I love music. I have been a groupie, a fan, a fadget and possibly a stalker. I discovered at a young age, that I can jump inside the music and in between the notes and connect to whatever the musician connects to. ‘Live’ music does that even easier. When I was a twenty something, concerts fueled me, invigorated me, and made me feel alive.
I saw most of my favourite bands including David Bowie, in my ‘gap year’ but a couple remained elusive and one of them only formed years later.
I would boldly say, ‘there are only two bands left for me to see and I will do anything to see them’. This proved itself to be prophetic years later, with my zooming off to Dublin, last minute, to see Peter Gabriel for a crazy 3 day trip but it was worth every cent.
The last one remaining unseen was ‘Collective Soul’ – an American rock band.
Fast forward a couple of years and I see the magic words. They are coming to South Africa! I make sure that I will be in the country/city/universe and book tickets .
The day (or night) arrives and I am beyond excited. I feel like an electric cable- stripped and left out in the rain. It takes a lot of self control to stay in my body all day and I want to go and camp out at the venue as soon as I wake up.
The grown up me is amused but the teenager doesn’t care. All I want is to feel the frenzy of the live music, the songs that have fueled me for the last twenty years.
I meet with my sister and friends rather reservedly and eat dinner, all the while I am restraining the ‘go, go, go’ in my body. I was concerned about the venue because I am an acoustic snob and this venue is not built for sound, but I know I will have to overlook this -for now.
A few short hours later, I am in front of the dudes who have sang, played and drummed the soundtrack of my recent life. I keep blinking, trying not to sing over them so I can hear them properly and let it sink into my veins. I feel drugged yet surreal. I don’t want them to stop. They have 20 years of tracks which adds to many hours of possible song play but can only give less than two. The crowd is drunk wait- dronk- and everyone leaves too quickly. There is no encore. This can’t be it? Surely?
Ed takes his guitar backstage while playing us Comrades runners’ theme tune ‘We’ve got a long way to run’. I can tell he doesn’t want this to end either. But the crowd dissolves in search of their uber, or bar and my connection is rudely broken. My last band is done.
I listen to their CD in my car a day later and I feel tears well up. So many songs they didn’t play. It feels like I only read the menu but didn’t get to eat. My mind is searching for ways to fulfill this hunger. Maybe I could follow them to Cape Town, or America…. then Ed (with his dishy brother )would invite me into their basement and I could feed my body while they rehearse. I laugh at the teenage angst with the wisdom of an old person who knows the impossible.
I have to be content with their CD’s.
The electric cable is still flapping about a little, sadly the sparks are dimmer now. But I do know that miracles can occur and I believe in the impossible. So maybe now, it is just a matter of making a new list….
“She said that time is unfair
To a woman her age
Now that wisdom has come
Everything else fades
She said she realizes
She’s seen her better days
She said she can’t look back
To her days of youth
What she thought were lies
She later found was truth….”