Music Monday: Cat Stevens Tribute

Another tribute show, although there isn’t the same sense of excitement at seeing a tribute show, that quality of the music played isn’t any worse, often the musicians are even more talented at playing than the original artist.

Where as the Led Zeppelin tribute was more of a catalogue of songs redone, this tribute was a retelling of a life. With the music used as a powerful explanatory tool. We were presented with Cat’s life is three stages, his early career, his success and his conversion and life as a muslim.

One thing that struck me was his constant desire to find meaning in life, to find some sort of fulfilment to life. Here was a man who had what most people wanted, yet as so often seems to be the case found no real meaning and fulfilment in the money, the fame and lifestyle.

His final destination in his search led to his conversion to Islam, a somewhat strange action for a western, Christianised, famous performer. You usually expect a conversion to Buddhism or some other eastern spirituality or the more ridiculous Scientology. As a man who desired peace, Islam (which loosely translates to peace in English) seems at odds to this especially today with the proliferation of radical terrorism done in the name of Islam.

Today the Islam debate rolls on in our country about its true nature. Is it a religion of peace as Cat Stevens would want it to be? Or is it really about war, destruction of the infidels (i.e. western ‘Christian’ people) and political rule by sharia law? The next few years will be interesting to see what the general public make of this growing influence in the world.

But back to the music. Cat Stevens’ music was powerful. In discussion with my friend who joined me, my appreciation of music and its beauty to express feeling and meaning through both the words and the mood of tone and melody, was confirmed by how well the songs chosen moved the story of Cat’s life along in each episode. That is the beauty and power of music.

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