On her 11th birthday, my baby girl put on a sparkly dress, her sister’s makeup and a floppy hat, and went to see her first concert. Her ticket was paid for by her best friend. He wanted to make her happy. She was cross with me as she sauntered off because I’d told her that 11-year-olds don’t need to wear foundation. She told me I didn’t understand how much she needed to look lovely at the show. She was busting to scream and sing and be carried away with her friends by the music of Taylor Swift.
Whatever adults think of Tay-Tay or One Direction or Take That or Bay City Rollers or the Spice Girls or Metallica is not the point. At your first concert, you get to feel the live magic of your hero, your crush, your superstar; the artist whose tunes helped you through your heartache, with other people who feel the same devotion. For 90 minutes we forget that life can be shitty, that people disappoint, that friends let us down. We sway and dance in the dark and hear our music. Sinead O’Connor is my woman, I spent my grocery money on buying a ticket to her show two years ago, because I knew I had to hear that voice live once in my life.
This week young adults and kids in Manchester said goodbye to their mums and dads to head off for the night of their young lives, seeing their girl Ariana Grande sing songs for them. Some of them were just old enough to leave their parents at home. Those innocent kids won’t be coming back to tell their families how happy Ariana made them on the last night of their brief lives.
22 white Westerners die and the world is outraged, but more than 55,000 children have died in Syria, 7% of Catholic priests in Australia have been accused of child abuse and 200,000 aboriginal people massacred by ‘Christian’ settlers. This week I’ve had enough, I’m blaming righteous god botherers for the world’s problems, and the hypocritical males who run these archaic institutions. I can’t see what is attractive about your religion, what you believe in is bullshit if your beliefs dictate that you hide people who bomb babies, cover for men who sexually abuse children then deny it, and steal land from indigenous peoples in the name of an imaginary god. Your books preach love and your actions show that you hate your fellow humans, particularly the smaller ones. No wonder people are losing faith.
In 1986 I was living in London and I had a flatmate who modelled her hair on George Michael’s fluffy bouffy do. She scored tickets to see Wham at Wembley Stadium that summer. I didn’t speak to her for a while because she went to the gig and I didn’t. It was never about Andrew, it was always about George. I loved George but I was too afraid to admit it. For a while there it wasn’t cool to like George Michael’s music, it wasn’t grungey or dark or rock enough. I’ve never liked cool obscure underground bands that nobody has heard of, with male singers who can’t hold a tune, I’m a huge fan of bright, shiny commercial pop. So George was the shiz.
I love George’s lyrics, I love his melodies and his voice. When I was 14, he wrote songs in the key of teenage angst. George understood me and my worries. Christmas doesn’t begin for me until I hear Last Christmas on the radio.
I can’t believe he’s gone at the age of 53. In the 90s his music kept my heart alive. I hope the dope didn’t kill him.
“Do you enjoy what you do? If not, just stop, don’t stay there and rot.”
Thank you George, I hope you’re blazing a trail with some gorgeous angelic backing vocalists in heaven
How do we live in a world without Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Victoria Wood and Merle Haggard? Age shall not weary them, but 2016 has been a cruel year, robbing the world of my favourite artists.
The genius artist known as Prince brought my teen years alive with his sexy funk groove.
“All good things that say, never last. And love, it isn’t love until it’s passed.”
Please Stevie Wonder, stay healthy and strong.
Thank you Prince Rogers Nelson, your music, generosity of spirit and philanthropy will live forever
Thank you for the grooves Mr White, hope you are lighting up the sky with your moves
It started with an enticing email message (complete with capital letters for emphasis) from Clairvoyant Kevin:
A time of WONDERFUL change is coming your way, we need to talk IMMEDIATELY.
To be SUCCESSFUL you must channel the POWER of the stars.
As a struggling single mother I need all the self-help I can get, so gullible me clicked on the link provided by Clairvoyant Kevin in his ‘exclusive’ email.
Kevin told me that Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Uncanny. How does this astrologer know me so well already?
Let your intuition tell you all you need to know. Harness the ENERGY of the stars.
The Sextile of your ruling planet is SPECTACULAR.
So I paid for Kevin’s prediction, and the only thing that held any promise was my astrology forecast. According to Guru Kevin, the happiest period of my life had just begun. Two friends died, my car was sold to a wrecker and the bloke stopped calling me. Thanks Kev, I can’t wait to see what my bad stars bring.
As a financially-challenged single mother I don’t usually have the money to buy myself special presents but last Christmas I made an exception. I’ve waited more than 25 years to see the sassy, funny, extraordinary Sinead O’Connor and tonight I’m going to the Sydney Opera House to hear her live. Her music has helped me through some really tough times and I cannot wait to see her up close.