I’m not so much of a words person. I’m more of an image person, but tonight there’s something I really need to share and the only way I can think of is with words.
I just came back from what might have been the best concert I’ve been in my life (it’s very hard to decide compared to the Flogging Molly concert in which I got Dave King’s guitar pick and dances with Dennis Casey, but that’s a whole other story to be told). Today I went to see an evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. It was glorious. In all my groupieness (keep in mind I’m a fan of the dresden dolls since I was 14 and I thought I would never see Amanda in person, because I lived in Brazil, and well… it’s just not so common that these amazing people would go tour there) I found courage to bring my ukulele to the concert, dreaming she might sign it for me. I don’t know how I actually put together all my strength into asking her to do that by the end of the show. It was a crazy night and she said “Not right now.” which I don’t really know whether it meant “I’ll do it later” or “I’m sorry I can’t” and to be honest it doesn’t really matter right now. I could be sad about that, but instead I just kept on absorbing all I could from that awesome moment that was tonight’s concert.
As I was walking back home I thought about a way to really make it memorable even though it was not what my little dreamy mind had planed. I know Amanda is very open to her public (seriously, to the level of letting people draw on her naked body, if you’ve watched her ted talk you know what I mean), which is probably what led me to think she would indeed leave her mark on my ukulele. And she didn’t quite the way I had in mind, but she did in a whole other level singing tonight (and all the other nights I’ve listened to her music when I needed)
So let me tell a bit about how much her music has helped me… One of the dresden dolls’ song that has literally possibly saved my life is Delilah. You see.. I was involved with this man once and he was not kind to me. In fact my relationship with him got to the point where he had a hold on me so big I wouldn’t go away even when he hurt me… in a way… that makes me embarrassed and vulnerable. But another thing I learnt from her is that it is ok to be vulnerable, to be open, when you’re an artist. So here I am writing about it though still not brave enough to go into details. The thing is, that song was one of the things that helped me most get away from that poisonous relationship. It literally couldn’t have gotten much worse. And as she sang it tonight I think I cried out all the shame and grudge that I still had (which at this point, about 2 years latter, wasn’t unbearable, but was still a lot).
Another way her music helped me is that, when I moved to NY, one of the things I missed most about Brazil was my band, and if you’ve ever been in a band not being in it for the money you know those guys are your best friends. And I didn’t have my guitar here, nore money enough to get a new one yet, so after listening several times to “ukulele anthem” I got decided to get one. It’s hard to explain how much it actually helped me go through all the cultural shock and loneliness of being 5 thousand miles away from home. That is the ukulele that I brought to the concert tonight.
I know her career has probably changed a lot since she was in dresden dolls. The gigs now are so much bigger and the crowd more intense, and she deserves it so much, seriously, she’s so amazing for all I know. My admiration for her has not decreased a single bit because she didn’t signed the instrument. Actually as I was walking back home I realized that now I have an opportunity to, instead asking her for that, paying her an tribute AND still have her mark on that. I wrote some of the lyrics from which I learned so much on the ukulele. Everytime I look at it and play it from now on I’ll remember tonight and how I can either feel sorry for myself, or make something beautiful instead.
Thank you, Amanda.