I just wanted to take the time to post a little something about how Gaslight's music has seen me through a lot of tough times. Maybe a lot of you can relate...
I first found out about the band, like a lot of people, through the Bruce camp. Little Steven used to play American Slang on his radio show all the time and I really dug it. When I saw Brian sing with Bruce on the London Calling dvd I knew I had to check out the album. The night I bought it, I barely made it through Queen of Lower Chelsea before KNOWING I had to check this band out live.
Lucky for me I stumbled upon available tickets to the Radio City Music Hall show. A hell of a way to be introduced to Gaslight's live show. In the weeks leading up to it I picked up 59 Sound and by the night of the show, I was well versed in both 59 Sound and American Slang. I couldn't believe how diehard the fans were that surrounded me that night. I'd never been part of a show with that kind of energy just bursting. And Brian was like Bruce 1975 reincarnated. His movements, his banter, his energy, his enthusiasm. I was hooked.
Fast forward through a couple years, several concerts and the rest of their albums later, and I'd begun to have second thoughts about my path in life. I had a job that I wasn't sure about and at 24, I felt burnt out and hopeless. At the lowest points I'd put on Gaslight's music and feel that redemption was within reach. I distinctly remember the impact of Stay Lucky...feeling like I was pacing in circles and that I needed to take action instead of just waiting for action to come to me. So I did. I left my job to go back to school for art and follow my true passion.
In the midst of this transition, my long-term girlfriend left me. A couple of weeks later, Elsie was released. Like many of you, I had it the day it came out. I saw the show in Bowery Ballroom two days later. I was even lucky enough to meet Brian's parents and some childhood friends of his in the bar before the show with my cousin. His friends introduced us to Brian's parents and his parents were gracious enough to spend 45 minutes with me and my cousin...talking about the band, the music, stories from when they were just kids and dirt poor touring in a broken down van. They even spent about 20 minutes asking us about our lives. When it was time for the show, they went straight to their seats from talking to us and we were leaning up against the stage for one of the all time greatest shows I'll ever see. It was a night, in the midst of the chaos of my life at the time between quitting work and losing my girlfriend, that gave me hope. It reminded me I was alive, and not lost. I remember Brian talking about horrible girls before they played Go Tell Everybody. It was as if he was speaking to me, telling me not to give up.
That semester I met a new girl, who I fell in love with the next summer. When she went to Italy to study abroad she asked for music that would remind her of me. I loaded up her ipod with The 59 Sound album along with Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts. I remember that summer driving home from her house, my car speakers blasting The Blue Dahlia, going 90 mph down the parkway home. It was an amazing summer, and the romanticized notions portrayed in Brian's lyrics perfectly captured every moment of it.
Unfortunately, that relationship burnt too bright too quickly and we broke up in the fall. A month after breaking up, she came back to me and told me she was pregnant. I thought for sure we would get back together as a result, but she was hesitant and it was devastating. I even heard a story that she may have cheated on me in Italy and that she might be unsure of who the father was. A lot of drama, and a dna test later, and I found out that the baby was in fact my daughter. Born in March 2013, she's the most perfect little person I could imagine. Throughout all of it, I kept Gaslight's music close to my heart. The optimism of it in the face of all the odds. The thought that no matter how broken your heart might be, there is the possibility of a better tomorrow. It saw me through some incredibly hard times.
Over the past year, my daughter's mother and I have re-acquainted and developed a great relationship. But the other night we discussed whether we'd be anything romantically, and she dropped the bomb on me that I should move on without her and that the love I felt wasn't mutual.
As I sit here tonight, devastated and broken-hearted and lost, I have the B-Sides album playing on my ipod. I spent the past hour channeling the hurt into playing a short set of Gaslight songs on my guitar, peaking with The Backseat and Blue Dahlia. I know that no matter what happens, no matter how bleak things may look, this music will always be with me like a friend who offers the most comforting words at the exact moment you need them. This music is a friend who will never let you down. You can call this friend anytime and open up your heart to them for as long as you need without ever being abandoned or rejected. It is one of the most important constants in my life in which people I love keep coming and going.
I rested my beer on the stage of the Horrible Crowes show. I was front row, five feet away from Bruce, at Convention Hall. I was right in front of Alex Rosamilia at the Handwritten release show at Webster Hall, feet away from him when he played the Mulholland solo. When my grandfather passed away in May, my cousin and I listened to 1930. I've introduced countless people of all ages and gender to this music that they all carry with them and hold dearly to their hearts. I've taken incredible trips with people I love to see this band play their music. And I know that for as long as they play their music, I'll keep on being there to hear it and it'll continue to be the soundtrack to my days. And no matter what kind of hurt I'm feeling, The Backseat will always be there to redeem me.