I just did a long series on “Making peace with music” (Go check it, you won’t regret it. It’s full of surprises!). And I could have kept going and extend it. Write a whole book.
But I didn’t want 20 sections on one subject. I believe that clarity comes from organization.
So, “Making peace with music” is for the very beginner up until the first 2 years of playing. And this series is for people who are a little further along. And people who eventually would like music to become their life. They are usually called the “Wannabes” of our art.
It’s a very serious subject. Here, I’ll open with a bomb: Destruction. The destruction musicians do. And they relish in the worst kind of destruction, it doesn’t exist any worse than that: auto-destruction. That’s the most efficient, the most lethal, the hardest one to fight against.
I’ll confess: my heart breaks. It really does. I’m on the verge of tears. I know too many musicians that have gone on auto-destruction mode. Some dear friends of mine, too. There are also some who were not my friends, but artists I cherished: Janis Joplin (What a sweet voice to cling to in the dark), Jim Morrison (The flying angel), Kurt Cobain (Dark Messenger of love), Jimi Hendrix (The guitar god), and the list goes on and on.
They all went through slow death at first. Alcohol, drugs, sex, wrecked hotel rooms, trashed relationships with friends and family, with band members. They explored the different areas they could destroy. They abused their bodies. Morisson dying overweight, the skeletal and pale Amy Winehouse. They were stressed, suffering, they were on a self imposed discipline of addictions. The martyrs of music.
But you don’t have to finish on the News to be on self destruction mode. I have plenty of friends who, quietly, discreetly, torture themselves with different diets, with a little too much alcohol, with pains that block them from practicing, that pop pills of all sorts, benign or questionable. Perhaps the undetected one are the friends that spend an entire week end in front of the TV. Those are the most common. 2 days per week completely blank. A couch, a screen that reflects the void and someone that think they are nothing. They didn’t get out. Didn’t touch their instrument. Didn’t speak to anyone. Those, in their ways, also tried to stop existing.