Saturday, September 28, 2013

At least we have their music. When Bands Disband


Pictured above is a classmate of mine from high school. Naturally over the past few years I've been drawn to her pictures because she is jamming down on her guitar in many pictures I've seen.  

I've never heard her play.
I've never heard her band.

I just like that I once knew her and that she plays music.
Rock on!

(I am just assuming her she plays in a rock band. Again, I don't know.)

Yesterday she announced she was leaving her band.
After 12 years.
12 years of making music together.

It'll be a big change for her.
It'll be a change for her band mates.
It'll be a change for her fans.
It'll be a change for me - and I haven't heard her play.

This made me think about when a group disbands or a player leaves.
The music may falter, but what of the people involved?

Remember when the Beatles broke up? I was quite young at the time but I seem to recall hearing something about it. It was acrimonious. Paul went his own way. John went solo. Then we lost John abruptly and the chance of the Beatles reuniting was gone forever. 

At least we have their music.

Remember when Dolly Parton left Porter Wagner? I was just talking with a friend about that last night as we listened to a rendition of one of Dolly's songs. Dolly wrote "I Will Always Love You" for Porter. His career was never the same. Hers skyrocketed.

At least we have their music.

Remember when Lionel Richie left the Commodores for his solo career. They couldn't survive without him. His voice was irreplaceable.

At least we have their music.

Closer to home.

Remember when Jordan Tang left the Jackson Symphony Orchestra last year after 26/27 years? I do. I was at his last concert. I talked with the Maestro about this transition in his life. He vowed he would still be composing and making music.

At least we have their music.

But we will never see these groups intact again. (Ok, maybe the Commodores. Someday.)
These memories are from the vantage point of observer.
Sure it impacts us as fans.

But what about those involved - those leaving and those who are left behind?
Sometimes we just think of ourselves. But we don't always know the whole story. Nor do we need to.

So next time when you hear of a group's breakup, don't just feel bad for the new music you won't be hearing and say to yourself, "At least we have their music."

Remember there are people involved who have invested a good portion of their lives to make that music you enjoy. 
Remember the impact it is having on then and that there is often more than what the media tells us.

Oh, and my classmate made my day this morning. After I had written her requesting permission to use her photo since she had inspired this blog she sent me this message,

"I never told you this and wish I would were always an awesome musician and am so happy that you are sharing the magic that is music."

Made. My. Day.

At least I have my music.

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