Stuart Adamson, once described by legendary DJ John Peel as “the new Jimi Hendrix”, was guitarist, vocalist and lyricist for the inspirational 80s band Big Country. He was found dead in his hotel room in Honolulu, Hawaii, on this day 14 years ago. What follows was written on the sleeve notes of Big Country’s epic first album The Crossing.
It all begins with a sound in your head, a disarray of word and music, an awareness of something coming to the surface. Small pieces occasionally break through but the whole is a mystery. Take the mood, the emotion, the passion for it and make it live. Focus it all, crystalize the essence of it, let it become a living thing, share it.
The music I felt wasn’t like the music I had grown up hearing, or rather, not like any one of them. It was all of them jumbled up and drawn into something I could understand as mine.
I found I could play this music and connect the guitar directly to my heart. I found others who could make the same connection, who could see the music as well as play it.
The sound made pictures. It spread out wide landscapes. Great dramas were played out under its turbulent skies. There was romance and reality, truth and dare. People being people, no heroes, just you and me, like it always is.
The music told stories, little stories. Lands were not conquered, treasure was left in the tombs, the magic was in the everyday. We learned how we are together and how we come apart. Life happens.–Stuart Adamson