Our perceptions of all the artists we are blessed to experience these days are molded by many of the various aspects of those artists. We choose to be fans, or not, by accepting or rejecting on an almost infinite amount of criteria.
The artists’ products are usually the baseline, but not always. A hit, is a hit, is a hit, ad-infinitum never becomes the norm. A hit becomes a hit due to many factors. Timing, meaning, appeal, provocation, memorability, mental impact, are all intrinsic qualities that contribute to an artists’ product image, and the list goes on. The song may be your first exposure to so-and-so. When you finally have enough interest built up, you will inevitably go to their social network page or main website for a look-see. Now you have a better picture of who they are. You might take a little time to scour tid-bits of info, or you might dive in deep and get to the proverbial bottom of everything “so-and-so”. Your growing perception will most probably not stop there. There are many levels to obsession and you are free to abscond along any combination of levels you choose. I admit full guilt of buying many CDs based on my fascination with one song, or even one bar of one song, more even, one guitar lick or a single note. I know, sad isn’t it?
With so much information flying about the “WWW” these days, and so freely, our perceptions of artists are molded as much by what product they bring us as by how they behave in public. The antics we are presented with run the gamut completely. Few taboos are left for us to imagine and even fewer pieces of raw gossip are left to flounder quietly. Any glimpse of our idols doing normal everyday things, instantly either further endears them to us, or tosses them out of our adoration. I have my stable of favorites that I’ve loved for many years. The newer stuff is great too. Give me Iron Maiden and Ozzy any day. Black Label Society too. The actions of the artists in public don’t affect my preferences though. I’m sure I’m a minority of some sorts as many mainstream artists, in my perceptions at the least, seem to be one of many ‘objects’ that fans are juggling. What’s in the air today might not be there tomorrow, but, might be back the day after tomorrow.
If you are a fan of any known superstar then you pretty much know them just outside of “personally”. That line begins to blur the longer you obsess though. Insanity and adoration are always in a frantic toe-stomping square dance. “Take your idol by the song. Scroll that page read on and on.”
The devil’s on one shoulder, and the angel’s on the other, locked in a fierce sword-fight and swinging their blades as if your brain were not separating the two. Self control is a virtue every great fan must wrestle to maintain. No self respecting artist would ever ignore the sacrifices of a fan that “loses it” in the front row and collapses in a quivering heap. That energy that the fan just surrendered is returned in the form of evermore palpable exuberance from the stage. I may not be stage material but basking in such displays is quite intoxicating. No one ever became a quivering heap but there are some great memories there.
Image, is everything. Yeah. But the sound is infinitely more. I could care less what the bands look like. That kind of “attention” is for those at the core of the “democracy of youth”. As an artist, I have only the songs I create to work with. This body and this face are the least common denominator of my status. And, upon whatever level that status might hover, again, I could care less. I sleep in a bed just like any other “normal” person. I shop for groceries, wash clothes, brush my teeth, cut my hair (what’s left of it), eat steak, and drink Budweiser, love life, and blog. When the muses begin their assault, that’s when that little mustard seed of a dreamer in me transcends my own mental mediocrity.
My ego is a balloon tied to my heart. It pulls me thru the clouds during the creation of a new song. I land gently at the end of it all. Whenever I listen back to what I’ve created, there’s a familiar, albeit light, tug on my heart. The world is welcome to imbibe what I do, but I do it for me. My life has taken so much from my soul, so much that I was never prepared to give. My music is my “Thank you-I forgive you”. My music is my “I forgive myself”, for what I’ve done, what I do, and whatever I may do. Music is my confirmation that I am deeply in love with all my muses.
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