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Vinnie Paul left this world several hours ago. And with this tragic news, I feel I must say something slightly devastating but ultimately comforting, well, at least to me.
Vinnie passed away at 54 years of age. I'm now going to compare this with my favourite German band, Rammstein: Till Lindemann is also 54, Schneider being 52, Paul, Richard, and Flake are also in their 50s I believe, and Ollie is 47. No, nothing bad has or will happen to them. But we have to remember; our fellow rock gods are also human, also mortal.
There will be a time when we are all reading the heart-breaking headlines about one of our must treasured creators leaving this earth. I can only assume that we all remember losing David Bowie and Chester Bennington; some may even remember the passing of Kurt Cobain. Do not despair. We must remain strong and rational in times of devastation and sorrow, such as now with Vinnie. They are human. Sadly, they are not everlasting omnipresent gods of rock who reign havoc on the people of this world; they are living breathing mortals who reign havoc on the people of this world. They will leave us, not soon, but they will inevitably leave us. But we must remember what they leave behind: a legacy, a band, a wide array of albums and an endless supply of beautiful masterpieces in which their soul lives on.
Now, although this seems like common knowledge among music lovers, it appears that people assume that once a musician or artist dies, that’s it. Their work ceases to exist and their songs, their art, their efforts… it all means nothing now that they’re deceased. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. Linkin Park’s "Robot Boy" holds a powerful message in the lyrics “You think there’s not enough love and no one to give it to,” Bob Marley’s "One Love" includes the words “One love, one heart, let's get together and feel all right,” Avicii’s "The Nights" tells a tale of leaving this world behind “So live a life you will remember,” and even the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, sang a song called "Hold My Hand," which tells us “Cause when it gets dark and when it gets cold, we hold each other 'til we see the sunlight.”
Do those words magically lose meaning when their creator passes away? Do they stop being powerful, moving our emotions, and changing our perceptions of this life? No, they don’t. If anything, they should gain more power with the passing of their originator; their words of wisdom should live on through their creations of songs and lyrics. We can all find great comfort in the hidden meanings of songs from musicians who have since passed, and we can carry on the legacy every day, by listening to them, playing them at parties and at family gatherings and talking about them to friends and loved ones, that way we are celebrating their life rather than mourning their death and we keep the power and the love from their music alive forever.
Let’s recap only a few of my favourite lyrics from Rammstein songs which capture this beautiful fact of music;
“Sie ist der hellste Stern von allen, und wird nie vom Himmel fallen” ~ Sonne (She is the brightest star of them all and will never fall from the sky.)
“Sechs herzen die brennen, das Feuer hält euch warm” ~ Haifisch (Six hearts that burn, that fire keeps you warm.)
“Liebe ist für alle da, auch für mich!” ~ Leibe Ist Fur Alle Da (There is love for everyone, also for me.)
“Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein” ~ Ohne Dich (Without you, I cannot be.)
“Nun Leibe Kinder, gebt fein Acht, ich bin die Stimme aus dem Kissen” ~ Mein Herz Brennt (Now dear children, pay attention, I am the voice from the pillow.)
And there are countless more songs to keep our hearts warm; some I’m not too keen on, some you may not be keen on. Point is, their soul will live on as long as we allow it to. Keep your posters on the wall, blast their music right out of your speakers until they explode, and wear your merchandise with pride. Because in reality, only the human has left us. Their soul, their heart, their love remains with all who believe in them, for as long as we believe.