What is a song but a story interlaced into music.
I grew up during the 70’s and 80’s. Most of the music that I can remember listening too was that of the Vietnam era, then disco (I have no comment about this music other than to say, it was not for me.), Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, CCR, and other great music from that era. I turned 10 in 1980 and remembered Sonny and Cher, the Brady Bunch and other shows that were musically influenced. My older sister, other than going through multiple big hair styles and colors, started to listen to Heavy Metal. I remember watching Heavy Metal the movie and being blown away by the graphics and Sammy Hagar’s voice.
I was hooked.
So years later, I was listening to Iron Maiden, Motley Crew (or just The Crew), Judas Priest, and many more big hair, tight pants bands. I still love to listen to this music but my taste for music changed in 1991 when Pearl Jam’s epic album, Ten, reached me and I never looked back.
Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and bands that had revolutionary sounds like Tool and Rage Against the Machine just set my world on fire. I still listen to these bands today. A band like Rage Against the Machine music and lyrics still hold true today, what is going on in the world and the United States. Rage’s Battle of Los Angeles is one of the best albums of all time.
So, during the early years of the 2000’s I still listened to music on the radio and enjoyed most of it. Moby, South Side is a song that I still listen to and will get into more in just a little bit.
During this time, I always listened to Rap groups like NWA, Public Enemy, Doc Dre, Tribe Called Quest. These rap groups really propelled the sounds, the violence and the plight of the young black man living on the street. This music also gave voice to the anger they felt towards being mistreated, beaten and murdered by the police throughout the United States. Something that is, sadly, still happening today, in 2021.
My music taste fathered developed whenever my family would go and visit my grandmother. Jazz on the radio is a fond memory for me. My grandmother’s angelic voice would flow through the house as she sang and hummed with jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Callaway and other jazz legends. Then at night, we would sit and list to PBS’ Evening at the Pops. Oh the classical music that reached into my soul and never let go. I still can listen to it for hours and remember grandma, grandpa and the rest of the family just enjoying the music.
So, that brings me to the topic at hand, Music is Worth a Thousand Words. Music is a powerful medium to bring up memories in your own story of life.
Now, back to Mody. I love the song Southside and the imagery that comes along with the lyrics. His song, as I see it in my head, is about a group of gangsters looking for revenge. The song was released in 1999, surprised me too. The song frets Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, when No Doubt was more punkish then pop. The first time I listened to the song I started to develop a story in my head. The picture was not clear, but there was a spark, a single line that will soon grow into a paragraph, then a page, then a chapter. The book did not become clear until I listen to another song that came out in 2016.
Heathens, by Twenty One Pilots set the final chapters into place for this story. What I see in my head when I hear both these song is a mix between Westside Story and the Godfather, with a little Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction swagger mixed in. I know, four great movies, but hey, go big or go get a burger.
When I listen to those two songs, I see a gang of assassins’ seeking revenge on the gang that killed one of their own. I see battles, I see blood and I see swords, sniper rifles, 1000 pound bombs, firefights, and I see 8 women, covered in blood, destroying all their foes.
The music I hear is not only Mody, and Twenty One Pilots, but Social Distortion’s – Sick Boy, Rage’s – Killing in the Name, Tool’s – Eulogy, Band of Horses – The Funeral, Sammy Hagar’s – Heavy Metal, and many more. I see these scenes in my head when I listen to this music. I start to shake, I want to write it so bad. I’m pretty sure I need professional help, but I like what’s in my head, we get along just fine, thank you very much.
Music stirs the soul, it enlightens the mind, it allows me to see the whole of the pictures as it runs through my mind like a pixey on speed. I have an outline. I have the characters. I have the scenes in my head. This book will be written.
And then the song will fade to Black. (Pearl Jam)