Just watched a very cool video on You Tube. Muse, arguably one of the best live acts around, played this year at Glastonbury. Now, I’ve never been, but it’s an event I would love to attend. Some of the world’s biggest bands, as well as some of my personal favorites, have played there. Just recently, Muse did a cover of U2’s, “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Now, I’m usually not a fan of covers, especially of U2 songs, however, this one was different, and it got me thinking….
Muse invited a guest to come and play with them. It was U2’s lead guitarist, The Edge. The performance was amazing. Anticipating Muse playing with The Edge reminded me of the type of nervous anticipation I felt watching my younger brother perform theatre. Success rested solely on his shoulders. As his brother, I desired the best, braced for worst, but would’ve been happy with something in between. To borrow a baseball term, my brother “knocked it out of the park,” and so did Muse.
Afterward, in an interview, The Edge admitted that it was the first time he’d played that song apart from “the boys.” However, “the boys” were behind the idea and encouraged The Edge to play with Muse. That alone is something worth considering, but we’ll leave that for a future blog. What struck me was hearing a younger generation singing a song that belonged to an older generation with an energy and passion that resembled U2’s, but was entirely their own. I would argue that having The Edge play with them provided the continuity necessary for Muse to “make it their own,” but still allowing it be a reflection of the original artists’ work.
I’m only 36, so it seems weird to write about generational things. I know I’m young, but most of the time, wish I were younger still. However, time is much more precious and meaningful to me than it was even 5 years ago. I’m grateful for a connection with an older generation, whose passion and energy I can relate to, even if it’s not quite like mine. Some of these connections have come in the form of good books. I’m also privileged to have men and women who’s thoughts I’ve gladly “covered,” making them my own, but honoring where they’ve come from. For those younger than me, who are asking questions, wrestling with ideas and are as equally passionate, I hope to be someone they learn from and emulate. I want to be able to recognize their gifts, abilities and capabilities, not see it as a threat, but rather, as an extension of a contribution that I am hoping to make.
The psalmist David wrote long ago that: “one generation would commend your works to another” We do that when we share the music we compose, the songs we sing, the stories we tell, the books we write, the love we give, the hope we carry and the faith we express. I must always be reminded that much of what I’m able to articulate and express now is a direct result of the willingness of others to share and invest. I’m optimistic enough to believe that if I live open-handedly, (although there is great risk in that); my “own” ideas (however that looks) will be incorporated and expressed by others. Please understand, that’s meant to sound more hopeful than egotistical. This is what I thought about after I saw Muse play “Streets.” Enjoy: