May 9, 2016
Usually, everywhere, you can hear some kind of music from somewhere. On your car radio as you drive down the road. Pumped through the speakers as you peruse the aisles in the grocery store. Pretending to relax you as you sit patiently in a doctor’s office waiting for expert input. But often the music just provides meaningless white noise subservient to the task at hand. We fail to appreciate that a tremendous amount of effort actually goes into creating the sounds that we take for granted as background noise. People create those “noises” and pin all sorts of hopes and dreams to their creation.
So, thinking beyond the toe tapping, here’s one of my favorite song lyrics:
Kids flash guitars just like switchblades,
Hustling for the record machine.
The Hungry and the hunted,
Explode into Rock’n’Roll bands,
And face off against each other out in the street,
- Bruce Springsteen, Jungleland
One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity
- Rush, Spirit of the Radio
In conjunction they speak to an important issue. That the primal thing sought often lacks what we think it would. It's not the destination, it's the journey. The kids in the first song compete in the arena of perception for prominence. But in the second song it becomes clear that the hard sought prize, once achieved, is really fool's gold, made worthless through compromise. Back when the kids were just being kids in the street they still had their integrity. The illusion was not yet an illusion. The majority of the trip is the journey anyway. Usually just a small percentage makes up arriving at the destination. If only the kids, or all makers of music, or anyone making anything, or anyone, better appreciated the journey a shattered destination would not disappoint as much.