Tag Archives: marillion

Another Mr. h

There’s this guy I know … met him once or twice, but I know deep feelings and events of his life because of the transparency he exercises in his art.

In 1988 he was trying to make it in the music industry, and had just decided to give up for the sake of stability in his family. He was literally putting a ‘for sale’ sign in his front yard when he received the first of two calls.

The first call came from one of the coolest bands in the world. Socially relevant, trendy, college based sound. Cooler (at the time quite a feat) than REM and U2 combined. The were heading out on a world tour and wanted him to play keyboard and percussion. He would be featured on the next album and, if things worked out, become a permanent fixture.

The second call came from perhaps the least cool band in the world. A band that had a minor hit four years prior, and had a small but hardcore, rabid group of fans. The lead singer (and sole lyricist) had abruptly left and the band was looking to fill his shoes in order to fulfill a contract. They wanted Mr. h’s heart and his brain in their sudden new path.

So … what do you do? Guaranteed money and a world tour with a hot band, or artistic control and uncertainty in a band that had assuredly passed its golden years?

Mr. Hogarth chose the lead singer gig with Marillion. Nearly 30 years later, they are releasing their 17th album in September. The music has saved and inspired my life for decades. They aren’t mega rockstars, and they prefer that. They make a comfortable living outside the conventional music industry, and still maintain a small, hardcore group of fans. He’s found bliss and love.

The band he turned down? “The The”. Also still around, the leader/ songwriter Matt Johnson is the only consistent member.

Why am I telling you this? My life has come to a similar crossroads, and I’ve choices to make. My personal life has been altered in a major fashion and one of the few upsides of the upheaval is a new freedom. I can choose my next path without having to consider the consequences for anyone else. It’s my call, my choice. There’s comfort and terror in that, but it’s much less scary that having to decide for six people.

I can do … anything. The determining factor is my will and tenacity. What do I want?

You know what’s great? I don’t know! That is fantastic and exciting. At the moment I am adrift, and waiting. Watching. I’m not leaving my craft, but I am looking for different, challenging venues to display it. 

Soon, it will present itself, and I’ll choose. I will stay true to my heart and my art … and I’ll shine. Fame and money are the least of the considerations, though they play a role.

I have been given this gift, and can’t wait to share it. Stay tuned …

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Interlude. (a respite and a declaration)

This isn’t part of the ongoing saga, but it’s relevant. I suppose. A purging? A confession?

The diary has been interrupted by personal drama I’ll write about at a later time. I’m sorry for that. I’ve discovered that I’m a pretty big disappointment to some very precious people and I’m trying to deal with that, because I am unable to reconcile it.

So yeah. Purging. Confession.

Inspired by various works. Lewis, Hemingway, Fitz, Hogarth.

I love being embarrassingly straightforward. (Not embarrassing to myself, but to those without the experience and freedom of fully exposing their hearts.) I love sending reckless text messages and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely brilliant, magical human beings

I love saying; “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a beautiful person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward and heart-out as I know how to. I do card tricks that sometimes bring tears and sometimes I return to naked.

Because one day, I might get hit by a train.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just BE – to just let people know you want them, need them. To feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them … hold them … touch them in some way. Whether it’s their head on your chest on the couch or their tongue in your mouth or your heart in their hands.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans. So I tell it. I shout it. I text it and I write it into every post and act I create.

I bleed for it and I hope You never have to question where You stand with me.

We never know when the train is coming.

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Joy?

This career I’ve taken on is frustrating, grueling and at times completely unrewarding. I often wonder why I’m doing it. The answer always comes immediately: My joy is here. There’s something very addictive about living your dream.

Tonight I had the honor to once again entertain and refresh some of the most amazing people I know. I’m talking about you, Laura. I know you are reading this. The opportunity to do what I do for such a brave soul as yourself and you your INCREDIBLE family is what feeds my addiction.

Image

Take away the awards. Take away the fame. Say goodbye to the Magic Castle and all the goals I set for myself. I can take it. As long as I can serve you, I’m wealthy.

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Fragile

We are such fragile creatures. Take time right now to let your family and friends know exactly how much you love them. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to say “I love” to everyone you care about.

Take a chance and tell a stranger. Do something really nice for someone you don’t like very much. Anonymously.

A friend pointed out that a lot of my music is somewhat dark … So this week I’m committing to only listening to upbeat, inspirational tunes. Suggestions?

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The Other Greatest Band

Most of my new friends, the ones who have come into my life in the past few years, have very strong feelings about exactly who ‘the greatest band’ is. A large number of them consider said band to be … well, UKnow … Don’t U? (And You, Too?)

They may be very convicted of this opinion, but they are wrong. I love them quite a bit. I saw them live while you were still in diapers. (Thank you Jesus for a long, full life.) They are not, however, the greatest.

I humbly submit to you the Greatest Band in existance today. (My psychic friends have guessed already.)

Marillion.

They took their name from ‘The Silmarillion’ by J.R.R. Tolkien.  That alone ought to send the fantasy readers, geeks and Mrs. Martin rushing to iTunes. They started off quite prog and jazz, writing sprawling epic songs in the nature of early Peter Gabriel era Genesis. They made a 35 minute song on the life of Grendel, he-monster of Beowulf fame. They have since refined their taste and mood, and create some of the most moving music ever recorded.

I discovered them in 1983, while trying to deal with my parent’s ugly divorce and MUCH uglier re-marriages. The frontman (Fish) wrote an entire album dealing with his failure as a husband. It pulled me through and I have been a fan ever since.

Want to hear more? Want to hear how the music of Marillion helped me save my life and my marriage? Drop a comment.

I know you, my friends and casual readers. You deserve to hear this band.

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