I originally posted this to my LJ, but I think I’d like to put it here as well. It’s unedited from the original, so please forgive my conversational tone, as well as the numerous errors that probably plague it.
Also, if you’re not a Dave fan, you’re more than welcome to post, but please don’t post just to tell me how much he sucks. Thanks.
Saturday was officially the best day I’ve had in a long time. All the way 'round, a 100% perfect day. I got up fairly early, dropped the kids at my mom’s, and went to my dad’s for a day of relaxation and bonding. Most (all?) of you know that my dad is my favorite person in the world, so the prospect of spending an entire day just for the two of us was a welcome one. I was NOT disappointed. For a good eight hours, Dad and I watched concert footage and discussed music. I wish we had more days to do things like this, as I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun. Yeah, yeah, I know; to everyone else that’s the very definition of boring. It seems everyone always wants to be “doing” something. Not me! I’d much prefer analyzing the similarities and differences between Dad and his doppleganger, one David Gilmour.
Let me start by saying that the quality of the DVD was incredible. “Remember That Night,” Dave’s latest solo concert, is not only a pleasure to the ears, but the quality of the footage is superb in terms of both picture and extras. The angles are crisp and clear, and the lasers - a standard at any of Dave’s gigs - have an eerie unreality about them. They really do look solid. Hi-Def makes all the difference. The behind the scenes footage consists of rehearsals, interviews, and various tidbits to make any fan grin. My favorite bit in particular is when Dave is sightseeing while the stage is being set up. He comes upon a street musician, a man playing wine glasses to the tune of Für Elise. Dave asks the man if he’d like to join him on stage, to play for him at his concert. The man agrees, and opens the set by using the wine glasses to play the intro to Shine On You Crazy Diamond. It was breathtaking.
Anyway, I’m not really here to make a sales pitch for Dave, or even to blather on about my dad (though I’d like to; could write whole books about him!) The main reason I am posting now is to remark upon a realization that I came to while watching the concert. I finally - after spending my whole life wondering - figured out why Dave’s guitar playing grasps me by the heartstrings. I’ve always said that you can hear him pour his soul out through his instrument, and that’s certainly a part of it. But a handful of others do the same thing; the first that comes to mind is Carlos Santana, and he has no emotional effect on me at all. So what is it that sets Dave apart? It can’t just be that I’ve spent my whole life listening to him, can it? I mean, I also grew up hearing Zep and Sabbath and Deep Purple, and while I love and appreciate them all, it’s not the same. Lyrics? Is that it? Beautiful words that draw me in? No, there are many fantastic lyricists, some even better than Dave.
The one deciding factor is the persuasion that is lacking. All the others that I named - in fact, every musician I can think of - plays what they want you to feel. Dave doesn’t even try; instead, he plays what he feels. It sounds simple, really, and it is. So simple that I missed it for the first 27 years of my life. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. He blinded me with science! (Okay, not so much that last, but it fits with the point I am trying to make.) Dave doesn’t give a shit what you feel, because he doesn’t play for you. He plays because he loves to play, and because music flows through him, and so he plays to describe himself. Perhaps that’s why, were you to ask twenty different fans of his music what his songs mean to them, you’ll end up with no two answers the same. Even between Dad and me, who are so very much alike, we feel differently about each song. Even the tunes that have a clear explanation, ones that Dave has told us the meanings, we still feel differently when we hear them.
I know this post probably means nothing to you guys. I didn’t figure it would. But for me, it was an epiphany, and I feel I am a better person for it. Music is my life, and this music more than any other. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch some more concerts.