This past month has been hard on rock and roll. We lost three great music creators who changed the era they shared in their own unique way. Though I was never blessed the opportunity to see Lemmy Kilmister raise hell with Motörhead, or was I even alive when David Bowie magically transformed himself on stage for audiences, I was lucky enough to see The Eagles live in concert a few years back, and the sound I remember most distantly is the original six string licks made famous by the late Glenn Frey.
Although their music styles were extremely diverse, these men all have one major thing in common: they will truly be missed. It was amazing to see the world’s response to the passing of Lemmy, followed by Bowie and then the Eagles’ Glenn Frey. The emotions once privately treasured by their fans were suddenly out in the open. Sadness, love, anger, and pure shock bled through the overflowing posts on social media, and were all connected together with a simple hashtag. With one click, news feeds were flooded on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with photos and concert video clips, all captioned with words of remembrance dedicated to the icons they loved so much. It was awesome to hear these brought to life online, and to learn things about these artists that I never knew before.
The stories I enjoyed the most were about the concerts that made history; the ones that meant so much to so many people. When I hear about what it was like to see David Bowie in concert, I picture some wondrous fairytale that only he could bring to life. The characters he crafted were wild; different from anything that anyone was doing or ever will do. He created more than music; he illustrated chapters that comprised a lifelong storybook of talent and innovation. He inspired so many people, enough so that he should be attributed in history books taught in schools all over the world.
When Lemmy passed, I became infatuated with watching live Motörhead concerts on YouTube, and I so desperately wish I could have had the chance to throw down in one of those mosh pits. Every time I visit Los Angeles, I try to visit the Rainbow Bar and Grill, not only for the tasty comfort food and strong as Satan cocktails, but in hopes Lemmy would grace his presence as he often did. All I’ve heard from those who knew him well or even just met him once, is that he was the nicest guy. It’s no doubt that L.A. was his city, and I wish I could have played a part in that world.
The stories our very own KQ listeners shared with us on the Morning Show the day Glenn Frey left us were deep and emotional. Whether it was an Eagles concert memory or a story about their own personal connection with Frey, it’s clear that people really connect with his music. My own Eagles concert experience sits high in my own memory, and the feeling I have when I think back to that powerful night at the Target Center is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Not only did Frey rip the hell out of his guitar, he sang and played piano – most vividly etched in my mind during “Desperado.” I remember the night being intense, lighthearted and fun all at the same time. The ferocity was at its highest when the band’s instruments came to a halt, and each member belted out the words that every person in the audience knew by heart. Uncomplicated songs matched with all those voices was just chilling, and I’m sad that I will never see that live again.
Music seemed to have saved these men in the way that I often dream of being saved. Each day I try to dissect my heart apart in search of hints as to which road I should venture down next. I take my opportunities as they come, but I’m still stumped to discover what I really want and need in my life, and to be completely honest, I’m scared shitless of failing; of never figuring all this out.
Anytime I’m feeling alone or upset about something I just can’t shake, I dart right towards the one thing I know will instantly make me feel better — music. The Eagles have a definite way about them; one that lets us disconnect from the world around us and rig up a memory in relation to a simple song or melody. Bowie’s music has us escaping to a different universe entirely, detached from our minds and submerged in a pool of whimsical madness. Lemmy acts as our conductor of rock and roll fever, and all it takes is a few minutes of “Ace of Spades” to headbang you brains back to good health.
The realty is, if I’m lucky enough to live a full life, I will see pretty much all of my rock and heroes pass on. I’ve been so torn up about losing them, but one of my favorite listeners, “Fred from Vegas,” gave me some great advice once that I’ll hold to, and I hope those who feel as I do will take to heart: “Don’t think about what you’re going to lose, think about what you’re going to see!”
We as humans live and pass on in this world, but one thing is for certain: rock and roll music will never die.