I don’t often talk about music, it just is a part of my life I kind of take for granted. Which isn’t to say I don’t appreciate it because I do, I know how much less rich life would be for my without it. How at certain times in my life it has created pockets of succour that I view as life saving. There are times too painful to feel your own pain, when music is able to express for you that which you can’t – likewise with joy. But like family, it exists, it just is.
Robert Plant writes about his icon Elvis Presley so personally that he showed me both Elvis’s and his own humanity.
There is a difference between people who sing and those who take that voice to another, otherworldly place, who create a euphoria within themselves. It’s transfiguration. I know about that. And having met Elvis, I know he was a transformer.
Musicians on musicians – fascinating and wonderful. http://www.rollingstone.com/
But what I really want to share with you today is something Bob Dylan produced last year, and I have only just discovered courtesy of http://jjennajane.com/
This is one of his most iconic songs, one that moved a generation, how great an influence on thinking Dylan has had is unquantifiable. One man. One young man. One creative dare-devil. Twenty-four years of age when he wrote it, it took a while to get the video right, but he did get it right. It is a brilliant commentary on the constantly blinking perspectives of the world now, seen via multi channels across the globe. Interactive, you can adjust what you see via the up/down keys on your keyboard. You won’t see what I see, but the flavour will stay the same. You may have to put the link in your browser because I don’ think I can embed video. I swear you won’t be disappointed.
Robert Plant again on Elvis:
“When he died, he was 42. I’m 18 years older than that now. But he didn’t have many fresh liaisons to draw on — his old pals weren’t going to bring him the new gospel. I know he wanted to express more. But what he did was he made it possible for me, as a singer, to become otherworldly.”
Bob Dylan on Bob Dylan;
‘My songs are personal music; they’re not communal. I wouldn’t want people singing along with me. It would sound funny. I’m not playing campfire meetings. I don’t remember anyone singing along with Elvis, or Carl Perkins, or Little Richard. The thing you have to do is make people feel their own emotions. A performer, if he’s doing what he’s supposed to do, doesn’t feel any emotion at all. It’s a certain kind of alchemy that a performer has.’
That last quote reminds me of something T.S Eliot spoke of, the surrender of the ego I suppose,
‘What happens is a continual surrender of himself as he is at the moment to something which is more valuable. The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality….
…Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.’
(excerpt from T.S. Eliot (1888–1965). The Sacred Wood. 1921.)
2 thoughts on “Reflections on a rolling stone with Dylan, Elvis and T.S Eliot”
I love this post Anne. Music has been an integral part of my life from when I was a toddler in the Sixties right through happiness and sadness to where I am today. It’s an invisible friend and a place to escape to when you can’t express what you’re feeling.
Thank you for reading! Music is exactly that – an invisible friend! Well put!