WELCOME BACK TO 2016
For those of you that didn't know, we've been travelling around Argentina, Brazil and Columbia since late December/early January, which hopefully goes someway to explaining our lack of posts over the festive period and beyond. As our South American jaunt draws to a close, however, the focus moves away from Empanadas and Samba, and instead back to a world we love equally as much; music.
What a different world to the one left behind though. Lemmy's gone. Fucking Bowie's gone. While I was never a particularly avid follower of Motörhead myself, I could at least appreciate Lemmy was an iconic frontman, and - as a band - they meant an awful lot to an awful amount of people. This was the case with David Bowie, too. Even more so.
I find one of the saddest things about genuinely iconic musician's passing away is that they just won't be replaced. Can anyone seriously say - with their hand on their heart - that they think Taylor Swift will be around for decades? Or that Adele will make a '65'? Or that Justin Bieber will headline Glastonbury in 40 years?
Speaking of Bieber...Yeah, what the fuck has happened there? Why, regardless of whether someone likes a new song of his or not, is EVERYONE calling them 'bangers'? I love that even being embarrassed to like him now is actually a cool thing, and something that people brag about. I don't hear many people bragging about One Direction being a guilty pleasure, do you? But anyway...
Whether it is the talent of the artist themselves, or the way the artists are managed - or perhaps a combination of the two - musicians aren't built to last in the same way anymore. There won't be another Madonna, or another Elton John. There certainly won't be another Bowie. There is no longer the fan loyalty to a band or artist that there once was, and therefore there is no iconic artists that can essentially transcend time. I think that's particularly sad.
But as sad as that is, and as sad as these musicians also passing away is, I too find it heartening that so many people, from so many different backgrounds, can have such a powerful connection - and feel such a unified empathy - from music.
On the day Bowie died, a friend of mine told me she couldn't quite comprehend why she was so upset for a man she never even remotely knew. But, you know what, I really don't think it's THAT different to any other death - in the family, or otherwise.
You're rocked by a death because that person had an impact on your life, and musicians can have just as much of an impact on you, just in a slightly different - and perhaps more remote - way than someone you knew. It's the same reason girls wept in the streets when bands from 'The Spice Girls' to 'N'Sync' to - in all likelihood - 'One Direction' broke up. I'm not comparing Bowie or Motörhead to The Spice Girls, but this music changes people's lives for the better, and when the possibility of that is no more, and the music ends...Well, for a short time that thought is almost unbearable. It's mad, but it's true.
And with that, I feel like it has all got just a bit too melancholy for a blog writer travelling the world and enjoying himself, so we shall leave it there. We're off to sip some Caipirinha. But let's all raise a glass, shall we? To Bowie, to Lemmy and to 2016. Saúde!