Sometimes there is a special moment when I hear music, or for that matter watch a movie, when something gives me a physical reaction. I had this listening to Cyndi Lauper sing here in Perth, listening to Pat BEnatar sing Don’t Let It Show, listening to the Arctic Monkeys debut album, and a few other occasions. It happened again last week while I was on a plane from Newman to Perth. I came across Muse live in Rome at the Olympic Stadium on the entertainment system. This was shear magic.
Now, I have been a Muse fan for a while, but never heard any live recordings. This is ridiculous because I just love live recordings. Some bands are simply better when recorded live. However, in my 40-odd years in this earth I don’t think I have heard a live band as good as Muse. On that flight I got goosebumps from head to toe listening to that music. It was all I could do not to let loose with some fist-pumping, head banging, shouting joy. This was a moment that left me thinking, Why haven’t I seen these guys play live? Follow Me, Plug In Baby, and Supermassive Black Hole sound magnificent live. They sound great on studio recordings, but Muse live add depth, more feeling, more oomph to all these songs. Listening to Muse was pure joy.
But that moment was more than joy, it reinvigorated me, gave me inspiration to find some new tunes in my guitar. Now, I don’t pretend to be a great guitar player, or songwriter, but it brings me great pleasure to play and find new sounds. And thanks to Muse, I have found some. Next time they come to Perth I will move mountains to make sure I get there and fistpump, head bang, and yell to my hearts content. So thanks Matt, Dominic, and Chris, you have made my life richer and inspired me to write more music. It may be mediocre, but it’ll be a lot of fun.
Okay, more music…sort of. This was a performance poem I wrote over 10 years ago that I have put to music. Again on a Zoom H6 recorder. I can’t get the voice right, but it’s just a little bit of fun.
My Funky Bassline
It was a steamy summer’s day and I had a tortured soul
I was being persecuted by the gods of rock’n’roll
I had a funky bassline captured in my mind
It was trying to escape, there was someone I had to find
I went looking for the Funkster, the only man around
Who could help me make this tune into a groovy sound
There was nothing else to do that could ease my suffering brain
And stop that funky bassline driving me insane
On my way down to his joint I maintained exclusion zones
With my unexploded rhythm vibrating through my bones
And I got the strangest looks from other people on the street
As I walked the paving stones with a syncopated beat
When I reached his place he asked me, ‘How can I help you man?’
And I said ‘I’ve got this funky bassline and I need a helping hand.’
‘No worries mate,’ he told me, ‘I’ll see what I can do,
It’s a crime to find a bassline and fail to follow through.’
So he sat me on his couch and I hummed my funky music
And his face lit at once and he said, ‘YEAH, I can use it!’
He left the room for hours, but then when he returned
He played me the result, some music that he’d burned
He’d mixed guitars and drums with my funky little bass
And my groovy little rhythm had finally found its place
But no sooner had I left him, I was once again afflicted
With a catchy little bassline, it seems that I’m addicted
I hear music all the time and it comes from everywhere
And new rhythms make me nervous and it doesn’t seem quite fair
That I get funky tunes appearing, while the Funkster soothes my soul
And I’m fated to be tortured by the gods of rock’n’roll