Can you imagine life without music? Monday morning’s without a soundtrack? Every car ride you’ve ever taken, every time you’ve been out cruising, without a single tune as your GPS? I admit I sometimes take music as seriously as Jack Black’s character, Barry, in High Fidelity. I’m the guy who goes on one hour rants about certain crimes perpetuated by certain artists in the late 20th century. Someday, when I descend into the dark abyss of my sunset years, I might open up a used record store and this will probably be a conversation I’ll have with a customer…
Barry’s Customer: Hi, do you have the song “I Just Called To Say I Love You?” It’s for my daughter’s birthday.
Barry: Yea we have it.
Barry’s Customer: Great, Great, can I have it?
Barry: No, no, you can’t.
Barry’s Customer: Why not?
Barry: Well, it’s sentimental tacky crap. Do we look like the kind of store that sells I Just Called to Say I Love You? Go, get out. Go to the mall!
High Fidelity is one of my desert island, all-time, top-ten most memorable films. It’s probably the only story that completely merges music with life and looks at how they affect each other and play off one another. And in truth I think we all have a soundtrack that gets us through the days, weeks and years. From the song you can’t get enough of to the one that’s regrettably stuck on mental repeat. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie do check them both out. Nick Hornby writes some of the best novels around and he’s very quotable. Here’s some food for thought…
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns or watching violent videos afraid that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands, of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery, and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?