December 14, 2009

"In it for the music"?

I’ve realized that every time we say we’re “only in it for the music,” we’re lying to ourselves. Ultimately, music brought me to where I am now; I travel hours upon hours not to see their pretty faces, but to hear the music; I purchase albums for the music; I’m inspired to play the piano by their music, but if we’re honest with ourselves (or maybe I shouldn’t lump us all together--if I’m honest with myself), meeting the guys multiple times, watching all of their entertaining videos, walking barefoot in countless cities—it’s more than music. When I was nine, there was only music. Hanson was at superstar status, I was at an age where they all seemed relatively old to me, and even the idea of seeing them in concert was beyond my wildest dreams. I had no access to the internet, no posters, no t-shirts, no embarrassing fan letters—just a walkman and a Middle of Nowhere cassette. I didn’t know a fan club existed, and I don’t recall ever gushing about Hanson to other fans. It’s an equation that led to me losing touch with Hanson’s music for almost ten years, but I was truly only in it for the music.
Today, I regularly see Hanson in concert, routinely log on to their website, and in general spend more time (and money) than I care to admit doing Hanson-related, but not specifically music-related things. People don’t look at pictures for the music. As entertaining as the FUTYs are, they don’t have anything to do with music. Tulsa is beautiful, but it’s related to Hanson as a family, not the music itself. I love this lifestyle, I really do, and I’m not suggesting that any of these things are bad or wrong. But I can’t help but wonder if there was something different, something that is now missing, in that original, simplistic feeling of just loving your favorite music and being satisfied in just that. Hanson is the only band I feel this strongly about, but Hanson is also the only band whose full names and birthdays I know, whose hometown I’ve visited (I couldn’t even tell you the hometown of ANY of my other favorite bands). I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything, but sometimes I just wonder how it would be if nothing mattered but the music.