Jeff Lynne

The Voice of Who I Wish I'd Been Able to Be

In the 1980, I came to ELO via the sad wee Roller-disco flick Xanadu. I set to converting my family to the band, and to Jeff Lynne particular. It was joked that I should have been a evengelist because of my powers of persuasion

Jeff Lynne was my first love, the one who imprinted upon me what I would find in gender of my choice, the reason for my greatest heartaches and most triumphant moments in life. I've had his new album for a week now and am only now mustering the courage to play the CD on the computer. It's the first ELO/Jeff Lynne song I've listened to without Aunt Tudi being there to listen with me.

I remember over the last few years of Aunt Tudi's years, she'd often bemoan about how I rarely listened to Jeff. There were reasons for these. First of all, the only chance I got to listen to my music was in the car but, because Aunt Tudi was always in the car with me. My carefree days of hope had been replaced with a darker worldview, which Shriekback much more effectively soundtracked. That's not even how well they worked in forging the plots for my books. ELO and Vampires do not go well together.

I converted my family to ELO, then I had to move on, because that person had become someone else. I often wonder how many incarnations there are of the same person, but in different aspects, in one person. There's a huge part of me that wishes I could recapture the Magic of that Xanadu era, discovering that I had a marginal talent for writing science fiction, having one of my first conscious Goddess experiences (ONJ was the muse Terpsichore in the move Xanadu).

And now we have 'Long Wave' a collection of standards Jeff grew up with that helped form his own musical personality. What is so heartbreaking is, a lot of these songs I often listened to when I was a kid because they were some of Aunt Tudi's favourite songs, not to mention that I grew up watching Lawrence Welk.

Now, there's invariably always one song on each Lynne album that seems like it's Jeff singing straight to me. For 'Long Wave,' it's the Charlie Chaplin song "Smile."
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky
you'll get by.
If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through For you.
Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness.Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying.You'll find that life is still worthwhile-If you just smile.


At this point, I'm not so certain I can do that, even though I've always adored that song. Hearing Jeff Lynne singing it hit me threefold because he's the one giving the advice this time.

There's only been one other instance where Jeff Lynne made me cry, it was was own fool doing. I never understood how people could get so overwhelmed by meeting one of their heroes, or being in close approximation to one of their idols but, the night I attended VH-1 Storytellers, I was one of those Elvis Girls. I was a Beatles Girl. I didn't get to meet Jeff, but I heard him play live and that was more than I ever dreamed I'd ever do, especially in such in intimate venue.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I wish I were still that starstruck dreamer that awoke upon hearing 'I'm Alive' in 1990. But there's also a part of me that would be beyond destroyed because I'd have no one to share the wonderment with. I don't know Jeff Lynne personally like, like I do Barry. I'm actually not very fond of ELO fans; hey can be vindictive. I guess I can too, just by saying that. All in all, I get along with Shriekback fans and relate to them much more easily than I do ELO fan.

I'm rattling again.

I just wish I could recapture that voice of innocence and see some sort of light at the end of this tunnel without assuming it's the Train From Hell.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: melancholy melancholy
  • Current Music: Jeff Lynne - Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
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