Tarago Diaries #7 – Creatures Of The Deep

A reflection on artistry and music.

Author:  Mark Seymour.

Date: 31 December 2018.

Original URL: https://www.facebook.com/MarkSeymourOfficial/posts/1745184982254500?tn=K-R

Article Text

Some wafty tune half-moaned over coffee in the morning, the cracked voice lurching for a line that could land hard on some deep-seated feeling you didn’t even know you were carrying ’round .. and right then it stands up suddenly and starts marching ‘round the room on its own..

if you’re lucky.

Songwriting is a fickle thing and there’s no end to the craving.

Why would you stake your life on that? And let nothing stand before it?

Even love.

Kids do though. Forever stepping up in endless waves of need, fresh out of school and the only clue was an eavesdropped conversation at some party they crashed.

Bedroom jam sessions, warped guitars and battered microphones, the drear of lives flying by unnoticed in the haze of sex, booze, cheap drugs and festival trash. The endless loading and unloading..

Unboxing the gods is never easy

and nobody will tell you which dreams are wrong. Or wherein lies the light of genius that some will miraculously unearth only to moan years later beneath the burden of success, while others spend their entire lives chasing it.

To search and destroy

In youth there are no mistakes. Nothing is set, no marker, no claim to greatness or applause.

The stakes are off the dial because none exist.

I remember the classic line. It came over Sunday roast.

‘What the hell are you going to do with your life Laddie?’

I remained silent. What else could I do? I didn’t know the answer and I still don’t.

Some kids did though. God knows how. Their parents must’ve told them.

“Here lies the path to happiness. Do as I say and all will be well.”

I knew kids like that. They were like gods to me back then. They walked the earth believing they were right.

Blue blooded. Born into certainty.

Boy.. how wrong was I?

Well, no more wrong now than the shirts I wore trying to ingratiate my way into the Crystal Ballroom.

And it wasn’t just the shirts..

It was the music. The Doobie Brothers. Wrong. Kent cigarettes. Wrong. Doncaster. Wrong suburb. Wrong friends, wrong houses, wrong guitar, wrong school, wrong girlfriend.

And some half-cut punk musician on the staircase puffing on a Chesterfield, ready to tell me why.

Life was mostly full of bullshit except when it wasn’t.

When I wrote a song. And that’s the thing. It was only EVER then.

There have been no epiphanies and I still don’t know what I’m going to do with my life.

But that’s not a bad thing.

In fact, it’s the most powerful idea you can have. Admitting to ignorance and pressing forward.

No. The worst thing in life is the ‘disease of conceit’ when you find yourself trapped inside the prison of your own self-regard.

Boredom. Only the mind can cure it… to peer into the darkness of your own heart.

Songs are like ‘creatures of the deep’..

They ring out sometimes, like the clear bell of the mountain birds I used to hear out east, through my bedroom window, in the last days before I left my parents’ home.

And quickly found the clash of a ’79 video game, a girl whispering hard and fast into my ear, ‘As Long as I can see the Light’ playing in the corner.

Somewhere the distant roar of the surf

and half a life later, the warm fragile clutch of my mother’s dying hand.