I'm so glad I found this blog of a straight family guy over 50. It shows promise for music being taken as more than an age or a gender thing.
Thank you anon!
One of my friends is a guy who’s lead singer for a cover band. (They make enough to cover their expenses doing gigs on weekends. Not their full time jobs.) He’s close to my age and his band covers a wide variety of classic rock.
Our families got together last night and I showed him the YouTube of Harry doing Two Ghosts on Corden. He was really impressed with Harry’s voice, performance and the song. I played him parts of some other songs from Harry’s album - pretty sure he’s going to buy it.
Then I told him I had been following 1D for a while and a lot of their stuff is great. (He’s like me in that he can’t stand over-produced, heavy auto-tune sounds.) To my surprise, he said he likes a lot of 1D stuff. We agree that there are two 1D’s - one you hear on the radio and another one that wrote really good songs and performed them to an exceptional standard.
I see Don Henley praising Niall today. I truly believe “our lads” are going to break through and develop a much more diverse audience. That said, young teens are the biggest, most passionate audience for music - they are the “cash cow.” A more mature audience will give 1D and the lads long, successful careers, but it will never be quite the same as 1D’s heyday. And I don’t think the lads really expect it to be the same anyway.
Luke Hemmings wasn’t necessarily a bad boy…but a bad, good boy because he was just bad at being good. He was just over six feet with a black lip piercing and these piercing ice blue eyes that you could get lost in. His blond hair had recently just been cut from it’s quiff and never had a style..it was more like he just rolled out of bed and his smile was to die for with those beautiful dimples that could warm your heart. From the neck up, he looked like a sweet, innocent boy with a slight baby face, minus the piercing and minor stubble, but from the chest down, was where y/n’s knees went weak. He sported two full on sleeves filled with randomness that she couldn’t describe unless she studied that boy’s body, and lord knows she would love to do that. Depending on which shirt he wore you could see the minor outlines of a chest tattoo. And we can’t forget about the band now, could we. That was just the icing on the cake called Luke Hemmings…him and his guitar was a sight to see. The boys played every Friday at the pavilion, a small hangout where most of the high school students went on weekends since it was their own hangout with food, good live music, and a hell of a good time.
But aside from that…and the drinking…and smoking, and the weekly detentions he faced for his smart mouth, Luke wasn’t a bad guy. He could hold an intellectual conversation with you and actually be nice and sweet, keeping your feelings in mind. He slept around, but the girls he had slept with had gotten around as well and weren’t denying they wanted him in bed. He was a B average student. That’s where he got the title of the bad, good boy because unlike his friend Michael Clifford, he had a heart and wasn’t just trying to bang anything that breathes with a vagina. Michael wasn’t so bad either, he was just constantly horny.
“Hey, Legs!” Y/n heard behind her causing her to roll her eyes but turn her head to face Calum Hood. That was her thing, being called legs. For whatever reason Luke and his boys loved calling her that and it may have to do with her being on the football team, one of the best defensive midfielders they’ve had in years.
“Yes, Calum?” she asked sweetly noting that Luke was walking towards them out of the corner of her eye holding onto his motorcycle helmet.
“You and Kaycee going to the P tonight?” he asked smirking letting his fingers play with the lighter in his hand. At this point, Luke was standing next to his friend leaning against the locker taking in y/n’s appearance. She had on high waisted jeans skinnies cuffed at the bottom with her toms covering her feet. She had on a white crop top and and black bomber jacket covering her torso with her hair done up in a high, messy bun with a few stray pieces accenting her face.
“Maybe. What’s it to you?” she asked back making sure her tone didn’t come off bitchy. She genuinely liked Calum. They spent most of their falls together growing up since she was the only girl on the men’s football team in the city leagues and being a captain for their high school team meant she needed to deal with the men’s captain, which happened to be Mr. Hood himself.
“We wanted to dedicate a song to such loyal fans.” He winked at her as Luke gave her a small smirk, the beanie on his head capturing his blonde locks for the moment. “So, we’ll see you ladies tonight?”
We’ll try to make an appearance,” she said back before continuing her walk to find her friend before they left for the day.
