Music Saves: How Cut Copy Saved My Life
If you have been following for a while, you then know how crazy I am about music. Had I not been a writer, I’d probably have been a musician. An electronic keyboardist, to be exact. But that’s partially, or maybe wholly, my older (and only) brother’s fault.
When he was 17, I was only 6. He had straight bountiful shaggy hair, a thick Madrid accent, and a bedroom full of his best buddies aspiring to make pop music of their own. With my brother’s influence during those formative years of my life, music became the center of my world.
Music has always shown me the way – it has saved my life, shown me answers, given me strength. Many. Times. Over.
I discovered Cut Copy about eight years ago while I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life. I had recently finished my first novel, The Lunatics, I had a toddler, my own business, and a marriage that was falling apart. Not an uncommon story, I know. (Side note: A big shout out to all the single parents/full custody parents out there.)
I want to say it took a lot of courage to break up a marriage, take my two-year-old, and go and face the world solo – but it didn’t. For me, at the time, it was undoubtedly the only thing I couldn’t wait to do.
And I was terribly sad. Not because I had to face the world alone with practically a baby and little resources. But because everything I had worked for so hard and for so long (my business, my marriage, my family, my beautiful home) had been blown to pieces in the name of addiction.
And now all I had was:
A folded business.
And my two-year-old boy.
In retrospect, I had it all.
It was then I found In Ghost Colors, Cut Copy’s second album released in 2008. When I first heard Feel the Love I knew I had found my theme album for my new life. Every morning I jumped out of bed, divorce behind me, just my little boy and I in a roach infested 480 square foot apartment in a less than desirable part of South Florida, and I was happier than I had been in years. Happy to have my life be my own again, to have the opportunity to raise a man on my own, and the freedom of no longer having to worry about someone that was too sick to love me or my baby properly. So each morning, while my toddler and I got ready for work/daycare I opened up my playlist to Cut Copy’s DJ Dan Whitford singing Feel The Love. Their happy go lucky melodies not taking life so seriously were right in line with my beliefs and the beliefs I wanted to impart to my boy.
Together, we’d sing with Cut Copy:
“All the girl I’ve known are crying (oh oh oh, oh oh oh)”
“All the clouds have silver linings (oh oh oh, oh oh oh)”
“Thought the days are counting backwards (oh oh oh, oh oh oh)”
“I know that you have the right words” (oh oh oh, oh oh)”
On June 18th 2014, at Miami’s Grand Central, I saw Cut Copy live for the first time ever. I fell even harder in love when I saw Dan Whitford standing behind his keyboard singing, dancing, jumping the way he does. Commanding passion, intensity, zest with every movement. Singing to his crowd with his arms raised up in a V like some sort of cult leader. He was amazing.
The last time I saw them was last week, September 8th 2018 at the Berkeley Greek Theatre, it was packed to the hilt. People were swarming everywhere, from the GA section to the stairs of the amphitheater, all the way to the tippy-top of the hill.
There were three bands playing that day (Sir Sly, Phoenix, and Cut Copy). But if you asked anyone who they were there to see, their answer was almost always the same. Cut Copy.
Cut Copy, you rocked me then and you still rock me solid.
My life is much different now than those days eight years ago, when my son and I had to hold our pee in all night long because we were too scared to run into roaches in the bathroom at 3 AM in the morning (it’s actually funnier than it sounds). In that little roach-infested apartment, that’s where Cut Copy saved my life.
And although I love many other bands, Cut Copy will always have a special place in my heart.
Here’s Cut Copy’s DJ Dan Whitford, last week in Berkeley, in full southern revival mode!