Dave Matthews’ Impact on my [Young] Life

Just to set the record straight, I do not own the featured image on this page and I humbly give credit to all whom credit is rightly due.

I think just about any teenager has a singer or band that he or she idolizes.

For me, the singer I idolized when I was a teen was Dave Matthews and his band, The Dave Matthews Band.

I was fifteen going on sixteen when I discovered them.

I remember where I was the first time I knowingly heard one of his songs.

It was in August of 2002 and I was with my Dad and my Brother. We were driving to Metairie, Louisiana (a suburb directly west of New Orleans), to have our family computer serviced.

We were passing somewhere in Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana, either Boutte or Paradis, on U. S. Highway 90 when the song, “The Space Between” came on the car radio.

I listened very intently and took in every lyric.

The melody was also had my undivided attention.

It was pure genius or at least to me it was pure genius!

Prior to this, I listened to the music of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eminem, Limp Bizkit, some Rappers and a few Punk Rock artists.

This would be a life changing event as far as my taste in music and my outlook on life.

I would begin to become more tolerant of others and eventually adopted an attitude of “live and let live” or “to each his own” and the bulk of developing this train of thought was the result of listening to Dave Matthews. Not only that, listening to their music would also trigger several dreams I have had and still remember!

Within a year, I would be a completely different person.

The computer would be getting serviced for a week or two, but when we got it back, I began to listen to several of Dave Matthews Band songs.

Each song I heard had influenced me in a very positive way. The music would make me want to be my best human self, at least prior to coming to Christ.

Listening to these songs made me a more kind, tolerant and romantic person and would eventually cause me to become a writer (keep reading and you will find out more about that.)

In November of 2002, I had caught a severe respiratory infection and missed a week of school.

I did spend a good portion of that week listening to Dave Matthews Band songs on my boom box.

I also discovered the song, “Where are you Going?” This could have been the beginning of me wanting to be more romantic.

Fast forward to January 5, 2003, I first saw the video to the song, “The Space Between” and was totally mesmerized! It was everything I expected it to be and even more!

Later on in January 2003, I had to go under for a procedure and I remember listening to a Dave Matthews Band CD while in the waiting room. I remember songs like “Crush” and “Crash into Me.”

At another point in early 2003 I had heard, “When the World Ends” and was totally satisfied by the lyrics.

In the early morning hours of February 9, 2003, I had a dream that I was living in a dystopian version of New Orleans where a girl and I were in love and on the run. We are eventually detained but the jail cell collapses then I break off my handcuffs as well as hers then tell her, “Take my hand, Cause we’re walking out of here!” That line is directly from the song, “The Space Between.” We escape but she later dies from internal injuries caused by recent police brutality. I end up blowing my brains out and waking up. That dream by the way was made into two stories that I wrote and probably was one of the catalysts that would cause me to become a writer in the first place!

For the rest of February and March of 2003, if I was listening to music, it was probably The Dave Matthews Band.

I still have a copy of Dave Matthews statement about the 2003 U. S. invasion of Iraq!

On the evening of April 10, 2003, I wrote my first story, a love story, and was listening to several Dave Matthews Band songs while writing it! I was absolutely filled, flooded and overflowing with raw emotions. His lyrics always seem to have that affect on me.

Fast forward to that wonderful Summer of 2003 and I had discovered more songs such as “Grace is Gone” and “I’ll Back You Up.”

In October of 2003, I was at a party getting plastered and I remember attempting to sing, “Grace is Gone.”

My school uniform shirt had also become partially unbuttoned and one of the others at the party commented about my hairy chest, to which I replied in a totally drunken stupor, “Oh yeah, I have a hairy chest like Dave Matthews!” I’m still reminded of this well into my thirties!

Fast forward to June of 2004, I suffered a mental breakdown.

Then in July of 2004, I converted to Christianity.

When I found out that Dave Matthews was/is Agnostic, I gradually began to listen to his music less and less.

Years later I found out he did the song, “I Did It” and felt totally vindicated.

Some more years later, I heard, “Ants Marching” and looking back, I totally get the lyrics.

I’ve always been able to relate to his lyrics somehow, like more than any other secular artist.

And the solos that his band members play must take an incredibly high degree of talent to compose and perform.

Then, this year, 2020, I started listening to him again, and just for the record, my Christian faith is stronger than ever.

I recently discovered the song, “Don’t Drink the Water.” What is amazing is that I was watching barge traffic while listening and paying attention to that song for the first time. It definitely could strike some emotions in the year 2020, consider all that is going on.

I am, however, careful about what I listen to and no I don’t idolize Dave Matthews or his band anymore, because that is a violation of God’s law, but I sure do enjoy some of the lyrics and music.  Not only do I reminisce about the past but I look to the future and take in the present all at the same time, while listening. The music and lyrics are just that powerful!

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