I’ve already waxed lyrical on the loss of George Michael, but he’s far from alone in being taken from us far too soon. In fact, in the same year alone, David Bowie and Prince departed many months before Mr Michael slipped away on Christmas Day 2016.
I didn’t really feel a huge sense of loss when any of the above left us, to be honest. For me, it’s been more of a slow burner. I hear a song on the radio, or select a song from my extensive and eclectic CD collection, and suddenly I’ll feel a genuine, deep-seated sadness right in the pit of my belly, that makes me almost have to catch my breath. It is the same feeling that I get when I suddenly miss my mother. It can be just as strong, and it almost always takes me completely by surprise.
My mother died at 57, the same age as another of the deceased that I miss dearly. I think it might be pushing it to call him a musician; nevertheless he was a major feature of my teenage life – and fantasies. I’m talking about old swizzle-hips himself, the one and only Patrick Swayze, the guy who could pin me into a corner any time he chose.
Patrick Swayze did, in fact, record one of the songs for the soundtrack of ‘Dirty Dancing’. (See one of our happy customers below with her framed “Dirty Dancing” film DVD which we created as a birthday gift for her from her family. For more info go to the MyFirstRecord.co.uk website……. http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed-dvds/framed-dvd-and-cover ). As far as I was previously aware that was his only flirtation with singing. I was wrong. He is described, in fact, on the ubiquitous Wikipedia as an ‘actor, dancer and singer-songwriter’. I’m not here to praise his musical talent – of lack thereof – though. I recall his connection to music in his dancing to it rather than his singing of it. He could certainly dance. Mmm…
Patrick Swayze isn’t top of my list. He lies somewhere beneath an Australian rocker (that I’d love to have lain beneath) who is probably the artist I miss the most of all. INXS are my all-time favourite band, and I loved everything about Michael Hutchence. Yep, even that whole tortured-soul thing he had going on, that was almost definitely the cause of his demise in one way or another. It almost certainly played a large part in causing my crush on him, too.
Oh, to have been Paula Yates, on that bed on the “Big Breakfast” with him in 1994!! To have seen INXS play live at the Coogee Bay hotel, a Sydney boozer in which I spent far too much time and money, for a few brief months in 1996. Furthermore, imagine bumping into the man himself in that crowded, raucous joint… I think I’d better stop right there, this is a public place.
There’s a big connection building here, isn’t there? The artists I miss the most, seem to be those I lusted after the most. Which takes me right back to George Michael, the subject of my earliest teenage stirrings. He was the first musician I can remember who awakened those feelings in me, but I think it’s more than just physical. With music, I’d argue that there’s a mental connection too. Through melodies, lyrics, harmonies and poetry, the artists speak to something deep in the soul, and I think that’s why they become so very much admired – and later, when they pass – very much missed.
After all, crushes in our early adult life are supposedly practice for the real thing; a rehearsal for out later years when we might fall in love, commit and in many cases, reproduce. It’s said that the first cut is the deepest, referring, I presume, to our first real-life love; but surely that depth of feeling for our musical idols – the practice run – would mean that their loss would leave, at least, a deep scratch?
I’d say, yes, indeed, the first cut is indeed the deepest and leaves the biggest scar, like the cut below my knee from a minor car crash in the 1980s. The nasty scratches I got when taking a cross-country shortcut through brambles during my school days may now be invisible, but they took years to disappear, and surely there might be some permanent damage to the skin beneath? It can no longer be seen, granted – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
I wish Prince and Bowie were still around, but I can say that without intensity of feeling. It’s a real shame they’re not around to make wonderful music any more, but that’s where it ends. I don’t feel that connection with them, as I did – and do to this day – with George Michael, Patrick Swayze and Michael Hutchence. I do feel that they were part of my life. My mood changes, in a more serious way, when I hear ‘Praying for Time’, ‘Cry to Me’ (by Solomon Burke, from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack), or ‘Never Tear us Apart’ (See the framed vinyl copy of INXS “Never Tear Us Apart” below; a wedding first dance gift we created recently. For more info go to MyFirstRecord.co.uk). I experience a profound sense of loss, in a way that just doesn’t happen with other late greats, who I miss purely for their musical output. Prince’s ‘1999’ will always make me want to get out and party, while Bowie’s ’Changes’ will make me feel a little sad – but not gut-wrenchingly so.
There’s an artist, though, who for me lies somewhere between the two extremes, and that is Michael Jackson. His music featured hugely during my schooldays, and I have very fond memories of my sister and I singing (or rather, yelling) along to the ‘Thriller’ video, trying (and failing miserably) to copy Jackson’s signature dance moves. There’s another one who could move, for sure – but could not move me, in the way that Patrick Swayze could. I look back upon Michael Jackson’s life and work with affection, and a measure of palpable emotion, but I suspect that’s down to my connection with my sister and what we shared, than down to any emotional relationship with the man himself.
I grew up with George Michael, Patrick Swayze and Michael Hutchence, and they will always be very dear – and feel very familiar – to me. Therefore I will always regret their loss, just like I will always yearn for my mother and grandmother. When you grow up with people, they leave a lasting impression on your life and things will never be quite the same again when they’re dead and gone. Even if you never met them.
This article was written by our guest blogger Polly Taylor @ BloggerByTheSea.com
Check out Polly’s blog……There are some very entertaining and informative articles on a diverse range of subjects & topics. For instance her home made recipes are mouth watering and delicious!!