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14 Nov 2009

Post 166: Rock'n'Roll Musings

Apart from feeling my usual jaded self on this grim Friday, I suppose I'm feeling a bit Rock'n'Roll after watching Shine a Light, an awesome rockumentary film featuring The Rolling Stones, it films a charity concert they must have done fairly recently, god they are good. Mick Jagger has got to be one of the best (if not THE best) performers in history, directed by Martin Scorsese, it cuts old black and white footage of them being interviewed at their glorious peak in the 70s into this recent New York concert, contains footage of a 20s(ish) Mick Jagger answering the interview question 'will you still be doing this in your 60s?' ,'God yes' is his classic answer, cut to him mincing and pouting around the stage, I allowed myself a smile, here is a man that has enjoyed himself, and I salute that. Seeing the well above average Muse at the Dome on Thursday night allowed me a smile too, both things affirmed to me how wondrous life can really be, and I almost forgot, I saw Russell Brand at the Albert Hall last Sunday. Starting with Brand – to some (eg my mother or feminists or Daily Mail readers) he epitomises everything that is wrong with mankind. A former Junkie and Sex Addict, apart from the fact that being a junkie almost killed him and he is rather boastful about his successes with the ladies, which I'm willing to put down to fame (another addiction which makes him say and do outrageous things). Love him or Loathe him, He is living the dream, he does whatever he wants to make himself feel good. In his case it has been sex, drugs and laughter, now its just sex (and plenty of it by the sounds of things) and laughter. In fact his latest love interest(that's probably the wrong terminology) his latest sex interest is the gorgeous Katie Perry, I have to hand it to him, great work, she must enjoy the tips he gives in his stand up show (which apparently result in said lucky girl 'drinking colour through her brain'), this must be enough for her to look past his reputation.
I'm not saying that Brand or Jagger are good role models, perish the thought but I have convinced myself that the key to my future happiness is through physical recovery, finding love, keeping in touch with my friends, staying busy and laughter. Finding love is the crucial thing I think that is missing from Brand and Jaggers life, in short the pursuit of feeling good should only stop if it negatively impacts the one that you love. Romantic, slushy and sentimental take on things over, I'll get on with things you won't want to chuck rotten fruit at me for: I suppose going to a gig like Muse at the Dome last night comes under the headings of staying busy and keeping in touch with friends. There's a lot within the heading of staying busy, because most things follow from it, I try and stay busy by keeping up with friends (new and old), continuing my exhausting and soul destroying physical therapy and to a lesser extent other therapies and by choosing stuff to do/go to things that will inspire and interest me and my friends which is why I go to so many gigs and Muse Thursday night was absolutely incredible. The gig was first suggested to me by an old mate of mine (Simon Champ) who has often taken me to things, he's a bit of a live music Oracle, and I will sometimes go to things on the strength of his recommendation even if I know sod all about them. He was genuinely excited about going to see Muse, but he fell into a trap that I often fall foul of: Checking my diary. Now, this can often be a tricky business because in the long term plans change, and in between me sourcing the tickets months ago (which were virtually sold out then, his office party for clients got organised and seeing as he owns the company he had to be there, the contrition in his email said it all
“f*ck
Look below at my office party invite for 2000 clients !!! I have fooked up so badly. Our office party " Oriental style "" is this thursday the 12th. The same night as muse !! I simply had not put our office thing in my diary
I can't believe it. I only found out today when a client said he was looking forward to seeing me there ....I want arrrrggggghhhh

Do you think o2 can swap the tickets for wednesday or friday instead ???