“God damn, those legs,” she heard Luke say to Calum causing him to laugh as she continued walking, her face flushed slightly from being mentally undressed by Luke Hemmings who didn’t bother to hide the fact he was eyeing her. It wasn’t the first time either.
The four boys sat at a bar table in the P twenty minutes before they were supposed to go on stage. They had already made sure the instruments were tuned and set to go as they laughed and enjoyed each others company, but Luke’s focus was more on the door than his mates. Y/n had yet to walk in yet and it was frustrating him.
“Seriously Luke? You do this every week, and then breathe a sigh of relief when she walks in…every time,” Ashton said to his friend before taking a sip of his water. “Why don’t you just ask legs on a proper date instead of beating yourself up twenty minutes before each show?” Ashton had graduated the year before and attended uni a half hour away, close enough to still be near his mates and keep their band going. Just after Ashton asked that question, y/n walked in with Kaycee, the striker a year Calum’s junior that he had been crushing on the past few months. She was an eleventh year that had transferred at the beginning of the year, but apparently her and y/n go way back.
“Fine,” Luke said watching them go to sit at their usual booth at the front right against the wall on the right of the stage. He got up from his position, Calum following behind him as the two girls talked oblivious to the boys making their way to them. “I swear it has to be a sin for you to look that damn good,” Luke said catching y/n’s attention as she took her bottom lip in between her teeth.
“So, why don’t you come meet me in hell?” She asked sweetly as he sat next to her resting his arms on the table.
“Oh, I’d be more than willing to do that, love.” He winked at her causing her to roll her eyes playfully as Kaycee giggled at the two of them. “So, what are the odds of me taking you out after this?” Y/n looked at him surprised at the blonde who had been shamelessly flirting with her for three years now, he being an eleventh year and her being a twelfth like Calum. She had no issues dating a younger guy, she just thought this was a game he liked to play with her and never thought he would seriously be asking her out…something Luke Hemmings never did.
“Luke Hemmings, the goody two-shoes, bad boy, wants to take me on a date? I never thought I’d be so lucky to gain the affections of Mr. bad boy himself,” she smirked to herself watching as Luke chuckled slightly looking down at his hands. “What’s in it for me if I decide to stay?”
“A wild ride, legs,” he said back winking before getting up not waiting for a response. He and Calum sauntered back to their table stopping for a moment before heading backstage with the rest of the band.
“Hemmings just asked you out…oh my god!” Kaycee squealed as her friend laughed slightly. She was still trying to wrap her mind around that fact just as the lights in the P dimmed and the four boys found themselves on stage. The place was packed, and if you didn’t get there early or, in y/n’s case, have a spot on the list to get yourself in, you wouldn’t make it. Their band was getting more and more popular by the week in their small town just outside of Sydney.
“Hello to everyone here in the P. We’re 5 Seconds of Summer and we hope you enjoy our set,” Luke said into the mic just before their first song started. They did a quick set list of eight which consisted of five originals they wrote and sang at previous sets or other gigs, two covers, and a new song. And, of course, Kaycee and y/n knew the words to each song, except the new one of course.
“Penny for your thoughts?” Kaycee asked her friend who hadn’t taken her eyes off the stage since the start.
“Hmm?” she questioned turning her head towards her friend just as the four boys exited the stage. “It’s nothing really.”
“Liar,” Kaycee giggled as a response. “Don’t look now, but Hemmings is on his way back over here.” They had a quick conversation about their plans for tomorrow just as Luke sat down next to y/n and Calum made his way next to Kaycee.
“So, did you decide if I was worthy enough for a date with you?” Luke asked cocking his head to the side while looking at y/n with a smug smirk while his eyes held hope.
“I think you may have convinced me, Hemmings,” she said back causing his face to light up as he moved out of the seat motioning for her to follow.
“Want to join us?” y/n heard Calum ask Kaycee, y/n knowing she would take the opportunity to hang with the Maori boy. They followed the boys out to where Ashton and Michael were waiting by three cars, much to y/n’s disappointment instead of the motorcycle.
“Hey, legs,” Ashton said flashing a cheeky smile as he and Michael got into the car full of equipment while the last four branched off into the two remaining cars.
