Anyone who knows me well knows that Green Day are the best band in existence, followed closely by My Chemical Romance and The Foo Fighters. Many hours have been spent lying on my bed, eyes closed, becoming immersed in the music. Each song conjures up another emotion or memory, and the best songs are the ones I remember hearing for the very first time. Music is a large part of my life and has been one of the driving factors in coming to terms with my disability, while also offering me a simple form of stress relief when it is needed.
Most of my meals are accompanied by the radio tuned into Planet Rock, who don’t just play the classics on repeat like most stations, but bring in new and obscure material. It was where I first heard about Green Day’s latest album, and where I first heard many of the singles from that album. When one of the presenters, Wyatt, embarked upon a country-wide cycling tour to raise money for charity, I naturally rushed out to welcome him when he stopped in Leeds. The poor man had cycled more than 200 miles in a little over a day, but when I asked for a photograph with him, he still made an attempt to get on the same level as me. This was despite the fact that his knees were almost completely immobile, hence the awkward pose.
While rock music over speakers is still an experience, nothing quite tops live rock music. I will never forget going to see British Rock bands Yashin, and The Blackout; it was one of the best evenings of my life. The wheelchair space for the concert was on a balcony connected to the stage, where the band that wasn’t on stage would mill around, and I managed to worm my way in with several of the Yashin crew. They were friendly and comedic people, and the surrealism of it made it all the more special. Several photos were taken that evening, and the picture my best friend took of me with Harry, the lead singer of Yashin, is still one of my favourite photos of all time.
When I bumped into another Yashin member, Kevin, at a different concert, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t manage to get a photo. However, he seemed so genuinely pleased when I complemented him on their newly released material that it didn’t matter to me. He even held the door open for me and shook my hand afterwards, contrary to the stereotypical image of a self-centred rock star. So it seems that the people of rock are much like the crowd at a wrestling show; loud, obnoxious, and warm-hearted.