BL UR, 13 ( 1999)

Q (UK) - - Damon At 50 -

Cho­sen by: Gra­ham Coxon

“He was the first per­son I ever met that could write a song. One of the first con­tacts I had with him, I was play­ing sax­o­phone at the time and he said, ‘I’ve writ­ten a song and I want some sax­o­phone on it if you fancy it?’ I was like, ‘Crikey, this boy’s writ­ten a song!’ I never thought I was old enough to write a song but that’s typ­i­cal of the dif­fer­ence be­tween me and Damon. I would think, ‘Well, I’m not the sort of per­son to have this ex­pe­ri­ence…’ and he would be like, ‘I don’t fuck­ing care, I’m go­ing to do it, why not?’ He never thinks, ‘Oh, I can’t do that…” He likes a chal­lenge. “It’s also his work ethic. A lot of peo­ple who are cre­ative think, ‘Oh, it’s cre­ative, I must have the muse,’ but that’s BS. It’s work ethic and prac­tis­ing that’s most im­por­tant. When we first moved to Lon­don he went through a self-im­posed hell of break­ing through within him­self writ­ing. He’d spend a long, long time with a pi­ano. It’s a sim­i­lar thing to The Karate Kid hit­ting that wooden dummy with all those bits of wood stick­ing out, it’s a long, painful ex­pe­ri­ence. “The first song that he wrote that I thought, ‘I wish I’d writ­ten that,’ was Birth­day pretty early on. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill chord se­quence and he’s done that many times, es­pe­cially on another favourite of mine, 1992. I adore that song. It’s very melan­cholic but also vin­dic­tive and dark, it’s very com­pli­cated emo­tion­ally and the chord se­quence re­flects that. “I re­spond as a kind of in­ter­preter of Damon. So on things like 1992 where his chords take an un­ex­pected turn I think how I can ex­ag­ger­ate the beauty of them. I lis­ten to his stuff and parts come to me. Whether it’s new or whether it’s stuff that he’s done on his own I still go, ‘Ah!’ and look for a gui­tar. “Our birth­days are close to­gether, some­times we get in the same place but we won’t go out of our way to. We might send each other a lit­tle draw­ing or a card, some­thing to say, ‘Wotcha, think­ing about you.’ In the last cou­ple of years, I’ve got­ten into mak­ing him some­thing, so I’ve got to think what I’ve got to do for that this year.”

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