Just A Drummer
Love Truly Bites

Thank god for all of love’s miseries, because without them we wouldn’t have good, soulful music. Modern music, however, is missing the blood and guts of the tortured soul. Every musical act, regardless of genre, is singing about fucking, making money or some other bullshit I can’t relate to.
The fundamentals of love songs started in the early days of the blues, moved onto soul and rock in the 1950’s and 60’s, and then even rap music took those fundamentals and related them to the hardships within the urban sprawl of the 1980’s. Basically, if the listener can relate to the story the artist is telling, it makes for a good record. Here are some songs that hit hard in my crimson little heart.
Def Leppard wrote their song “Love Bites”, for their 1987 album, hysteria. Although the song is immensely cheesy, once you’ve got the radio on and you’re washing the dishes alone in your apartment, it all makes sense. “Love bites, love bleeds. It’s bringin’ me to my knees. Love lives, love dies. It’s no surprise. Love begs, love pleads. It’s what I need.” All of a sudden you’re crying while the water’s running onto the floor.
But then Al green’s “Let’s Stay Together” comes on the radio and you know that everything’s going to be okay. “Why people break up, and turn around and make up, I just can’t see. You’d never do that to me. ‘Cause being around you is all I see.” The twisted part of green’s lyrics is that in 1974 a lover of his, Mrs. White, who was in fact married at the time, assaulted him because he refused to marry her. White threw a hot pan of grits on green while he was in the shower, causing third degree burns and then killed herself in the home. green survived the attack and turned to Jesus.
That is some serious true life shit.
It must be difficult to sing about hardship when today’s artists are stuffing their pockets with cash and their noses with blow. kanye and Chad kroeger haven’t anything to complain about. I wonder if Rihanna will turn her terrible experiences into powerful songs, rather than over produced pop. pain makes for better music, but often at a cost.
Ian Curtis of Joy Division wrote “Love Will Tear Us Apart” in response to Captain and Tenille’s 1975 sickly sweet hit “Love Will keep Us Together” – “When the routine bites hard and ambitions are low. And the resentment rides high but emotions won’t grow. And we’re changing our ways, taking different roads. Then love, love will tear us apart again.” At the time, Ian Curtis was trying to balance life with his wife, Debbie, and one year old daughter while having a torrid love affair. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” became legendary partly due to tragedy. On the eve of their first American tour, Curtis hanged himself in the couple’s Macclesfield, England home.
Love doesn’t always have to lead us to the point of no return. Jimi Hendrix, master of rock and blues, wrote “Bold As Love” as a beautiful and poetic song that relates every emotion a lover experiences into a colour spectrum. “My yellow in this case is not so mellow in fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me. And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from giving my life to a rainbow like you. But I’m as bold as love.” That one verse can get me through the most depressing Sundays. It reminds me that only fear can hold you back from giving your heart to love. It’s also fear that is stopping modern music from becoming anything different or interesting. But what do I know? I’m just a lovesick drummer.

Karen J. Lum is a Capilano college
alumnus with a knack for spittin’ da troof.

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com