ALAN WRIGHT: Celebrate life and make everyday count

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As if January isn’t a gloomy enough month, it seems to have been made worse with the loss of some giants of the musical world.

I’d never met David Bowie or Glenn Frey of Eagles fame, but their passing certainly affects those of us who grew up with their music as part of our lives.

If you are of my generation, you can probably remember well the days when we heard that Elvis Presley had died and the awful news of the murder of Beatle John Lennon in New York.

The psychologists tell us that a brief burst of music can instantly take us back decades to our own youth when we heard it for the first time.

It’s much wider than the music though, isn’t it?

After David Bowie burst onto the scene with his outlandish clothing and his make-up, it seemed that a new acceptance of diversity and creative genius emerged in this country and beyond.

Interestingly, the talents of Bowie and the Eagles seem to have been appreciated as much by the younger generation as by us more mature rockers.

Usually, part of being young is to make a point of loving music which your parents just don’t get.

I’ll take that bait by admitting that I have no idea why current teen sensation One Direction are so popular.

I was tempted to punch the car radio the other day when I heard them described as “one of the best bands in the world”.

From my limited knowledge of them, they appear to be a bunch of pleasant young lads who perform a kind of dancing karaoke with hardly any ability between them to play a musical instrument.

The idea, to me at least, of comparing them with the likes of the Beatles, Bowie or the Eagles is simply laughable.

My thoughts will at least prove if fans of One Direction read this column or not.

One of my musical heroes still with us, although suffering failing health, is the multi-talented Glen Campbell.

As you may know, he is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and took the brave decision a while back to embark on his final tour and produce his last album.

If you have catch-up TV available, seek out the documentary on his last tour which is moving beyond words.

Supported by his talented youngsters, he performs superbly and laughs at himself when he forgets lyrics or attempts to begin the song he’d just finished.

The track A Better Place from his last album is a beautiful piece of work and the video, complete with clips of him in his youth, would melt a heart of stone.

In the end, we can be grateful for the huge library of music and film left behind by those we have lost, and will lose.

It’s a daily reminder of a higher plane of existence way above the daily grind, and a salutary nudge that we should celebrate life and make every day count.