12 Nov, 2008 ENTHUSIASM !
Time and time again the word enthusiasm has been used to describe our approach to our music and our performances.
It has been bandied about again recently as reviewers at the Proms concerts try to get to grips with exactly what it is that both lies at the heart of Simple Minds and comes flowing out each time we hit the stage.
I do admit that enthusiasm is a wonderful word to be associated with and I will explain why that that is, but it is also an overused word that in some ways as a result has lost some of it’s original meaning and the power associated with it.
To fight off some of the banality that has engulfed the true meaning of enthusiasm, I want to claim back the original meaning of the word right here and now. I then want to dwell on it for a second within the context of what I believe lies at the heart of everything attempted by Simple Minds.
The way I have recently picked up on it is that the word Enthusiasm within it’s ancient Greek origins meant, “Filled with God”. Not an emotional state at all, but “a spiritual state in fact, with a commitment to a kind of loving surrender to the creative process.” The way it was described to me, was that enthusiasm is like some sort of energy supply that sprung from the flow of life itself.
A life force in fact!
“Hang on Jim!’ I can hear some say on reading this, as they then think, “What the hell is this he is on about? It’s only rock and roll after all!” My response in turn would be “Well it may be to you, but the music of Simple Minds is so much more than that to me!”
And then I would be off explaining – all enthusiastically of course – just why that is! Detailing further that my passion for great music prevents me ever thinking in terms of ‘it’s only this, or it’s only that.” Same as I could never think or using expressions like” it’s only the ocean”, or “it’s only the moonlight”, or “it’s only a pair of beautiful eyes.”
How can such magic be belittled with the prefix of – “its only’.
Impossible, am I right? Well of course I am! Magic things are sacred no doubt, and if stirring and engulfing music is not genuinely magical for you, then thank God that I am the way I am.
Finally, making and playing music is a joy to us not work! And ultimately the enthusiasm we are driven by is recognition of the creativity that surrounds us. 30 years on I will admit with no attempts of hiding that the years do wrinkle the skin.
But as a wiser one than me declared.
“It is the loss of enthusiasm that wrinkles the soul in all of us.”
You might find it worthwhile to think about that within your own dear life and how you go about it.
Just a thought!