I don’t headbang. I’m too old for that. I regularly get up with a crick in the neck just from sleeping, and I shudder to think what all that headbanging would do to my neck. But, mentally and in my mind, it’s a different thing. And I think I understand what makes some people want to headbang.
Classics like ‘Highway Star’ or ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple automatically make my head bob up and down, a tuai version of headbanging, I suppose. My air guitar immediately comes into my hands as Ritchie Blackmore’s lead guitar announces ‘Smoke on the Water’, quickly accompanied by Nick Simper’s bass. By the time Ian Paice’s drums get into the act, I have become Deep Purple, alternating between Blackmore, Simper, Paice and Jon Lord on his organ. At least in my mind. Even if I’m driving, my fingers play the guitar riffs, and I’m lost to the world. David Gilmour’s guitar riff on ‘Another Brick In The Wall Part II’, the great Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’, the one and only Mark Knopffler’s unique and unmistakable guitar riffs on ‘Sultans of Swing’, etc. with Dire Straits as well as his solo albums, especially his collaboration with country great Chet Atkins, and so many other greats make life so much more worth living. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, CCR and all the other ‘real’ great bands, to me, still represent real music, real rock. Now most of what we get to hear are synthesized, artificial, studio-produced music, masquerading as rock. Some of them are OK, even good, but I wonder if anyone will remember them 10 years down the line. Though some of the new kids on the block, like Greenday, are really good, especially their latest ‘American Idiot’ of which ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, to me, is already a classic.
Strangely, I find all these ‘hard’ stuff really relaxing – specially after a hard days’ work. There’s nothing like coming home, relaxing, with good friends for company, drinks in hand, Deep Purple on the stereo…. The only problem is that it’s mostly the other way round now. I suppose all my good friends have become mellow, and if at all there is music on the stereo, it is turned down so low that you have to strain your ears to even make out what’s playing. Unless the mood takes, and everyone’s bopping around to ‘Aw di, ka ngai em che’. But that’s another story for some other time.