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How to Be An Alchemist

Those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, my previous blog or my music blog. will know that I have pretty eclectic music tastes. Music tastes that irritate most conservative people and most people who are wedded to particular genres. I always find it amusing that although I like I great deal of Avant-Garde music, most of the people I’ve known into Avant-Garde music loathe mainstream music. As far as I’m concerned if I can find something interesting in a piece of music or sound, it’s worth listening to.

If I’m honest my favourite band is probably U2. I’ve listened to them since 1986, although I remember hearing them in 1980 but I thought they were a bit weird back then. I liked a couple of songs but they were too alternative for my tastes ! It was only later I began to truly appreciate how unique they were.

I’ve always admired how 4 talentless aimless young boys could make music the way that they made music and I continue to be impressed at how they re-invent their music and musical personas. Larry Mullen Jr always impressed me as someone deeply authentic and humble, who has a shit load of talent (talent that he grew from nothing). He is one of the great under rated drummers of all time.

U2 may be a super-group now but back in the mid 80s they were still on the fringe and no other group resonated with the sensibilities of a lost young man than U2. Soon after I would discover metal and noise and others bands that resonated with me. But in 1986-1987, I felt like U2 were my band. Music makers who spoke to the deepest parts of me.

Today I look back at U2 and people like Larry Mullen Jr and see that he was an incredible alchemist. Someone who was able to take almost nothing, add a little passion and drive and turn it into pure gold. In some way I think people like Larry and the other members of U2 were an inspiration to me and helped me through the darkest parts of my life, to turn suffering into joy and isolation into relationship and a sense of belonging. People like Larry Mullen, teach us that anything is possible with the right attitude and a little bit of luck.

There are alchemists everywhere in many different forms. None of us knows where and when we will encounter an alchemist but we should be vigilant that anyone can inspire us with their alchemy. And if turns out that you are an alchemist, use your alchemy wisely and take nothing for granted.

 

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