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Praise Your Music Heroes Before They Die: The Libertines

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I meant to get to this post a while ago, as the stench of 2016 (the year of shocking deaths and depressing Facebook posts) was still in the air. As I read the outpourings of appreciation for David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, George Martin, Merle Haggard, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher and other people who were important to my people, it occurred to me that it usually takes a hero’s death to bring people to their keyboards to write out what they appreciated about that person. It’s disappointing that the artist can’t receive any of it, and that for those discovering these artists for the first time, it was just as the artist died. Boo.

That’s why I decided to fire up this ancient blog and start a new series called “Praise Your Music Heroes Before They Die.” I plan on gushing without reservation (ok, maybe a little reservation) on the bands that are important to me — before they’ve gone and kicked the bucket in headline-grabbing rock-star fashion. This way, if you’re not already familiar, you can start getting into them while they’re, you know, actually doing things (1).

But here’s the bigger picture: If someone reading one of my diatribes is inspired to gush about one of their own favorite artists, then someone else, and so on, then the act of writing out our appreciation for great artists will extend beyond the event of them dying. And that will be cool.

Now on to the Libertines.

My first entry is on probably my most treasured music hero. The Libertines are a London indie group consisting of dual singer/guitarists Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, drummer Gary Powell, and bassist John Hassall. I found them in college, reading about them in Rolling Stone while sitting on a friend’s couch with a chinchilla. Something struck a chord, and I grabbed their I Get Along EP at a Tower Records the next day.¬†They blew a refreshing blast of unpretentious, foreign indie rock into my universe, which at the time was crowded with overproduced emo bands, metal-ish aggro rock, and punk bands that swung dangerously close to being cute. Hey, it was NorCal.

Today, the Libs continue to take up valuable real estate on my phone — and trust me, storage on that device is at a premium when baby pictures are in the mix. Even the Zombies and the Beatles suffered deletions to make space. Not them.

Here’s why:

They’re rough … but fun rough. I don’t mean sucky. I mean too busy having a good time to worry about acoustics.
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