I have always loved Otis Redding, the soul of his voice reaches deep inside my heart.
Otis could drag out my heart when I was convince I had none.
His anthem “Pain in My Heart” has follow me through good and bad times.
I write this post to that song – and the many other Soul, Gospel, Country and Blues songs that have help me survive prostitution.
I believe my love of American music save my life – at the least it give some will to keep going, coz there always a song I have heard.
I was born into a family that loved most music.
My maternal grandmother run a ballet school – with Classical music, with Duke Ellington, with Benjamin Brittain coursing through her house.
My maternal grandfather loved Mozart and Baroque music.
My mother loved Rolling Stones, 60’s Soul, Classical Ballet music.
My father loved Beach Boys, Be-Bop, Beatles, Outlaw Country, Bach, Gospel and so much more.
My sister loved David Cassidy, Wham, George Michael, soft Pop.
One brother loved Modern Jazz, and the other brother loved Pet Shop Boys, Club music and Jazz.
That was my background – in which I came to adore Soul, which lead to Blues, which lead to Country, which lead to Cajun, which lead to so-called World Music.
That was my background – I came to want Be-Bop all round me, which lead to going deeper into all Jazz, which lead to seeing links to Gospel, which always lead back to the Blues.
That was my background – learning to hear Classical music as radical when it was first heard, hearing how music breaks rules and patterns, leading to hearing Punk, Mods, Rap as the rule-breakers of our own classic music.
I learnt that all music is interlinked, and most music that will listen to for many years does not fit into simple category.
Most music that is loved is mixing many genres, mixes many cultures and viewpoints, mixes the past with the present making a future music.
Music is an echoing chamber for human emotions said and unsaid.
Great music just is – that is all that matters.
All I know, all that I hold deep inside my heart – is through I try to cut music out my life when I was prostituted – I never lost my passion for music.
I wanted so much to not hear music.
I could not bear that life-force – could not the pain and hurt laying so bare, could hear anthems and songs of a joy that was out of my reach, could not allow music into my bones.
But music was always round.
It was inside pubs as I went dead doing the Girlfriend Experience – the songs I knew and loved, that without thinking I sung in my head.
I could dare to sing even under my breath, for if a punter thought or imagine I was not paying him 100% of attention, I knew he would punish with fists or more likely sadist sex.
I wanted to not know I still needed pop, still needed simple love songs, still needed to be part of a culture that excluded prostituted women and girls.
Heck, I wanted not to know I could not be free enough to just enjoy putting a record on a jukebox.
Music was often in the background as punters fucked me into being nobody.
Music felt like it was laughing at my destruction, music seemed to scorn my right to be human.
I wanted to smash the music up, smash it into the punter’s head, use the shards left to kill myself.
Music became my death.
There was certain music even now I linked to that control and violence, music that I closed out of my life as much as possible.
There is Reggae, Lover’s Rock, the Barry White style of Soul, Progressive Rock, Folk music from late 60’s and 70’s.
All this type of music was used to make it was normal to be raping and torturing a prostitute – music made it just entertainment or some kind of a relationship.
I was trapped in that music – so now I turn away from it.
Music in the background of the endless rapes and torturing could on occasions be a good distraction.
It was in that haze, I came to love Prince, came to want Soul music to be there, came to love the anger of Punk and early Rap.
Music was slowly reminding I was worth something – worth more that pain and hate.
Alone, in the moments I had enough space and energy to grow into music that would mine – I would sing along, I would kind of dance, but mostly music became all the emotions I thought were gone.
I would play angry music to rage – play the Buzzcocks and the Clash, play Rites of Spring, play fierce Blues and aggressive Jazz.
I would reach deep into my sorrow through music – reaching for the deep sorrow of Gospel, the sadness inside Soul, the aching sadness of Mozart.
I would back to the child I thought I had lost – listening to Phil Spector Christmas songs, listening to Beach Boys, hearing Lieutenant Kiev and Peter and the Wolf.
Music was working its magic on me.
But then music had never really left, just vanished to be strong enough to help me get the courage to truly exit prostitution.
Now, I am free enough to be a music geek – it is bloody wonderful.