who changed history

but I feel just as sad and bereft of the passing of those who meant something to me personally. Whose bands I saw over and over again; who I shared a beer with; whom I saw working hard, so hard, at being an artist, playing music night after night for me and my friends. They too have made history.

I’m not necessarily talking about people who I am/was really close friends with. I’m just thinking about all of those who I knew and saw playing, whose music shaped me, formed me and made me the person I am. And I’m really, really grateful to them for that.

The idea of making music as giving, a huge outpouring of something transcendental, just continually giving to us… it’s kind of mind blowing. That these men and women night after night just picked up guitars and played for us. Sacrificed so much of the benefits of ‘ordinary’ life in order to give us this huge limitless bounty of art… amazing. To listen to them and feel all the pent up emotion, anger, joy, grief and adrenaline pour out of me and disperse into that incredible, vast shared emotional space that is art… I can’t express my gratitude.

It’s funny but it’s when faced with the loss, that I realised how much we have been given. How lucky I am to have lived in a time where all of this was possible.

So I suppose what I really want to say is, before it’s too late, a belated THANK YOU to all the artists whose music built my youth and made me grow. What a great thing you did. What great people you are.

gibson

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