As a teenager I spent so much time in my room, a cramped space with a sliding door that couldn’t be slammed, that couldn’t take me far away enough from the world out there. When I was 14 year old I was grounded for three entire months (I guess it was fair, I did have a party when my parents were away that got crashed by dozens of older guys who stole stuff, broke stuff and kinda rampaged) and I spent so much time in that room I really thought I was losing my mind.
Aside from my diary, the only thing that got me through what was actually a dark time, was music. As well as singing into a tape recorder and listening back over and over to my own voice (I now think of it as my apprenticeship in singing, I wish I still did that!) I listened to whatever music I could lay my hands on. It was tough back then, to afford and find new music. There were my Dad’s records and CDs, my brother’s Smiths tapes and JJJ, back when it played a huge range of alternative music.
There was a song for every mood and every minute, and during the long nights when I was missing out on life out there, there were times those songs really did save my life.
That’s what led me back to this music, and to create ‘The Songs that Saved Your Life’ project. People make it through things all the time simply by clinging to some melody or lyric that spells out what they’re feeling. As well as curating my own collection of songs, as we tour this music and develop the project, I am determined to include the songs that other people couldn’t live without.
Here is a Facebook thread with dozens of song suggestions my friends and acquaintances offered me. I am collecting and curating these, so please add your own in the comments, or by dropping me a line.