“I’d sit alone and watch your light, my only friend through teenage nights and everything I had to know, I learned it on my radio.” When Freddie Mercury sang these words he may well have been speaking directly to me, telling me it’s ok to be impossibly shy, awkward, different, this magical little box holds all the answers – just follow the light.
Freddie Mercury Portrait by Kevin McHugh Art
The thing about being out of step with all your friends and classmates is that sooner or later you get left behind. At a time in my life that should have had me out experiencing the world, I found a different font of knowledge to draw from. I retreated to my room and pressed ‘play’. Music became my education. I discovered the wonders of AC/DC at full tilt, the ferocity of Guns N’ Roses, the 50’s inspired perpetual teenage universe described by Meat Loaf and the sheer power of Queen, where everything was turned up to 11.
“Sid Vicious is my only influence, coz he was the coolest bass player ever.”
So said Duff McKagan, not quite understanding that for me and tens of thousands like me, Duff was the coolest bass player ever. When I was young and I had a problem and no-one else could help, I didn’t call The A-Team (I couldn’t find them), I called Guns N’Roses.
Duff McKagan from Guns N Roses by Kevin McHugh Art
When I and three quarters of the planet discovered ‘Appetite For Destruction’ that was our Sex Pistols moment. That was Elvis shaking his hips on The Milton Berle Show, it was Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, it was a call to arms that said, “Your new life starts here, take what you can carry, leave the rest.”
How’s it going? Did you miss me?
Aw, me too, well let me tell you what I’ve been at…
Been a busy few weeks for me. The main thing I’ve been working on has been preparation for an art project based around a fairy tale set in the Appalation mountains which involves storytelling through shadow puppetry, music, narration and visual arts. There are four artists, including myself at the core of the project but we’ll also be involving school children, musicians and anyone else we can rope in.
I’ve the outline of the story written but it needs a nip and a tuck here and there. Once it’s finalised I’ll set about designing and creating the shadow puppets and backgrounds with school groups. I’ll also be “painting” scenes from the story with my trusty powerhose as my next series of barn murals which is where I find dirty walls and wash away everything that isn’t the picture I have in my head, leaving, well you’ve guessed it – the picture I have in my head.