Twenty Feet from Stardom: the documentary, the feeling

Monday, December 22, 2014

We've all been there. So close, but not yet. Passed by, again. Promised, but the promise floats off, vanishes on the horizon. The hard work, the high hopes, the quiet.

We make music. Others star. No matter where we are, in our work out here, it can feel like we've missed the boat called "Big Time."

Is it the boat we want to be on? Can we even answer that question?

Is it our fault? Is it anybody's fault? Is it talent? Is it timing? Is it luck?

Or is it luck when Big doesn't happen quite yet. Isn't life about the getting there, and not about the arrival?

Last night I watched the 2014 Oscar winning documentary, "Twenty Feet from Stardom." Didn't expect as much depth as I encountered. Didn't think I'd cry; I did. Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer. Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Sting. (Judith Hill, midway.) The distance between the back-ups and the spotlight. The barriers—the right song or luck (not the talent, in these cases)—that stand between. The things that happen to those who press ahead and those who step aside. The regrets, in both cases, the need for grace in it all.

This is an important story for the artists it introduces (again). For the superstars we already know, but who speak (not surprisingly, in all these cases) from a magnanimous place. For us, wherever we are, whatever we want, whichever doubts we entertain. For the music that, nonetheless, gets made.

Twenty Feet from Stardom. 



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