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.


Holly said...

if it helps, relient k originated in ohio and now live in nashville. so there's a little hometown info on one of your other favorite bands.

but i agree. it's easy to say we're in it for the music, and i think it stems from the years of people assuming i liked them just because they were cute [at least, back in the day that's what people assumed]. if i honestly had to pin point it to one thing now, i might say i'm in it for the memories.

the memories of being young. the memories of falling "in love" with an out-of-reach celebrity. the memories of that first time i heard mmmbop. the memories of when weird seemed to be the cry of my heart. the new memories of new friends, new cities visited, and staying up until 3am just to watch a video on the internet.

Elimayz said...

You have a point. We walk a fine line... but if the music didn't happen, would you travel, would you watch the FUTY's, would you bother to sign in to the website? I don't think you would.
Now we have a chance to let the music consume more of our lives, but we grow ever closer to not being just about the music.