11 Jul Lieven and how it all started (part 2)
You never forget your first guitar. Mine was made of old wood, and its tough strings made my soft fingers bleed. My brother-in-law gave it to me, the same one who gave me the magic tape some years before (read the first part of this story to understand). But the guitar and I didn’t really understand each other that well. Too much pain. Too much blood. My career as a guitar player was doomed to die a slow and sad death, until one day I turned on the TV to MTV. I had always loved Nirvana. Their noise was a perfect reflection of my adolescent brain. That’s why I sat down, somehow skeptical. Nirvana unplugged?? Without any noise?? The show started with the two chords of “About A Girl”, also the only two chords I knew how to play well and without too much pain. After that, my memory becomes a bit of a blur. I do remember thinking I had never seen or heard anything like this. So honest and quiet. So raw. So painful. Somehow Kurt Cobain’s pain in “My Girl, where did you sleep last night?” got to me like nothing else ever had. That little sigh before the storm in 4:49 would haunt me for the rest of my life. When the show was over, I rewound the VHS tape on which I had recorded the program, and I watched and listened to it all over again. And again. And again. I took my guitar. I froze the image. I tried to copy the way Cobain put his fingers on the strings to play the chords. It hurt but I didn’t care. For the very first time I loved pain. I listened to it and played it again. And again. And again. And so, little by little, with all the pain and blood in the world, I slowly fell in love with my first guitar and with pain that makes you better.