I just finished reading the Freddie Mercury biography and I was blown away by the life style of the blessed Queen front man. “I want it all” was such an auto bio song from the star. He really wanted it all; the music, the rock star life, the drugs, the sex (with both men and women contrary to popular belief), the alcohol, even the food even though he apparently didn’t eat much which you could kinda tell. But he had to have his particular food. Restaurant visits usually entailed him ordering mashed potatoes and kaviar, a small portion, but he just had to go out every night and eat at a restaurant with 30 odd people who he treated to what they wanted. A generous, good hearted man seems to be the consensus, celebrating others as much as himself. And while I could look at most of the stories and go “oh yeah, that’s not quite me” (raised by the youth of 60’s and 70’s with other priorities) I could still relate. The need for the highs.
At the end of his life, due to the illness, he couldn’t party the same way any more. He couldn’t go out and have sex every night, not go to restaurants because of his low energy and not drink because with his medicines and weaknesses, it just wasn’t possible. But Queen did the most musically those last few years. Because that was the last high. The last thing you can really keep doing no matter what (it’s hard to explain, but you can). And it really is a high. You could say in those last few years maybe he realized what was important but I still think that it was partly that, partly his last highs.
Because that’s why many of us musicians keep writing. It is a high of sorts. It is a great high beating alcohol, drugs, sugar, anything. It really is. That part isn’t a myth. Even if we read about the stars treating it as an office job I’m not gonna disappoint you, it is our ultimate rush. Having a writing streak the last couple of days, I can’t stop playing. Playing the songs I realize are good ones over and over again. I just throw my head back and keep playing and playing and diving further into the songs. It is the addict in me getting my fix.
It’s pretty universal, and with few exceptions, creative people are sensitive souls, prone to depression, addictions and a life that is not good and burns the candle in both ends. While I was in therapy and talking about it, even the therapist had a hard time wrapping his head around that part of my life. He was a musician himself even attending very prestigious music programmes, but I don’t think he was creative in that way. Because when it made him feel “aaah, no”, he stopped. And he said: If you don’t feel well, maybe you shouldn’t. And I almost put my hands over my chest going: Don’t take this away man, don’t you dare!! (Again, I’m not disappointing you in how we think, right? ;D)
Because, and here’s the point all you creative people need to understand when in self doubt, it is the good part of us. It is the best part of us. And the second point you need to stick with; We are born this way. We are born sensitive, addicts, looking for our fix and validation and in the end, because of this, born to create. You can get rid of the depression (I did), you can get rid of the self doubt (well almost) and you can get rid of the over analyzing for the most part to be a well functioning human being but you must never get rid of the creative part. Because it is not creating the depression, sadness or addictions, it’s just the good part that comes with the sensitivity. Wife Saga had a mentor that said this very thing and it has stuck with me. It is the blessing that comes with it, not the quality that creates the curse. Take away in my case the music and you’re left with depression, being prone to addiction and nowhere to put all this. That’s why I’m not afraid to feel better, I’m not afraid of trying to live a life burning the candle slowly. Because the music is the awesome part of me that I must never doubt or want to take away, that’s what I replace the alcohol and drugs with. That and coffee and chocolate 😉
That’s why I keep writing. I need those highs. That’s also why I drink bucket loads of coffee and live entirely on sugar when in the studio. Because it’s either that or being an alcoholic (I’ve been close enough) or sniffing just to make it to normal. Elton John allowed, very bravely, his psychiatrist to reveal it all about him in a documentary. “He was into the drugs because he is a born addict. If it wasn’t drugs it would have been men, food, just about anything. I think it’s music and performing now, though”. If I stop making music, you might see a Freddie wanting it all. All my money would go to going out, having sex, drinking, smoking, doing drugs. Freddie said his greatest regret in life was all the music still in him. I don’t ever want to say that. That’s why you see me drinking maybe once a month. That’s why my t-shirt says “Tattooes, booze and Rock n’ Roll” instead of the usual combo sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. That’s why I’m sober when I perform. Well, that and the fact that I don’t hold my booze very well. One of my exes was a musician with russian blood and he could drink just about anyone under the table and still perform, while I fall of my piano stool after one glass of wine. I could of course practice my “ölsinne” as we say in Sweden, and perform brilliantly drunk. But I wanna keep doing music while they’re wheeling me on stage in my wheelchair, so why would I? I could be Lemmy and need Jack for breakfast, but then I wouldn’t be quite consious enough to get my music high. And it’s so much better.
I am so boring, in this aspect. But do contemplate that I’d probably be burnt out within a month if I paid less attention to my art. You can then see just about how much I do indulge in it all. How high I get and how much I “shoot up”. I do want it all, I want my lovely music high now and always.
Bloody Mary from my debut album with the same name describes it perfectly; These words are stepping out on my own, these twelve steps on my own.
Hello, my name is Maria, and I’m an artist.