Music, Meaning, and Self

Lately, aside from the massive amounts of work I’ve been panicking to get through as my semester wrapped up, I’ve been rediscovering bands of my youth (late middle school, high school, even some college thrown in).  One of my favorite bands during high school was The Foo Fighters.  They’re still pretty awesome, even if my particular fandom has waned.  It got me thinkin’ about a lot of stuff, specifically a friend from high school who, sadly, took his own life a couple years back.  One of the most soul-crushing moments the kid had was when The Smashing Pumpkins broke up.  It was like telling a kid Santa isn’t real (which is clearly false) or, perhaps to put things in a darker perspective, like telling someone that one of their closest friends or a close family member had died.  He went into a bit of a depression (probably related to a couple other things, too, but still…).  I like the band (though, at the time, they weren’t too high up on my list of things to listen to – they were good, just not really my thing).

I love music.  I can safely say (probably as most people can) that music has gotten me through some of the best and worst times of my life and I can often hear a soundtrack streaming in my head throughout the day.  I love playing it, listening to it – both actively/critically and casually/as background noise.

That being said, I don’t really think I could ever imagine being that broken up about a band…breaking up.  I told him that I didn’t really understand his reaction at the time of his distress and he said, “How would you feel if your favorite band broke up?”  I said I’d be bummed, but I wouldn’t be too broken up over it because, ultimately, it’s a band.  They come and go.  None are meant to last forever – and a lot of them outlast their usefulness.  Maybe it’s just a perspective from having been in a couple bands that have broken up for various reasons – some before their time, some long overdue (well, I can only think of one that was overdue…long drawn-out story, but I got a guitarist out of it, so it was kinda awesome).

I’ve been thinking about what could possibly lead someone to being that heartbroken about a band breaking up.  The only conclusion I can really come to is having nothing to live for.  I don’t necessarily mean in the higher power/God sense of the term.  I just mean anything that motivates you.  Like I said, music’s been a huge motivator, but it’s never been my only motivator.  Maybe the other kid had nothing else to look forward to.  Who knows?

Weird post, I know, but it’s been runnin’ through my head for a couple days now, so I figured I’d write about it.


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