Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Chemical Romance

When my daughter first started listening to My Chemical Romance, I knew I needed to learn more about them. I trust her a lot, but doesn't their name imply approval of drug and alcohol abuse? Why would she like a band like that?

I started by asking her what she liked best about them. She told me it was their passion. I could immediately relate to that. I like most musical genres, but a band doesn't become a favorite unless they sing like they care more about sharing the music than about getting wealthy.

She showed me a DVD about them. In it, they chronicle Gerard Way's struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. Despite their name, this is a band that most definitely does not condone the drug lifestyle. They deliberately used footage that would discourage others. I can't imagine most people allowing others to see them in their worst moments, but this band obviously realizes one of the benefits of having fans. They can use the mistakes in their lives to influence others.

My daughter then played me some of her favorites. She was right when she mentioned passion. This band sounds like they are playing because they need to. It's who they are.

Since that time, some of their songs have become an important part of our lives. The Ghost of You is one example. In that song, there are eight memorable words:

You are never coming home, never coming home

When my mother was in the hospital in the last month of her life, those words haunted me. Every day on the way to visit her they played over and over in my mind. Unfortunately, they proved true. She never did come home. That song still brings back those memories.

Another meaningful song for us is Helena. This song is about Gerard's grandmother. I love it when bands aren't afraid to show love to their families.

There is a casket scene in the Helena video. At one point you can see and hear Gerard choke up for a moment. My daughter watched this over and over after losing her Grandmother. Her friends never understood her grief, but MCR did. They showed that it is right to honor our loved ones in our grief.

MCR has a new CD, The Black Parade. There is a lot to like in it. Here's my favorite part from the title song:

When I was a young boy
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band.
He said, "Son when you grow up would you be the savior of the broken, the beaten and the damned?"
He said "Will you defeat them, your demons, and all the non-believers, the plans that they have made?"

In the song Cancer, Gerard is singing about his last days. The key line, which I know is true for many when they are dying, is
'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you.
To some, it might appear that MCR is obsessed by death. The newest CD is, in fact, about a death journey. After seeing how we avoid death in our society, I think a CD like this has a lot to offer.
We need to be able to talk better about death. We need to share our fears and our grief. It seems that when a person grieves, the only thing others want to do is get them to stop.
Maybe that's just a way of trying to help. It's much better to help through understanding. That's one reason why I enjoy this CD.
For parents who may quote other lines from other songs to convince me of how bad MCR is for kids, I can say that I don't know every word of every song. I just know how they've influenced my daughter, and it's all been positive. I'm sure some kids find the negative.
If your child is being badly influenced by the music of My Chemical Romance, by all means take the music out of your home. If not, don't judge by their looks and what you may have heard. Ask her what she likes about them. You might be pleasantly surprised.
In closing, here's a quote from Gerard. It must touch some hearts because it's been posted all over the internet.
Hey girls, you're beautiful.
Don't look at those stupid magazines with sticklike models. Eat healthy and exercise.
Don't let anyone tell you your not good enough.You are too good.
Love your family with all your heart and listen to it.
You are gorgeous, whether you're a size 3 or a size 14. It doen't matter what you look like on the outside, as long as you're a good person, as long as you respect others.
I know it's been told hundreds of times before, but it's true. Hey girls, you are beautiful.


Katie said...

For me, MCR has changed my life completely.. i ws never able to explain how.. every other person that has brought up the band has said that they were scary or obsessed with death/ stuff like that.. thanks for this..
Gerard has an amazing mind, i've been following their music since they started with Skylines and Turnstiles, their first song.. when i heard the lyrics, i knew from then on they would be up to making people understand what they have to offer, and not what they want in return for their music.. really all they want is for us to hear them out and listen!
And itd a first time for me to hear of the mother of a teenager (im guessing) understand and actually like the message, and to get it.
and one more thing..
Gerard has an awesome sence of humor..
heres some more of his quotes (not from songs) just tomake u smile.

"None. I think we should send a country some cupcakes. You think some cupcakes would cheer up North Korea? Kill ’em with deliciousness."

"You guys keep singing , I'm just gonna go over here , and I'm gonna touch myself (fans scream very loudly)"

"I can't honestly say what makes me sexy...I don't feel sexy. "

"So many people are gonna treat you like you're a kid. So, you might as well act like one and throw your television out of the hotel window."

"It's for the hamster that I'm gonna buy! This is so perfect!” (Gerard after opening a hamster cage at Christmas)

"If you don't go to high school you will definitely go to jail."

"Surrounding myself with fans makes me feel like I'm not going through it alone."

"Be Yourself, Don't take anyone's shit and never let them take you alive..."

"So how was Christmas for you guys? Did you all get lots of nice black t-shirts?"

"The Devil got landed with a shitty job, he has to deal with assholes everyday, he's probably bored as hell."

"I went to school in drag, in art school and my day was completely different because everybody thought I was a chick. You should see me as a chick. So I went as a girl, as like an experiment and it worked really well and everyone was really nice to me but I couldn't talk know train conductors were really cool to me on my commute...HA! I looked hot as a chick!"

"I have a nihilistic attitude so it's like, the new gay... it's popular." (Gerard on why we should give a damn about MCR)

"That's what happens when you're all borderline psychotic and therein lies the beauty of this band - our duality. There's a duality to each band member too. There's a desire to have this constant conflict. If we write a write a song and it turns out really poppy, we have to make the lyrics really fucked up. There's psychosis to everything we do for sure. One day we're probably gonna write this number one pop tune that will be about a massacre!"

“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.”

Francesca said...

It's really nice to see a parent of a teenage fan stand up for the band. They get so much crap for doing what they do; I'm glad you get the point... Thank you for your understanding, in the most un-creepy way possible :)

SUCHaFknMASTER said...

This blog is amazing! =] It gave me tears. Nothing can explain the Love of this music =] ♥♥♥♥♥

Lizzie Lovejoy said...

I think that this is such a wonderful post... so many peoples parents just go on stereotypes and don't listen to their children. I love my chemical romance and my mum is like you and understands :) good on you! ^^