Ahhhh,… Bathing in the warm glow of music. Currently listening to Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks with a grin on my face and sincere joy in my heart. Music makes everything good.
“Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze”
I have had many conversations with different people about how I write when I write songs. What is my “process” as it were. The truth? I don’t really have one. 9 times out of 10 I will start playing something on the guitar, and if it inspires lyrics – then those usually become the lyrics. I can only assume it must be what it’s like to channel a spirit or understand string theory. You don’t really “do” anything, it just sort of happens.
Then, something else happens which fills in last number making it 10 – the missing 1. An event, shall we say, that changes everything. Turns the world on its side and makes gravity some sort of sick joke. Your head floats and your arms flail and what was right, now seems wrong. The entire history of the Earth is wiped clean, and that which we know as language ceases to exist. You have de-evolved into a primitive state where your identity is non-existent and only strange guttural sounds emanate from you. The cause of such a state? What else could it be but the glorious gift called woman.
Sometimes something comes along that makes you want to climb mountains, or build monuments, or in my case – write an entire album dedicated to a single person. A rock opera of sorts. If I could compose, I would be inspired to write a symphony. This happened to me recently, while watching the movie Pirate Radio.
The scene is set; Quentin, played by the always amazing Bill Nighy, invites Young Carl (Tom Sturridge) to dinner. The reason? It is Young Carl’s birthday, and as a gift Quentin is going to give him a “nice time”. Young Carl arrives at Quentin’s cabin and knocks on the door. Once invited in, he opens the door to find Quentin standing beside a fully set table, dressed to the nines. “Young Carl”, he says, “I’d like to introduce my niece, Marianne.” He then steps aside to reveal one of the most beautiful things to ever walk the face of this great Earth – Talulah Riley as Marianne.
I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say I yelped and my arms, independent of my mind, flew into the air and crossed over the top of my head. (If you don’t believe me ask Sarah or Stretch, they were there.) The glorious angel standing behind Quentin was dressed like a twisted Alice in Wonderland – with dark hair and pale skin.
Okay,… I’m back.
As Young Carl approached the girl later in the scene in what looked to be leading to an intimate moment I yelled at the TV, “RUN!” It would have been funnier if I had been quick enough to say, “Fly, you fool.” Alas, alas, alas…
True to form, anything that beautiful is dangerous to the heart. But, let me tell you something… There is no drug known to man, no meditation or experience, that has the same effect on the heart and soul as a woman does. She can lift you up and make you feel like you could take on the approaching army single-handed. She can inspire great good, or invite you to consider great evil. All for the sake of a single smile.
I haven’t been able to shake the experience of that reveal since I saw the movie two days ago. I want to write an entire album called Marianne, and dedicate each and every song to this pretty little English flower. To sit, guitar in hand, for hours on end until I have penned the ultimate work of appreciation for such an amazing work of God.
And that is why I am becoming a monk.