Good music is good music, and I like to dabble in all kinds of it. Rock, jazz, country, gospel, classical, pop, hip-hop – I listen to a little of everything. If I had to choose, I would probably pick Metallica as my favorite band—but running close behind them would be the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, and Tito Puente. (If Metallica ever does a rendition of Jobim’s “Look to the Sky,” you’ll find me locked away in my own room with the song on loop. I can hear James Hetfield belting out “Look to the sky-eeeeAH!” already… But I digress.)
I’ve been taking a greater interest in the electronic genre in recent years. I became a casual fan of Daft Punk while I was in college (2003-2007), but I never really explored much of their stuff. That changed a little over a year ago, following the breakdown of my dishwasher at home. I needed some type of music to keep me entertained while manually working my way through those never-ending piles of dishes, so I created a “Daft Punk” Pandora Station on my iPhone. Wow. Despite my wife’s opinion on the matter, I find that there is some truly excellent electronic music out there.
One evening, in the middle of an extended dishwashing session, Pandora served up Daft Punk’s “Giorgio By Moroder,” and I was immediately enthralled. My new interest in electronic music was tied together in a major way with my long-existing love of witnessing individuals pursuing their passions. I had chills for the entire 9 minutes of the song.
Giovanni Giorgio Moroder (known simply as “Giorgio”) is the pioneer of electronic dance music. In “Giorgio By Moroder,” Daft Punk pays tribute to Giorgio by having him tell his life story on top of some tunes. The music itself is great, but what really grabbed me that night was the story of Giogio’s life – the courage he summoned to do something completely different, the hard work he put in, the sacrifices he made along the way, the risks he took, the wisdom he now imparts. Everyone—but especially we Millennials—can learn a lot from Giogio’s words in the lyrics below.
Giorgio By Moroder
When I was fifteen, sixteen, when I really started to play the guitar
I definitely wanted to become a musician.
It was almost impossible because the dream was so big
I didn’t see any chance because I was living in a little town; I was studying.
And when I finally broke away from school and became a musician,
I thought, “Well, now I may have a little bit of a chance,”
Because all I really wanted to do is music—and not only play music
But compose music.
At that time, in Germany, in ’69-’70, they had already discotheques.
So, I would take my car, would go to a discotheque and sing maybe 30 minutes.
I think I had about seven, eight songs.
I would partially sleep in the car because I didn’t want to drive home,
and that helped me for about almost two years to survive in the beginning.
I wanted to do an album with the sound of the ’50s, the sound of the ’60s, of the ’70s,
and then have a sound of the future.
And I thought, “Wait a second…I know the synthesizer—why don’t I use the synthesizer, which is the sound of the future?”
And I didn’t have any idea what to do, but I knew I needed a click,
so we put a click on the 24 track which then was synched to the Moog Modular.
I knew that it could be a sound of the future
but I didn’t realise how much the impact would be.
My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but everybody calls me Giorgio.
Once you free your mind about the concept of harmony and of music being correct,
you can do whatever you want.
So, nobody told me what to do,
and there was no preconception of what to do.
I was reminded of my experience with “Giorgio By Moroder” this week after reading an article about Giorgio’s plans to release a new solo album (his first in more than 30 years) in the spring of 2015. Now at the age of 74, Giorgio is defying expectations about what someone in his seventies should do. This doesn’t surprise me, though; just look at those lyrics again. Clearly, Giorgio has “freed his mind about the concept of age” and of “age-related-activities being correct,” so now he’s doing whatever he wants to do.
When asked about the release, Giorgio exclaimed ,”74 is the new 24!” If that’s the case, Giorgio, let me be the first to welcome you to the Millennial generation. We are eager to learn from your experience as we work to pursue dreams of our own.