We were so young.

Monday, December 15th, 2008 @ 7:47 pm | We'll post whatever we goddamned want to

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When I first heard this song, my ears immediately revolted. Later I wasn’t sure I’d heard anything more beautiful.

Suede at one point seemed to have limitless potential. So did I.

They released two masterpieces, then lost to fiery temper the musical genius, Bernard Butler, behind their complexity. With some new young talent, they produced two well-received and pretty albums with some terrific b-sides, and then could barely scrape up two good songs on a final album that saw them turn into bad Suede impersonators. Brett Anderson’s voice was scarred by hard living, his lyrics rehashed cut-and-pastes of earlier songs, the original template finally and utterly reduced to caricature.

Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler reunited, bitterly, called themselves The Tears and produced an album that was pleasing, but only occasionally echoed their youthful genius.

I have convinced myself that the fire of my youthful brilliance has been smothered. A reckless and heartless idealism that at times threatened to overtake me, never rewarded and instead smashed into submission by cold realities and self-reckoning. Had I become the rockstar screenwriter I envisioned myself, it would have likely been a quick dousing of gasoline followed by immolation.

I hold onto my creative library, hoping for a time when age and wisdom will allow me to revisit it and tinker with it, with the hope of turning it into something of serious craftsmanship. I’m not there yet. My skills are ready, but too many demons were released onto those pages. They require a sturdier shepherd.

Thus, I still feel hope for the future, though I know I can never regain some of the best qualities of youth.

I’ve lost that pretty head, even lost that living room (to the ’04 tornado), but I’ve still got the guy sitting there with me, co-blogger Mike G. We spent a lot of time being young, and talking about what that meant. We talked about the real artists who endured while others flamed out and faded away. There were those who etched their name onto history, and the rest who could be cast away without thought.

I made the mistake of thinking the glory of some negated the value of others. Of course, being me I went a little too far in the other direction, being too content with going nowhere, but the longer I go, the more I feel that finding the balance of things is within my grasp.

At 35, I am, in the long run, still young. Indeed, sometimes I am still too young. However, I have also invested too much time in this life to cast it away glibly. While a time may come when everybody I know is gone, where I may get all my fulfillment from watching the mad world spin in place, at this point the longer I live the more I have to live for.

I still feel sorry that Suede lost their glory, that they will probably grow old in obscurity with few recognizing their accomplishments, that they are unlikely to reach great heights again. But I hope they still find a way to be happy in their day-to-day lives.

Especially after that solo album, Brett. Good lord, you wanker.

-jb

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