Beats

The End of a Music Era

Music we've lost

The work of these musicians are a part of my life. Some of them have been with me since I was born.

The last two years have been rough.

There’s no other way to look at things if you’re a music fan. The amount of talent that we’ve lost has been staggering.

David Bowie. Glenn Frey. Prince. George Michael. Chris Cornell. Chester Bennington. Walter Becker. Glen Campbell. Tom Petty. And now, Gord Downie.

It’s unprecedented to see so many giants of music being lost in such a relatively short period of time. No matter what type of music you enjoyed, you have lost someone that you loved.

Music is generally associated with happiness and joy. It’s a unifying force that brings people from all walks of life together.

Go to any concert and you’ll see thousands of people with thousands of different stories come together in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t.

Music simply creates a bond between people. Parents, children, siblings, best friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends are all brought together with the joyous bonds of music.

Sadly, over the last couple years, these bonds are being brought together in acts of mourning as opposed to acts of celebration.

As much as we expect to experience some loss due to the passage of time, it’s still shocking just how much has happened so quickly. It seems like we just get over the death of one musician when another one comes along.

Each one gets greeted with its own feeling of disbelief “No! But he was so young!”

In many ways I consider this period to be the end of an era. So many artists that I’ve loved and respected are gone.

I think of all the great music that would have been recorded that now won’t. I think of the concerts that I won’t be able to attend, and then start regretting the artists I never got a chance to see live.

But even though the era is over, the music is still there.

Painful but thankful

Anytime one of these deaths happen we tend to have this internal conflict of “should I be sad that they’re gone or happy that we had them to begin with?”

I know I’ve had that conflict inside of me many times over the last two years.

As I’ve been going through my own song list on my iPod I seem to be continually hit by painful reminder after painful reminder.

The emotions repeat the same every single time, like the songs themselves have for so many years.

A song comes up from one of these artists. I hear the first few notes. Then I get wistful.

“I can’t believe they’re gone”

But then something happens. The song continues. I’m bobbing my head. Then I’m humming along. And then (if no one is around) I’m belting the song that I love.

This is the power of music. This is the legacy these musicians have left behind.

When the music is so good that even in the face of sadness you can’t help but get some joy out of it.

Ultimately I believe that that’s the goal of every musician. To make music that moves you so much that you forget your troubles for a few minutes and get lost in an audio world.

So, of course I’m sad that we’ve lost so many great musicians. But I’m also very thankful they were in our world to begin with.

The music will last

The work of these musicians are a part of my life. Some of them have been with me since I was born. Their songs were there when I was celebrating and they were there to help me get through rough times.

Now, the times are rough because of the void left by these musicians.

I hope we don’t experience another musical loss for a long time. I hope we have some time to heal from all of this.

But no matter what happens, I am going to celebrate the lives of these great artists.

I’m going to crank their music when it comes on, I’m going to share them with my kids, and I’m going to make sure their legacies stay strong for future generations.

The era might be over, but if I have any say it’ll never be forgotten.

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2 Comments

  • My Dad ,is 85 asked;”Do you have any of this fella’s music?-”
    I was speechless…..
    “Where do ya wanna start Dad?”
    I replied.

  • This was a great article! It’s still too soon for me to feel happy about the music, as the pain is so heavy, and coming to grips with the fact that we lost the best musician this country has known, our champion, but i know one day soon, i too will be dancing again and belting out the songs by The Hip…how can you not!.
    R.I.P Gord….you will be missed!