They say “don’t meet your heroes”, but I did.

For those of you who know me, you will know that I have a major passion for music. It is something that I use to express myself. It is something that influences my art. It is something that moves me. Needless to say it is something that I consider to be an important part of who I am. An important part of my journey in life.

There are quite a few bands or artists that mean a lot to be. But there is one artist in particular whose music has made a major difference in my life these last 4 years. The artist that I am talking about is none other then Frank Turner. No surprise there. If you are close to me, you already know this.  His music has made a major difference in my life.  Frank Turner’s style of music is raw and honest and full of emotion. You can feel it in every song that he creates. As a musician he as inspired me many times as an artist. I look up to him and consider him to be a personal hero in a sense. When talking about personal heroes , the cliche phrase of “Don’t meet your heroes” pops into mind. But I did exactly that. I met one of my personal heroes. But before I can go into that exact moment, there is a bit of a back story I have to go into.

Back in 2015 I was still attending art school. Life at that moment in time was rather rough for me. I was dealing with depression. I had just important to me passed away. Which tore me up on the inside. On top of all of that, the art school that I was attending to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design decided to announce that it was going to be shutting down. So at this moment in time I felt lost, stressed, and empty in a sense. I was having a hard time finding an outlet or any music to really describe how I felt or what I was going through. It was in a car ride on my way to school that my dad decided to share some music with me that he thought I would enjoy. The first song that he played for me that early morning was “Recovery” By Frank Turner.  I remember hearing the melody and the upbeat tune of the song. But then I focused in on the lyrics itself:

 ” And so I wake up in the morning just like every other day
And just like every boring blues song I get swallowed by the pain,
And so I fumble for your figure in the darkness just to make it go away
But you’re not lying there any longer and I know
That it’s my fault so I been pounding on the floor
And I’ve been crawling up the walls and I’ve been divvying my darkness
And Serotonin boosters, cider and some kind of smelling salts
It’s a long road out to recovery from here,
A long way back to the light
A long road out to recovery from here,
A long way to make it right “

Recovery , Frank turner

There was something about the bluntness of the lyrics that sparked some sort of feeling in me. Maybe it was relatability with how I felt. Or maybe i just enjoyed the fact that you could feel the passion that Frank poured out into this song. Whatever it was, I became hooked and had to hear more. When I got to school I proceeded to look up more music by Frank Turner. I then came across the album “Tape Deck Heart”. The album had the same appeal to me that the song “Recovery” had. so I continued to listen. The more that I listened to his music the more of his albums I continued to check out. Suddenly I felt a little less alone in how I felt. My creativity ensued. Things started getting better.

Soon after that he released his album “Positive Songs For Negative People”. This was one album in particular aside from “Tape Deck Heart”, that also means a lot to me. One song in particular , “Get Better”, has a special place in my heart. The song has become an anthem in sorts. It keeps me going when I feel knocked down.

“I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best
She took a plain black marker, started writing on my chest
She drew a line across the middle of my broken heart,
And said: “Come on now, let’s fix this mess”

Get Better , Frank Turner 

It was that summer that he announced that he would be touring in the United States with Jason Isbel. I jumped on the opportunity and acquired tickets to go see him in concert. I remember the excitement when he came on stage. He opened with “I still Believe”. He proceeded to play a mix of music from some of his past albums. Eventually playing my absolute favorite song by him, ” I am disappeared “, which I didnt recognize right away when he started playing. But when I did I was the excitement ensued. The short was set, as usually is when you are an opener. I hung back by the merch table where his merch was being sold and talked with other Frank Turner fans. In doing so I have made a lovely connection with one who I usually end up seeing at his gigs.

Eventually Frank came out to meet the few of us that had been waiting patiently to meet him. One person had overheard me talking about how much his music meant to me and brought Frank over to me. The person proceeded to say “This young lady has been patiently waiting to meet you all night.” Of course I froze up when approached because I had so much I wanted to say. So stumbling over my words I thanked him for all that his music did for me and asked if he could sign something for me. I pulled out my graduation cap and asked him if he would write the words “The only thing that’s left to do is live” on my cap. These words were lyrics from his song ” I knew Prufrock before he got famous”. He gladly did so. Was Kind enough to take a photo with me.  As I said Thank You for the 100th time he gave me a hug. Here I was this stranger he had never met and he was willing to take the time greet one of his fans. Frank Turner was a very kind and genuine person. I am indeed glad that I met one of my personal heroes. The cliche phrase does not ring true in this instance. After that I have proceeded to see him concert back in 2017. He will be releasing his newest album “Be More Kind”, here in May. I have very much been enjoying the new music that he has been putting out. I plan to catch him in concert once more.

 

 

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