note: after dismissing three titles and scrapping paragraphs for three days finally a musical autobiography!
“Music is a safe type of high. It’s more the way it was supposed to be. That’s where highness came, i guess, from anyway it’s nothing but rhythm and motion.”
- Jimi ‘fucking’ Hendrix
The above quote maybe a little fish out of the water but hell, it’s still about music and how it affects people. We have our own musical joyride of different rhythms, of different themes and of different people screaming and moshpitting with us in this mad scramble called life. It’s a crazy rollercoaster, oxygen draining and hell a lot better when you’re not strapped in with hands thrown in the air shouting “life fucking rocks.” Sure life pretty (or fugly?) much is a rough rip off but with music I am able to ride it smooth, easy and well incredible!
So how, when, where did my journey started?
Almost two decades after The Beatles broke up, I was a not so cute toddler then, disenchanted by fairytales, my father used to sing Queens Love of my Life as lullaby every time I had my tantrums and they have to make me sleep. My father listens to a lot of Queen, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Rolling Stones and well Eric Clapton. So needless to say I grow with ‘Yesterday’ and “Hey Jude” as my rhymes. I was a boyish scrawny pre-schooler then and my cousins were the bad asses who raided the municipal Catholic cemetery for a human skull, they brought it home and intricately wrote ‘guns n roses’ in it. And then because of them I met Scorpions, Metallica and well of course Guns n Roses. That was the earlier years of my acquaintance and eventual friendship with music and the culture that comes with it.
Almost a decade after Nirvana broke up, I was 12 years old and was still scrawny, I found myself embracing a new but not entirely different breed of music, it’s of the same genre of my father and cousins music but it’s more jagged in feel with its crude and aggressive effects, and I bet my father would regard it as clutter. I sung and bang my head along with Billy Joel Armstrong’s striking vocals and anthemic lyrics. I got intoxicated with Blink 182′s catchy deadpan humor and Travis Barker’s sticky drumbeats. Although I was into a lot of punk my musical preferences extends far, from Silverchair to The Calling, to Nickelback, to Sum41, to Good Charlotte, to Smashing Pumpkins, to Switchfoot, to Yellowcard, to Fall Out Boy, to My Chemical Romance and a lot of other bands. Yes I listened to a lot of mainstream! Guess what was I doing when Matchbox 20 sung Unwell, I was ‘staring ceiling making friends with shadows on my wall.’ When Goo Goo Dolls sung Iris they’re singing about their sentiments and mine too. I was plunging in a vast ocean of band music; these bands provided the soundtrack to the dawning of the angst drowned days of my life which was fueled by the attention deficiency from my family. I took solace from music, its like hearing how my feeling sounds, the fiery guitar progression accompanied by the raging drumbeats and the neck straining screams blazing in my brains throwing away my soul and made it float in utopia, suddenly the weight in my heart lightens. Then Simple Plan came storming in the picture carrying along with them their tongue-in-cheek lyrics, devil may care attitude and most of all they brought and played to the whole world my generations music. They may appear a little musically challenged(they did not get any from critics) compared to The Beatles nor Nirvana, the flagship bands of the preceding generations but they became the spokesperson of my generation, the generation who wanted out of that stupid box that the society confined us in, the ambitious generation who wants to destroy those age long culture. My high school musical ride was highlighted by my Linkin Park motivated friendship with this guy who’s still stuck in the heyday of grunge alternative and the climax of metal madness, our musical world collided and together we explored the world of Sonic Youth, Pantera, Pink Floyd, Papa Roach, Mudvayne, AC/DC, Stone Temple Pilots, Korn, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, R.E.M, U2, Soundgarden, Ironmaiden, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Disturbed, System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Pepper, Slipknot, Coldplay and the likes . In a nutshell my high school life pretty much rocked out, wasting four years of juggling alternative and punk(instead of assignments and exams) that formed a huge wall (just like the one that used to be in Berlin) between me and the world outside my realm of interest. And by the time I graduate I was a self proclaimed rebel (and mama said it too).
Short of a half a decade after Simple Plan’s Still Not Getting Any, The Black Parade passed me by and I found myself marching with those beaten and damned (feeling) romanticist, the so called emos. I saw myself in those bleeding screams and poetry. Its the kind that when you listen the weight of the musicians and the songs emotions is transferred on you crushing you, burdened and suffocated with despair that you just want to slit your wrist. The music multiplies your emotion by infinity. Aware that I have to drive myself away from that depressive place that is capable of initiating self destruction I resorted to the music that I knew even before I have known myself-The Beatles, with Across the Universe entering the scene in perfect timing. I was a converted hippie in the era of strict prohibition of coke, weed and LSD. It was a little looking back at the great musicians who paved way to my generation’s music and the next. It was like unearthing and opening the treasure chest of music.
Today, I’m 21, I bade goodbye to scrawny-ness but still I’m that hardheaded bullshit filled kid (yes im still a kid) who cries only because of My Chemical Romance’s Ghost of You. I’m a drifter having coffee induced cannabis moments, characterized by logorrhea and non stop giggling slash grinning and my Lucy in the Sky with Diamond moments, with backward Freudan thoughts and oblivious stares at mid air as symptoms. I’m a no non sense insomniacr who needs Nirvana’s Nevermind to get myself a good sleep. A dreamer who wish to invent a time machine that would bring me to the front row of 1992 VMA when David Grohl grabbed the mic and blurted ‘hi Axl’ with Kurt Cobain wrecking the set as backdrop; a time machine that would take me to The Beatles live in Manila so I could silence the jeering crowd. Though Im a perv lusting for Gerard Way, Pete Wentz, Gabe Saporta and William Beckett its John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley that I would die to see. I’m a pretending deep thinker who imagines philosophizing while holding hands with John Frusciante or Brandon Boyd. Im still a creep with Korns MTV Unplugged as the most overplayed album on my earphones. I also ditched my emo bangs but my hair still looks like I’ve been raped by a gang of groupies. I have tried and got tired of playing guitars and even drums, but still Im not giving up my elusive rockstar dream. I have high hopes of scoring a music related job. I have escaped my parents through intricately fabricated alibis just to make it to band gigs (one of which landed on the six o’clock news fortunately my parents did not recognized me). I have stalked a rocker schoolmate because he sounds like my fave opm(original Pilipino music) vocalist, complete with the long hair and bad ass attitude. I somehow grew up, life being ruled and rocked by music. In summation my life is a twenty- one year fuckin Woodstock!
PS: I was sitting in our couch one day watching Rockstar, the flop movie bout sex, drugs and rock on a random tv channel, at the end credits, Mark Wahlberg said “No more metal, just hiphop” I cringed in scorn and mentally cuss “fuck you Mark Wahlberg!” And after that I refused to watch Wahlberg movies.