Friday, November 23, 2007

Soundtrack of My Life

Welcome to the latest weekly segment where each week you'll find out a little more about me through the songs that mean the most to me. Also, after a couple of months, you'll have one hell of a mixed tape!

Song: Change
Blind Melon
Blind Melon, 1992

Remember The Bee Girl? That's Blind Melon...

The band caught the attention of the masses with their catchy single No Rain and the even more memorable video that featured a little girl dressed in a bee costume randomly dancing around in an unnamed city until finally arriving at a field full of fellow dancing Bee People.

Tucked away on that album, which went four times platinum, is the song Change. Though it originally caught my ear because of the harmonica at the beginning and the bluesy guitar solo in the bridge, when I sat down and started to actually listen to the lyrics, everything clicked. To this day, the quote that I use to embody my beliefs, ideas and goals in life is a lyric from this song. Since you can't take up an entire page with a quote, for the most part, I've always shortened the lyrics down, but now that I have this little platform of mine right here, the full verse goes as follows:

And when you feel life ain't worth living
You've got to stand up and
Take a look around you look up way to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
Keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die.
And as we all play parts of tomorrow,
some ways we'll work and other ways we'll play.
But I know we can't all stay here forever,
So I want to write my words on the face of today.
And then they'll paint it

I always use the last bit, for obvious reasons, but really, the whole thing is remarkably true and poignant I think. Then again, I'm biased because I'm the guy who decided at 26 that he wanted to be a writer even though he had no formal training or background and has just been trying to live out his dream ever since...

This song also carries with it two very different memories for me.

The first is hearing the news of Shannon Hoon's death. Hoon was the lead singer of Blind Melon - and also the back-up singer / Second Axl in the G'n'R video for Don't Cry - who was discovered dead of a drug overdose on the band's tour bus on October 21, 1995. The band had just released their follow-up album, the very underrated Soup, and suddenly, something very promising just stopped.

Memory #2 is of my first ever live solo performance behind a microphone. We always had these little Coffee House nights at the college I went to and after balking at getting on stage countless times - and having one very forgettable performance two years before with a couple friends - I decided to give Change a try. Much thanks to Carl Prey for doing a helluva job on the guitar all those years ago...

That's it. Track One, Side One of the Spencer Kyte Mix Tape...


Anonymous said...

Hey Spencer, figured I'd leave a message here instead of facebook, since your always harpin' about I downloaded the song... absolutely loved it, even downloaded the stripped down acoustic version, which is even better, lyrics are amazing. When you say you performed it at some cafe place did you sing it?? or play an instrument?? your full of all kinds of talents aren't you!! you know love the blog, keep it up!!
-E (also known as one of the blockbuster ladies!!)

NA said...

I absolutely love the song as well. The lyrics are very inspiring. It is unfortunate that only No Rain was heard by the masses because this was definitely a gem and a song I have always made sure to have a copy of.
Anyways, great song to live by Spencer.

E. Spencer Kyte said...

I sang it... I have a bit of a voice, or at least, I think I do. Like I said, the guy playing the guitar probably made me sound a little better.

I'm liking you more and more, and not just because you're one of my seven loyal readers...

E. Spencer Kyte said...

Creepy / Cool Sidenote:
Guess what quote is on Shannon Hoon's gravestone?

"I know we can't all stay here forever, so I'm gonna write my words on the face of today and they'll paint it."

Never knew that until today... Change was the first song he ever wrote.

RIP Shannon