I love muse !!! I really really wanna go. Foooooook
F*ck f*ck f*ck” .
Luckily I have made one or two new friends since my stroke via the phenomenon that is internet social networking, which is my only real way of meeting new people these days, and the people who have taken the leap of faith to meeting me are so kind (and a little brave). Because meeting me must be no picnic but hopefully those who have haven't regretted it. I am eternally grateful. It was just such a friend (Suzanne (left)) who stepped up almost as soon as I sent out my panic email, she said she was a big Muse fan and could she bring her mate, Sarah (an even bigger Muse fan (right))?
Well of course she could, I am insanely grateful to anyone who helps me out especially if they're helping me out of a tricky situation. We had a quite brilliant night, Muse's sound is like a melancholic post apocalyptic almost sci-fi guitar driven synth rock sound (if that remotely makes sense) which had the sold-out Dome in a euphoric frenzy. Their faster numbers have so much energy, and were almost reminiscent of some Queen tracks, even their slower numbers would capture the crowds imagination because the singer has such a hypnotic voice. There was a lot of hype surrounding this gig. Even Chris Moyles, a man who I can't imagine at a concert, was bigging up how 'amazing' Muse were live whilst after his email telling me he couldn't come Simon had said words to the effect “still gutted I can't come, Muse are the best live band EVER!”
This actually made me feel a bit excited and I find it hard to get excited about much these days.
The actual gig (as you can no doubt already tell) was pretty damn good and what made it all the more special was how much Suzanne and Sarah enjoyed it, as well as bumping into my super-cute friend Steph who I didn't even recognise when she tapped me on the shoulder because she has dyed her hair and cut it shorter(she has gone from long dark hair to short platinum blond and it looks great), I feel I am off the hook for looking at her like she was a total stranger for a few seconds ! It was one of those events where you remember it for the event itself, not all the baggage that comes from going to an event as a wheelchair user, e.g the exhaustion and late night, the parking, the transfers in and out of my wheelchair, the time consuming toilet trips, not being able to dance, not being able to make myself heard, looking asleep in pictures and so on - I wish life was easier! It's Saturday now and I'm once more trying to get ahead of the game and typing very slowly (even slower than usual) desperately trying to stay ahead of a tsunami of tiredness, which is my boring daily battle.
Even a visit from Jo and Gary Butcher came to see me yesterday to show off their latest adorable addition, an 8 week old girl called Sofia. I do love babies, and don't get me wrong when I say this – little babies, when you've seen one, you've seen 'em all, even this couldn't liven me up nor could the anticipation of going to see my favourite comedian Stephen K Amos in Reading with mate Tim ' superstar international jetsetter DJ' Davison and his girlfriend Ellie, who reminded me of a friend of mine so much that I can barely contain it, in fact I can hardly believe they're not the same person. Amos was his usual brilliant self emphasising that although complete strangers may fail to see they have any kind of connection, what we laugh at connects everyone and anyone which is why not having a sense of humour must be the loneliest thing in the world. One of the highlights of the evening was running into the charming and down to earth Mr Amos at the bar (where else) before he came on. I've seen him 3 times now and he always says hello if our paths cross, I guess being 'that young bloke' in the wheelchair with the silly laugh is easy to remember. His humility is especially nice when you consider the BBC have just commissioned him to have his own show on BBC2. Having a sense of humour and being able to make people laugh (sometimes) is the small mercy I cling onto the most. Hopefully going to see Kasabian tonight at Wembley Arena with pal and Music enthusiast Oli Cassidy. Now I have actually been to see them and have to report they're in the same League as Muse but despite the sound being good Wembley Arena is not in the same League as the Dome but Kasabian were fantastic live. though live music can sometimes be a bit rough around the edges there is just something about it that makes it so much better than listening to it on the radio or a cd player.It's the volume, people and atmosphere, it's the intensity, even if you can't leap around like a loon (which I'd normally do(without moshing which I find aggressive and unnecessary aggression can ruin the night,it's good to watch though), but live, loud music gets to your very core and there are few things that do. Which is why I bother now as despite it being harder than if I was a normal person, it's worth the effort. Human endeavor can be pretty impressive, and right now I need constant reminding.
Simon Amstell this evening will provide me with some more. Till next week.

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