James Blunt & Reading the Subtext
I read an interesting article on James Blunt, "The Blunt Life" written by Austin Scaggs for Rolling Stone Magazine (an October, 2007 issue). I was moved by it. But probably not in the way intended. I don't know why I was surprised, but this James Blunt guy that my daughter listens to singing those sweet heart-breaking love songs is quite the hedonist. I think he's talented and I do like a couple of his songs. My favorite one is "Goodbye My Lover". That one pulled my heart right out the first time I heard it. Sing that at my funeral Lisa. Anyway... back to my point. Blunt lives full-time on Ibiza, the Spanish isle in the Mediterranean, the world-renowned "bacchanalian paradise", where "Ecstasy-fueled parties rage on well past sunrise". Scaggs met up with Blunt and his friends already wired and getting ready for the night-long party, drinking vodka and beer. This pre-gaming was just the beginning of a "bizarre, drugged-up journey, which began hours ago with drinks". Although the winters die down and Blunt turns more seriously to writing his songs, "the wild summers afford Blunt his other favorite pastime: partying like a depraved animal." One of his songs, "1973", was inspired while Blunt was still "shitfaced outside the legendary club Pacha". The club they went to that night was wild and loud and things turned into a frenzy "as the drugs kicked in". He's considered "a pro in this manner of debauchery". This party went on until 9am. Then they went back to a pool-side Cabana and the party lingered on until 2pm. Blunt enjoys "pushing the limits of his endurance (he hardly sleeps) and testing his psychological threshold (he enjoys his drugs)." Even though Spanish is the language spoken on Ibiza, he's only learned one sentence, which is the Spanish for "Please wear a condom!" ... "most likely through hearing it repeated so often". Scaggs overhears Blunt tell someone, "Yes, in fact I am a sex-addict." He plans on maybe slowing down in about five years, but for now he's going to play hard. I found all this very, very interesting. Don't you? But what I found most interesting was a subtext I detected... I think. Something else is going on. I didn't realize this, but the song which made Blunt rich and famous, "Beautiful", is actually written about an experience he had where he met an old girlfriend on a bus, and it tore his heart out. Scaggs noticed a photo of a stunningly beautiful young woman on Blunt's mantel. Scaggs asked Blunt who it was. "An ex", Blunt responded. But Scaggs finds out it was her... the "Beautiful" girl. Blunt couldn't seem to talk about it. "It obviously affected me. It's a bit heavy." And in all the talk about girls and models and sex, Blunt admits that he doesn't like to go home alone. When I finished the article, I was sadly struck by the possibility that this guy's heart has been broken by Beautiful. He's spending his life, pouring it out, because her absence has ripped a hole in his heart and nothing can seem to repair it. He can't eat. He can't sleep. He numbs himself all the night long and surrounds himself with people all day. He still loves Beautiful! My heart breaks for him. I like him. And I have a deeper appreciation for his music now. But I don't know, maybe I'm exposing more of my own romanticism. Ya. That's probably it. Never mind. This is a painting I did recently titled "Separated Friends", available in my eBay store.