Posted by: Devin | June 8, 2014

Three Musicians of My Life

A friend on Facebook made a post asking what the three most pivotal musicians of his friends’ lives have been.

I was wordy, but I love what I wrote…

Oh man, only three? I’ll have to ramble about why to make sure I’m picking the proper artists. 

Hole, absolutely, because discovering them when the Malibu video came out opened musical doors for me. I’d only listened to pop groups before, and that album just made me realize music could be a powerful force. 

I listened to a lot of crap after that, and was VERY depressed in high school. Then I discovered Tori Amos, who made me realize other people have felt like I have, were weird and in pain and it was okay. 

I discovered Bowie around the same time as Tori, a bit after, but because a lot of the reasons he resonated with me were similar to Tori, I’m leaving him off the top 3…because… 

The Clash and Joe. Discovered at age 17 and after hearing the demo of Janie Jones, I was floored. They ushered in all kinds of music to me. 

And then when Joe passed, I’d only been a fan for a year, but it hit me so hard that I could hardly listen to them until just a few years ago. I’ve always had big issues with grieving, and every time I went to play them, I could listen to maybe five songs, then I’d get really sad and instead of crying, I ran away from the feelings. 

Something, an epiphany, a few years ago. Joe would want me to enjoy his music, and crying was okay. I had this intense grieving process so many years after the fact, and I still cry sometimes, and that’s okay. And there was SO MUCH I hadn’t heard. I’d only heard Streetcore a few times when it first came out, and never the other stuff. So after I finally grieved, I really could celebrate his life and appreciate his art a lot more. Bless him. 

This was way longer than I was thinking. 

My answers… 

Tori Amos
Joe Strummer 

All taught and still teach me ways of embracing life.

The epiphany that led to my finally grieving for Joe came about when I got into Jim Jarmusch. I got Straight to Hell for his like one minute of screen time, but I was terrified to watch it for Joe. When it started, I was pretty scared to cry, and I teared up… 

…but the more I watched, I started laughing at weird things Joe did in it, and I thought, “I’m…LAUGHING…is this okay?” 

And then I finished it and had the epiphany and grieved. 

So as odd as that film is, it is what got me to grieve and then celebrate Joe. 

I could have been listening to him for all those years more than a few songs here and there, but for whatever reasons, I just needed a lot of time.


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