Words is the soundtrack to my private life.
My mood, my attitude is symbolized in that upbeat new wave pop music coming out of the speakers from Mission Persons. I have not been this happy in 16 years. I am alive and life is worth living. This sound best describes my emotions right now. Now that I’m happy, I want to create. I want to share with others what I find beautiful. However, when I write it down, I feel my words are confusing to understand. I am having difficulty finding a way to express my thoughts and ideas in a creative and engaging way. Those words I type are similar to Dale Bozzio’s singing style and their lyrics.
I love the way she does it. It is brilliant to have the chorus lines clear and understandable but then the rest of the lyrics sung in that playful way Dale does to help hide the finer parts of her message. She forces you to sit forward, tilt your ear to the music, and pay attention. This was done to perfection. So, what is she saying? If you look to the lyrics you can tell the band was in a similar place in their life as I am in mine.
I feel like I am in her shoes, as I am in a similar situation as this band was in 1981. I hear Dale sing, Do you hear me? Do you care? And yes, I hear you, after forty years I hear you. Because I am in experiencing similar things. My writing is the first verse she sings out. When I talk to my wife about my ideas to write about, I see this dazed look. Sometimes they make no sense to me either. How is someone else able to know what I am talking about if the closest person to me does not understand? And to answer Dale’s second question, yes, I do care because Dale Bozzio and Missing Persons are an important part of my past.
I was 9 or 10 when I saw this video, my face a foot or two away from the vacuum-tube screen. I remember the sound, that tempo, that synth line, the guitars and Dale’s excitable little exclamation she puts into her singing. For me, watching the beginning of the music video age, it was all amazing. But it was more than just the music for me, it was the look and the vibe. At that age, this video caught my attention. My growing awareness of the opposite sex noticed Dale’s sexuality and burned it into my memory. But I realize now I was too young to fully see what the whole message was about.
For them, it was more than their music too, it was their look. They brought awareness to their music and their message through it. The hair, the clothes (in this case the lack there of), and the makeup. Back in the early ’80s, this was bold. Even though the song and video are retro history today, Dale Bozzio’s look is still the ‘near future’ look of tomorrow. The look was all about “hey I’m here and I have something to say”. Do you hear me? Do you care? So, I am echoing out to the world 40 years later, yes, I hear you and I do care. Do you hear me? Do you care?
For me, as it was for them, it is more than just the music or the lyrics. It is the cinematography; it is the image, the fashion, the lighting, the art direction, the film cuts, the camera angles, Dale’s makeup, and her hair. These are the very things I want to write about. I want to be fearless and exciting, as Dale was bold and beautiful. I want to expose myself to the world as Dale exposed her semi nude body to the camera. I want to take a chance. I want to create YouTube videos that are just as amazing as this video. These things are a part of me. It is the part of me I want to show the world, but I feel so alone. Will you hear me? Will you care?
I understand the perspective in ‘Words’, because that is my life right now. I am typing to that brick wall; I am reevaluating my perspective, my writing. I am struggling to shrug off the encasement of my mental illness that is the obstacle in my way. I know what she means by ‘walking always backwards in the face of strangers’. That is how I feel every time I walk out the door with my anxiety issues. She sings about how time could be her friend but there is no time left. I feel that. Over 20 years ago, time started to come to a stop for me. Now that I am awake, I feel that I’ve run out of time to live, so I better make the most of it now.
I see all this creative brilliance in social media, it is all amazing and wonderful. But there so much of that kind of noise out there. You feel you need to do something so over the top creatively to be heard or scene. I understand Dale’s perspective and why she did the look.
I feel the need to do something bold and drastic, maybe I too will dye my hair blue just as Dale sings of. It is all frustrating to me. How do I be creative with what I have? These are the reasons this song strongly resonates inside me.
I love these personal one-way connections I form with any artist. I get such a rush when all these different mediums combine to create something more powerful than when they are viewed separately. When I can relate and understand them in my private way, it is exciting for me and I want to share. After all, what are words for? Do you hear me? Do you care?