Say Something

The music of Rush influences and inspires, at least that’s what it’s done for me since being introduced to their music in 1978 or so. Now, the question is, is the music that powerful, or am I just too easy to inspire? Both I guess.

When something really hits me I tend to pay attention to it, like a smack in the face. It’s tough to ignore something that’s truly eye-opeing. I pay attention to things that open my eyes, things that make me think and feel, like music. When I listen to Rush sometimes I laugh because of their comical aspects, sometimes I cry because of the impact of certain phrases or melodies, or indeed the combination thereof. I’m also often floored by the power of the music, and the sheer talent that created it.

The music of Rush can be incredibly gentle, and touching, stuff I would play for mom, unlike my old AC/DC or Ozzy Ozbourne (or Rob Zombie, who’s work I’m especially fond of these days. There’s a story for another day), though I’m sure she has heard them vibrating the walls of my room one time or another. Rush also makes great wall-rattling tunes that you just have to crank up, songs with drive and power that make you want to play dashboard drums while cruising along the highway. I’m a frequent dashboard drummer, though I can scarcely keep up with Neil Peart’s multi-dexterous skills — my gas pedal gets in the way.

Back to my initial thought…

I feel many emotions when I listen to music, whether it’s Rush, Peter Gabriel, James Taylor, Coldplay or a host of other great musicians and bands. The fact is, music inspires. A great song puts on its gloves and gives you a good one two punch.

Okay, some great songs just have a good grove, or catchy chorus, but when you’re listening to not-top-40 music like Rush, stuff that’s not at all heard on mainstream commercial radio, you’re listening to a band that’s made it as far as they have because of their influence and talent. Their fans love them because of what they say, what they play, and how they play and say it. Don’t trip there.

I’d like to comment on a recent news item regarding Alex Lifeson, guitarist for Rush, and I’ll connect it to my main theme in one way or another later.

He was arrested on New Years eve, along with his son and his son’s wife, while celebrating at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida. He apparently had a scuffle with the police, had his nose broken and had to be subdued with a stun gun.

Reports vary as to the actual events, but it looks like Alex had too much to drink and was being a bit rowdy. So, there we go. Am I now disillusioned? Has this burst the bubble of greatness that envelops the band in my mind? No.

I was initially shocked at the news, but not disillusioned. Musicians are people, and they’re not immune to doing stupid things, it’s just that when they do we all hear about it and the spotlight spins to illuminate their mistake. Certainly Alex has done far more good with his life than he has done bad. Especially if you count the number of lives he has positively impacted with the songs he has created with his bandmates.

I can’t imagine what my life would be like without some of these great musicians and writers. And while their music inspires greatly, we must understand that they’re still human, and humans make mistakes. Do as I say, not as I do. 🙂

When something hits me, I look to see what it was. How often do you feel an impact? I guess that’s why I write and record music as well, because I’d like to influence people the way I’ve been influenced, positively. I have stuff to say, do you? Say it. If we say enough good things, we won’t have to worry about what the papers say when we make a mistake, the people we’ve influenced won’t dwell on it.

I was hit by the Bob Marley song “Could you be loved” that ends with the repeated phrase “Say something… say something…say something..”

Great song. Great idea.