“So where are we headed?”
“Well, usually after a show, we go make a small bonfire in Mikey’s backyard with some beers and just chill with some music in the background. But, we can always go out somewhere and grab something to eat if you’d like?” he asked as he started his car heading in the direction of, what she assumed, was to Michael’s house.
“Going to Mikey’s sounds fun.”
“You know, I was kind of hoping you brought the bike to the show tonight,” y/n said as they made their way up her front porch, Luke’s hands were in his pockets. They spent most of the night cuddled on the loveseat bench near the fire pit, a beer nestled in hand as the group of six chatted away discussing nothing and absolutely everything at the same time.
“I’ll keep that in mind next time,” he responded back with a dimpled smile on his face.
“So there’s going to be a next time?”
“God, I hope so, legs,” he muttered grabbing at her hip pulling her towards him, her chest against his as he lent in. “Now, is this where I give my goodnight kiss?”
“God, I hope so,” she mimicked in a low tone of voice causing him to smile slightly before pressing his lips against hers softly, which completely contrasted his figure and reputation when it came to females. He pulled back slightly resting his forehead against hers before pressing their lips together again for a quick peck.
“I’ll call you tomorrow?”
“Please do,” y/n responded causing a smile to appear on the blondes face as he backed away from her porch heading to his jeep. “Goodnight Hemmings.”
Yesterday a friend and I travelled eight and a half hours to see a gig; as I write this, we’re in the car on the way back.
The show was a cover night, with bands playing songs from all the classic mid-2000s bands - Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, The Used, Taking Back Sunday and of course, My Chemical Romance. About 80 kids filled a little basement venue in the centre of Adelaide and it may be one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.
I’m not going to say much on how good the bands were; partially because I feel it’s not really my place but mostly because it didn’t matter. Sure, some bands messed up. Some vocalists didn’t know all the words. But it really didn’t matter. There was a room full of kids who just wanted to hear their favourite songs played, to celebrate their favourite bands, and that’s all that was important. I do have to comment on the My Chemical Romance cover band though. I never got to see MCR live. I never got to experience their crowds. And even though it was only about 80 kids, hearing everyone absolutely sing their hearts out to every single song was incredible. It was obvious that they were the band who’d drawn the crowd; everyone stopped and payed attention when they started playing. I was tearing up by the end of it and I know many other people were too - for any number of reasons. For me, it was hearing some of my favourite songs in the world, played by and to the kids they were made for, and hearing those kids respond like it was their last night on earth. I was fortunate enough to be on stage when they played Cancer acoustically, and it was beautiful. There was so much emotion in that room, so much power. By the end of the set (including the improvised encore of “The Take Over, The Break’s Over” by FOB) my throat was raw, my heart was beating double time and I felt like I could do anything. Gerard Way said that MCR is an idea, not just a band, and I think that’s true of the whole scene. Somewhere in amongst 80 people in The Bluebee Room in Adelaide, I saw the very heart and soul of this music. It wouldn’t matter if all the big bands in the scene split up tomorrow; there’d be a generation of kids rising up in their place, inspired by the legacy they leave in their wake.
Last night I saw some old friends and made some new ones. I laughed, yelled, clapped, played tambourine, and sang to some of my favourite songs ever. But more than any of that, I felt the strength and beauty of our scene. I saw how this music has effected these kids, and how these kids will affect this music. I saw everything I imagined our scene was, and so much of what it could become. And all of this in about 80 kids in a tiny basement venue in the middle of Adelaide.
They call her St. Vincent, and she exists among the forward-thinking, boundary-pushing art-pop elite–here, as we look ahead to the upcoming year in music, Guitar World digs in deep with Annie Clark, a modern day guitar hero.
[By Brad Angle, photos by Travis Shinn]
Annie Clark is officially one step ahead of us. We’ve always suspected as much, but this fact was confirmed the moment she emerged from hair and makeup for her inaugural Guitar World cover shoot holding a guitar… and wearing a dress that featured a print of a bikini body, just like the kind you’d find hanging in the window of a kitschy beach shop.