Whenever I look around sites like Facebook or MySpace, I am often struck by the irony that a vast majority of the time, the very first item listed under interests is “Music.” These aren’t just musicians that write this. Its seen just as prevalent on the profiles of music fans. Fans of all types of music.
I think everyone has a soundtrack to their life. Songs that touched a person, or it meant something to them at a key time in their life. I know I do! Songs that will throw me back to a certain place or time. Songs that dragged me through a tough time, or that helped me celebrate a joy.
Then there are those songs that just make you appreciate them for the work of art that they are. Be it killer lyrics, or a solo that makes you take notice — even if you couldn’t find your way through a song with a map and metronome!
Music is art. And a musician’s gear is like a painter’s paintbrush, as the guitar or drum or piano paints notes across space to evoke emotions or convey a message. Some pieces of gear have painted masterpieces in pop culture.
When I read the blog today, “Musician’s Hall of Fame future uncertain, instruments damaged in flood,” it was the music lover in me whose heart ached.
Watching friends pull their own personal gear from Soundcheck made the friend and “Musician’s Widow” in me feel sick. It’s not hard to put myself in their shoes, imagining how it would cripple my husband (and me) if his gear had been among the thousands of pieces lost. So when I see photos from friends, or I hear their stories, I will feel physically ill.
But to hear of such wonderful pieces of gear that hold a major place in music history, such as the bass Lightning Chance used for Hank Williams’ final recording sessions, the music fan in me buckles.
Any time I go to the Grand Ole Opry, or I walk through the alley behind the Ryman, I find myself stilled in my soul, to realize what great talents have walked those same steps in the past. And when I watch the video in that blog, I think about the talented hands that cradled those guitars. The way those guitars were possibly hand picked precisely for their tone or feel. They hold a place in music history. And after this flood, they are ruined. (Not to mention the guitars that never had a chance to find their way into the hall of fame, but would undoubtedly been in there in time!)
Sidebar: Don’t EVEN get me started on the Musician’s Hall of Fame being closed to be moved. I didn’t like how it was handled from the beginning, and now I really don’t like it.
We hold tight to our recordings of the songs these priceless pieces of music history made happen, and we are thankful to always have that. The musicians who lost all their gear last weekend will get new gear. Key pieces of their collections could never be replaced, but the music WILL continue to play. History will continue to be made. History will never be forgotten. But for now, we mourn the loss of tangible pieces of history…
A history that so many say they have an interest in… music.