David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

Drift Away

I don't think there's ever been a more perfect expression of fannish love, with regard to music, than "Drift Away," written by Mentor Williams and made famous by Dobie Gray's brilliant performance. It's one of the most pure expressions of the fannish experience; the ill-at-ease natural state, the hope for escape, the honest gratitude for deliverance, the appreciation of relief given. It's been covered a host of times, and it's been a live staple for many a performer. Which is a little strange, if you think about it: "Drift Away" is the audience's song, the expression of the audience's feeling, their love song to the performer. They should be the ones to sing it, if anyone. (The flip side, the performer's love song to the audience, is beautifully expressed in Jackson Browne's "The Load Out / Stay.") Whenever I hear "Drift Away," I see it staged in my head, as if in a musical. Individual lines seem to speak to the agonies of different fans, particularly in the second verse: "Beginning to think that I'm wastin' time / I don't understand the things I do / The world outside looks so unkind / I'm countin' on you to carry me through" -- to me, the first three lines suggest three different people, each grappling with their own problems, and the fourth is their coming together; the song really does suggest a crowd.

Bandom isn't my fandom, and it never will be, for a host of reasons. I don't know if folks in bandom do vidding at all, or if anybody in the fandom has done a multi-band vid to "Drift Away." If not, though, somebody should. Because, he said selfishly, when I think of the song, I think of y'all.
Tags: fandom, music

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