MASH Notes 001

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

[Editor's Note: Tucked down at the bottom of the front page of Ground Control in the section marked About Us, readers will find this website's mission statement. In the brief explanation for what this magazine is are the words "It's about people who aren't ashamed to be considered fans" but, really, there has never been a column devoted to simply being a fan of an artist or band. It's to that sense of personal appreciation that MASH Notes is devoted. In this open column, writers can take a minute and tell the composer of the music that really speaks to them how it has affected or enriched their lives. They'll probably never read it, but that's not the point; it's just about writers feeling a profound connection with an artist's music and needing to spill some ink about it. MASH Notes is about "integrity and appreciation," and is open to anyone who feels the need. Submit your MASH Note to us at . Keep it clean, and we'll run it. Our first MASH Note comes from Scott Vickers-Hefferman, and is dedicated to Mazzy Star.]

Dearest Mazzy Star,

Your music, though it was not the first work which popped into my head when asked who I felt I should write a love letter to on the basis of just his/her music alone, was the only stuff I could hear after a long pause. In the end, the one woman’s voice that still haunts me is yours. It brings with it so many kisses, dances and shades of hair. The guitar opens entire years back up. Good ones, crazy ones, and those perfect ones that managed both….

Mazzy Star, I have never bothered to find an image of you, I hear you are quite shy. I would have felt wrong, and it’s remained a kind and sacrosanct mystery; it’s kept the island of your sweet tunes unto itself, hidden in the soundtrack of my suburban youth. I think it has something to do with all those early girls who took pity on a young poet ginger scrawny kid. Your music and the details of those women with which I've shared relationships are all mixed up now, so that a Frankenstein-like image is created in the absence of really knowing what you look like. You are the red head's hyper-curled hair, the living Klimt model – the one who danced and painted all night with me. You are the Wiccan with black bomber jacket and kilt who swore she had an animal spirit inside her, and sought to show me mine too; the one who always kept her hair short, and blew into my ears a tickling whisper or two. The one I nearly ruined with a kiss, but decided instead to collaborate and walk with.  It’s to the point that I am not sure of whether I was seeking, from the moment I heard your voice, a woman to make that music real or whether it has simply been the case that all the ones I was drawn to somehow embodied similarities to what I envisioned to be you. Either way, I thank you for accompanying me in my shy and quiet early years, for remaining, even now…the perfect star upon which to hold one’s wishes.  Growing up without that voice would’ve been like growing up blind to the color red, or yellow, or orange. Something would’ve felt off each time I gazed into a fire; like kissing an artificial lip, or dancing without moving.  

I hope your time in this life is magic, that you are never left short of joy, and never made too often to feel that sting of the crowds’ eyes; that your quiet is left to you and you alone. May the fire that burns in your music and your voice continue to beautify young poets and young painters hearts…

Yours in youth and forevermore,
Scott Vickers-Heffernan

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