Etta James, Whitney Houston, Davy Jones and just this morning Ronnie Montrose, all passed away long before we were ready for them to.
And while it saddens me that such great talent has moved on, some of us that remain have said things that have me scratching my head a bit.
One of the first things I always see lighting up the Facebook and Twitter feeds when our musical heroes die are posts from people who, perhaps unbeknownst, indirectly beg people to go out and buy their music posthumously. It’s as if when these musical greats leave those of us left behind feel compelled to give them one last big send off.
Maybe its a way to make ourselves feel better and somehow make these musical pioneers relevant again on the big stage. To show this generation of robotic, auto-tuned, vanilla music lovers what “real” music is all about. To say to them: “Do you see what you missed out on by being inside your bubble all this time? Natural talent that changed the game. And now it’s too late.”
But it’s not too late. Why must we wait until they are gone to try and get others to appreciate their contributions? We really need to stop putting off all of the great music that exists in this world. Let’s open our ears, maybe just a little?
Don’t you think Etta, Whitney, Davy, Ronnie or the thousands of other great artists would appreciate it more by seeing fans shouting from the rooftops while they’re still alive? The music never dies. It’s always been there. When are people going to get out of their box, test the musical waters and try new things?
Chances are, what they’re listening to now was influenced by the ones who’ve gone and they don’t even know it.
The choir that I’m a part of did a piece by John Rutter last year called “The Music’s Always There For You“. It’s a beautiful piece and one whose words seem to echo my thoughts. See if you agree:
But the magic you share when you make music
Won’t leave you when the time has come to part;
And it feels like you never have to say goodbye,
Because the music’s always there in your heart.