I'm in a weird head space tonight. I'm going backwards into musical nostalgia and wanted to just get all this stuff out of my head about growing up with artists, and what that means. And how fucking rare it is to have an artist that sticks with you.
Everyone has music that reminds them of something, a place; a person; a feeling. Music has this strange power to pick you up and put you somewhere else - hearing the songs on the debut before the second album that got big; hearing the translation of those songs into a live show; hearing the rough cuts and the finished mixes. It grows. The music grows. When it grows along the same timeline that you're headed there's a different lock on the relationship you have with it. This is not to say that you're confined to the music that evolves within your generation - half of my life is mapped from compass points in too many decades - it's just that a different relationship develops. You get to be completely present with an artist of your generation; you get to take home the ticket stubs and close your eyes in a crowd.
When you find an artist that grows up as you grow up there's a unique element of symmetry that seems to appear - not a set of parallel lives, but more a case of patterns. Those patterns seem to weave into and out of your own life and the music pins them to the walls. It works with artists that are almost gone by the time you come round to them - hearing a live version of B.B King's 'Worry Worry' works two-fold, first I'm in a crowded theatre in November '64 and then I'm lying on a bed in an in Argentinian coastal town in '06. The music gets pulled through the years, into your lap.
I feel it works like a family does. The music you get in your generation is like a sibling, or a best friend. The music that comes before is all shades of your parents and their peers. You love both but for different reasons - with your parents you get to hear about how things were, why they happen and how to solve them but with your peers you get to figure it all out for yourself. Your parents might steady you with their advice but it's your peers that you get to share it with.