Wednesday, 18 March 2009
So, life begins today allegedly. We used to have a running joke in my band that I was different ages in different countries, depending on which press release the journalist was reading, or which record company was trying to persuade the world I was younger than my birth certificate stated.
Age was never an issue for me, and if I'm supposed to feel something momentous then I don't - I'm just happy as always to be here. When I say happy, I mean happy to be alive. What you take for granted when you're twenty you cling to at twice that age.
I've always subscribed to the view that energy and creativity are ageless, you just have to swim against the tides of fashion as you age, but that's familiar water to me. I'm pisces after all, I may not always be in the swim, but I'm always swimming, often with all my strength.
The last ten years have been an adventure, but so were the ten years before that and the two decades before them. Stick around long, enough good things happen. Bad too I guess, and I am luckier than many. I have seen things I never dreamed, and travelled the world, with the best of people, doing the thing I love more than anything. It has been a privilege, and one that I acknowledge every day, whilst working as hard as I can. And fishing sometimes, obviously.
Some songs are better than others, some albums hit the target, others fly wide, some gigs... well, you know what, all the gigs are great. At least from my point of view. I get to face the wrong way in a crowd and have my voice heard above all the others. Not a week goes by when I don't dream I'm on stage, just to be able to sing at the top of my lungs. When I take time away from the road a little bit of me loses it's shine. But it always comes back when I need it.
Forty is traditionally the age of contemplation, of assessing where we are. Mid life. Crisis and all. But my crises occur on a weekly basis, so whatever this life has got to offer in the next ten years, I hope to be here to at least witness it.
I wrote a verse to a song called "I ain't scared of lightning" a few years ago, which I sometimes sing live, it goes "I ain't scared of lightning, I'm just looking for the thrill, so come on God, give me your best shot, I swear that I'll stand still". Well, I lied. I won't stand still, I am way to restless for that.
So, no calming down - let's face it I was never going to make the Rock and Roll hall of fame - but also no surrender. I'm hard at work on what I think is the best record yet. I'm duty bound to say that, but surely that's the point. Our best day is today and our best work is whatever's next.
Thank you to all of you who sent birthday wishes, we have come a long way, but we're only just getting started. There are many adventures still to come. Perhaps life does begin today after all.
P.S This is me in the studio last week with some new band members, and taking the shot is Olli Cunningham. He'd like me to point that out. And you recognise the guy on the far left. Here's to you, my brothers in arms.