Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Juliet, Naked - Not a Review

It's exactly like I told you. I could not wait until my vacation to read the new Nick Hornby book "Juliet, Naked" and finished it in 2 days.

You expect a
review now? Sorry, can't do that ;).
Why? Well, this book is mostly about a guy, who makes a total fool out of himself writing an over-the-top, hyperenthusiastic - and super stupid - review about the latest record of his favorite artist - a guy he is kind of obsessed with for over two decades.
So the least thing you want to do after reading this book is writing a review about the new release of your favorite writer. He could think you are a stalking weirdo ;)

But of course I owe you some words about the book:

I have to admit more than once I jumped up to check on the sealed box with my diaries to see if they are still there or if that
Hornby guy had stolen them. Let me give you one obvious example:

The musician this is all about is called
Tucker Crowe and his die hard fans are called Crowologists.
Well ... this kinda embarrassing, if the bigger part of your life (in my case 2 decades - just like in the book ... diaries stolen, I told you!) you are loving the music of a band called The Black Crowes and if the fans of this band (including yourself) are called ... Croweheads *blush*.
Anybody wondering that I felt addressed by the book ;)?

To my weak self defence I can say, that I did a lot of the stuff mentioned in the book like having a HUGE bootleg collection and actually listening to it comparing different versions of the songs, travelling a zillion miles through Europe and even the USA to go to their shows, hanging out on the online message boards with other
Croweheads and so on.
BUT I NEVER EVER hang out in front of hotels, private homes or - even worse - like in the book the house of a band member's (ex-)spouse, although I could easily hide in the bunch of paparazzi following Kate Hudson anyway. No stalking activities at all.

But I think there is another much more essential difference between that book character and myself:

Those guys - the
Crowologists - spend a lot of time with analysing the music and lyrics back and forth and try to find out, what Crowe wanted to say and get lost in endless interpretations and speculations.

This is not the way I look at
music or at art in general.
Of course in many cases it makes sense and is very interesting and educational to find out in which context a piece of art was created and to learn about the inspiration of the artist to explore more - potentially awesome - stuff.
BUT the main question is not, what the artists wants to say with his art work. The important question is, what the piece of art has to tell YOU, what it actually means to YOU.

So when people ask me for example, what the
3 Snakes symbol in my tattoo on my right sholder means, I tell them that it is the cover art work for "Three Snakes & One Charm" by The Black Crowes. Of course people then think stuff like: "Wow, you are such a fan. That it is freaky and very obsessive!"
Well - it's not.
It's not, beause this is not about the band or what the guys wanted to express with that album, but this is about me and what it means to me:

That record was the
soundtrack to a very important time in my life, when I met somebody, fell in love, was happy, became unhappy, had to give up on that relationship although the love was still there, had my heart broken - and got over it ... slowly and step by step. I took the learning out of it, that it hurts like hell to got my heart broken, but that I will survive it and have another new chance to find love, to find the right one. Yes, there is always a chance to get hurt again, but when you know that you can handle it, it helps you to take that risk again.

So when you are aware of the fact that the value of an
art work - anyway if it is music, a painting, literature or something elese - lies in the meaning it has for yourself it becomes pointless to put all that obsessive effort into interpretations. And finally the reality - and that lesson Hornby's character has to learn in a quite intense way - might be very different from all your guessings anyway.

There are many more things in that book, which made me wonder, laugh, cry and check on my diaries again. But like I told you in my
Maiden Flight posting, this is no online diary and if you want to know more about me personally, you need to come and meet me. I stretched this rule enough for today and so I will keep the other reasons why this story went straight to my heart for myself.

I just recommend to you:
Go, buy and read Nick Hornby's "Juliet, Naked" and find out what it might mean to you. And even if there is nothing for you in it, I can at least promise you a very entertaining reading and that's rare enough, isn't it?

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