The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

People Believe What They Want To Believe …
May 7, 2015, 6:25 am
Filed under: Comment

When I was younger, I went to a lot of concerts.

Big, loud, heavy metal concerts.

The sort of shows where – like the photo above – 50% of the stage was taken up with amplifiers.

It was impressive, intimidating and exciting all at the same time.

So of course, when I started playing the guitar, I wanted to have something similar so over the years, I started amassing amplifiers.

Big ones. Small ones. Speakers. Amp Heads. You name it, I had it.

So you can imagine my surprise and disappointment when I got a bit older and realised that I had been sold a lie.

What do I mean?

I mean this …

Yes, all those stacks of amplifiers I saw at the concerts of my favourite bands were often either not turned on or – even worse – fake.

Bloody fake.

I remember at the time it bothered me quite a lot – especially as I had spent a fortune acquiring about 40 amps by that time, including a bunch of ludicrously big [6 feet tall] and heavy Marshall Stacks – however I also remember coming to the realisation that without them, the whole live experience would have lost some of it’s magic because seeing a band live wasn’t about hearing them replay their records on stage, it was about giving you a night of entertainment.

[Unless you saw Genesis, which was absolutely about playing their songs on stage. Exactly as they were recorded. Yawn]

And here’s the thing.

As much as we know magicians don’t really have supernatural powers and rockstars don’t really throw televisions out of every hotel window and guitarists don’t really use 50 amplifiers on stage … we choose to ignore it because we’re addicted to the feeling of emotional escape.

Maybe it’s because we love the idea there is something bigger than us … maybe it’s because we all want to believe in the impossible … maybe it’s simply because we are living vicariously through the perceived/hyped/imagined actions and behaviours of others … but there are occasions and situations where we are all complicit in the lies we choose to believe.

Maybe this is one of the reasons some brands are able to command a level of loyalty that defies all logic.

Not because they’re great storytellers, but because the story they tell – or represent – is one that we choose to suspend our belief over, because we want to believe in their ridiculousness and implausibility.

It makes us feel better.

It lets us spiritually escape.

It emotionally entertains.

Which kind-of explains why some people are so obsessed with religion, cosmetic companies and Nottingham Forest.


27 Comments so far
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Explains why some fuckers will vote Cameron in again too.

Comment by DH

Don’t get me started.

Comment by George

No, I insist you do. By the way, do you know when Andy is back from his birthday extravaganza?

Comment by DH

Isn’t it a choice between bad, worse and terrible?

Comment by Bazza

I am not sure David, I would imagine next week. Yes Bazza, but I fear terrible will win once again.

Comment by George

So much is dependent on the next 24 hours. The NHS for one. I hope people can put aside their personal wants and consider the greater good, just for once.

Comment by Rob

40 amps! 40! Why? And where did you put them all. You’ve just proved heavy metal music screws your mind.

Comment by DH

Because the fucker wanted to be louder than everyone else. Didn’t need 40 amps to do that. Didn’t need 1.

Comment by Billy Whizz

They weren’t all big. And they were amassed over many years. Has that made it better? No, I didn’t think so. Bugger.

Comment by Rob

And thanks for smashing every great memory of every great gig I’ve seen Campbell. Way to fucking go.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That’s only made him happy.

Comment by Bazza

You will never see One Direction the same way ever again.

Comment by Rob

People are idiots.

Comment by John

Is that because they believe the amplifiers are real or because someone once owned 40 amplifiers?

Comment by George

Just two examples of an indisputable thesis.

Comment by John

We are all idiots from time to time, and far too many people are idiots most of the time.

Comment by John

Never underestimate the power of emotional escape. It has kept many industries thriving for decades if not centuries.

Comment by George

i guess we beieve what we want to beiieve, even if reality leaps out and bites you on the behind. American Bandstand comes to mind: discovering that all those singers were lip syncing their own records…oh my it was worse than discovering Santa was really Daddy…

Comment by judyt54

That explains why Jill married Rob.

Comment by DH

Cheeky sod.

Comment by Rob

I note you’ve not said he’s wrong though Robert.

Comment by George

Poor Jill. Poor Otis.

Comment by Bazza

And the cat.

Comment by Bazza

Heavy Metal concerts!? I thought you only went to Queen concerts.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Maybe he should have just said “loud concerts”.

Comment by Pete

Before planning, I worked as a stagecrew for several years at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
I remember a ZZ Top gig with the same kind of artefact you’re talking about : the stage was set up with a nice wall of Orange amps (a British amplifier manufacturing company). As I was holding one on stage, I was amazed by its lightness. It was a fake amp with just a little battery in for the on/off light !

Comment by alex

[…] hope those little amps were real, or the audience would hear nothing at […]

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