As I’ve been listening to music, I connect a lot of what I’m hearing to writing.
When I watched Rick Beato‘s interview with Peter Frampton (the YouTube video is at the bottom), I found it interesting how Frampton’s words anticipated some of the questions I have had for decades: “What happens if I hate what I write after it’s written?
I was 15 years old when this album took the top spot in my stack of records. I memorized every word, including the rise and fall of drums and guitars. As I have gotten older, I now also recognize the piano and backing vocals more and love them, too.
His use of the talk box had me moving the needle back and back again so I could try and figure out what he was doing on “Do You Feel Like I Do.” We didn’t have the Internet to search questions like, “What is that sound Peter Frampton makes on ‘Do You Feel Like I Do?'” It was decades before I learned what a talk box was or how he made those word-sounds on the album.
Probably just like other 15-year old girls, it was listening to “Baby, I Love Your Way,” that had me swooning as I stared at Frampton’s curly locks on the album cover.
46 Years Later
And now I’m quite the seasoned lady and being able to watch this love of my youth in an interview brought tears of happiness. I sat rapt watching Beato talk to this distant love-idol. It was great listening to Frampton share about his writing and making music.
Then, he said several things that had me squinting-watching-replaying-taking notes, and replaying a few more times.
Frampton’s Lines of Impact
38:48 – “It’s hard for me to listen (to my old songs) because I hear things that should have been done that weren’t done.”
39:50 -“I can always find something that I don’t like about something I play, but that’s what makes you better because you go, ‘Well, I’m not going to make that mistake again.'”
40:10 – “Sometimes the mistake is good to leave in because then you wouldn’t have played all the stuff around it.”
40:17: – “I know it’s a mistake. Maybe some people don’t think of it as a mistake, but I do.”
Am I My Own Worst Critic?
Hardly. I’ve had almost 50 years of criticism for the words/opinions I’ve written. Sure, there are accolades, too, but the bites of judgment cut deep and leave gnarly scars.
I do judge my own writings, too. In blogs, I can go back and edit (and have). In print and email, that’s not so easy. I wince when I come across grammar and punctuation mistakes. When I make errors in judgment, that’s when I howl, “What was I thinking?!” and want to hang out on a deserted island for 1000 years. Sure, many of my views have changed over the years. And while I wish I could add a post script to those writings, I try to offer myself grace for my young woman naïveté.
Echoes of Big Magic
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life, and Let Go of Your Fear and it’s become a book I re-read every few months, hearing the perfect tidbits just when I need them.
When speaking of perfectionism (something I do not have), she also speaks about mistakes and judgments (something I do contend with).
“No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.)”
Gilbert’s best advice when worrying about mistakes, glitches, or utter failures:
“You don’t need to conduct autopsies on your disasters.”
I’m going to put my scalpel away and just keep writing.
Thank you, Peter Frampton!