dachelle: (still heart you)
[personal profile] dachelle
So, someone on LJ (who I won't name, as she's since deleted the post, but I think it was a good idea) was going to ask people to comment anonymously with why they love Peter/Carl/The Libertines. I was originally going to just send this in an e-mail to her, but then I thought I'd post it, because I know I've talked about the Libs a lot, obviously, but maybe never really about what draws me to them. Reading over this, it seems insufficient, but I think it goes a little way towards explaining. Anyway, if you want to read it's under the cut.

1. Peter - The first picture I saw of Peter and Carl was the second album cover, but the first picture I saw of Peter was in Entertainment Weekly magazine. It was a review of Hedi Slimane's book, and there was a picture of Peter with it, the one where he's wearing a hat and smoking a cigarette with his eyes closed and a bandage on his face. And even though I only had a vague idea of who Peter was at the time, I saved that magazine because there was something about the picture that intrigued me. I kept returning to it, again and again, and eventually I decided that Peter was someone I wanted to know more about.

It's hard to say exactly what I love about Peter because there are so many reasons I shouldn't love him. He can be so incredibly frustrating and infuriating, and there are many times when I would like to shake him and ask him what the fuck he thinks he's doing. But, at the same time, there's something in him that makes me invested enough in him to want to do that, to want better for him, if you get what I'm saying. When I think of Peter, the word that immediately comes to mind is "charming." I definitely fell for him watching and reading old interviews, and seeing him in person only solidified that. You can tell, no matter what the tabloids would have you believe, that the gears are always turning in his mind. When he's on and himself, he's bright and animated and witty, and I suppose that's why I'm so disappointed in him sometimes, because I wonder why he feels the need to take substances that mask that, that take away the expressiveness of that charming boy.

I've talked about this a bit when I've talked about my fic to others, and the fact that I do have a definite version of Peter that I tend to write, but I very much identify with the younger Peter, the Peter who lived in his head and was bookish and a bit pretentious and liable to get obsessive over any number of odd things, and I think that's why, even though our lives are very different and I don't have personal experience with a lot of the things he writes about in his songs, I can still find a connection with his lyrics. Because he's still that idealist, that dreamer, that reader, and that comes through in his songs. I love how personal his songs feel. Even though he's not a great singer, I adore his voice, and how intimate it can seem when it's just him and the guitar. I've spent a lot of quiet hours in darkened rooms just listening to those acoustic sessions. There's such beauty and heartache and truth in what he writes (and that's true of Carl as well). I don't think I'll ever get tired of listening to him. I guess that's ultimately what draws me to Peter, and what keeps me being a fan and defending him even when he does things that I don't like/don't approve of.

2. Carl - Random note: I spent several months thinking Carl was French. Like, actually French, not just in the fandom "filthy French whore" way. It was a combination of the stripey shirts and the accent mark, what can I say.

Anyway, obviously Carl is an incredibly good-looking man, and I think that is a part of what draws many fans to him initially. But as I learned more about the Libs and listened to the songs and his playing, I realized what an amazing person he is. He is so talented, and he has a definite style to his guitar playing. Lyrically, I may connect a bit more with Peter's songs overall, but Carl has written some truly wonderful stuff. "Truth Begins" can stand up with anything the Libs did, I think. And of course, on a personal level, reading about what happened with the end of the Libs and all he went through made my heart break a little, and made me develop respect for him. Of course there are two sides to every story, and I'm under no illusions that Carl is an angel, but I do think he handled himself and the situation very well.

I became a fan of Carl's forever after meeting him in Chicago in 2006. It was the first time I'd ever traveled to see a band, and he was so lovely and gracious and funny and sweet and just *genuine* in his interactions with us and all the other fans. I was really impressed by him. I think he's honestly a good person - a complicated person, but a good person. I think I've told a few people this story. It's one of the lamer moments in my life, but I was driving home once and saw a shooting star, and I was listening to the Libs, and so I made a wish that Peter would get clean, and that Carl would be happy. Because I think they both deserve that, to live happy, healthy lives - not necessarily together, you know, although that would make my slasher heart fill with glee, but whatever that means for them.

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to when I was living in London in '98 and find a way to meet Peter and Carl then, because I think I would enjoy knowing them as people, not just as a fan. I am amazed that they're the same age as me, because sometimes they seem so much younger, and sometimes so much older, because of all that's happened in their lives. I respect them for having the courage to follow their dreams. I mean, they dropped out of school to start this band, lived in shitty flats and did shitty jobs, all in pursuit of this ideal that they really believed in, and they were only teenagers at the time. I think back to where and who I was then, and I couldn't have done what they did.

Which I suppose brings me to 3. - The Libs, and I feel a little bad because I've not mentioned John or Gary at all, who are both lovely, lovely people, and who I think brought a great deal to the band musically, particularly Gary. I don't think the Libs would sound anything like they did without his style of drumming. But a lot of the attraction of the Libs is Peter and Carl, and their story. At least, I think a lot of the passion for the band is. I mean, I love the music of The Wombats, but dear boys though they seem to be, I don't feel emotionally invested in them the way I do in the Libs. It all comes down to "blood from broken hearts," doesn't it? Like I said earlier in reference to Peter, but it applies to Carl as well, there is so much honesty in their lyrics. You can tell they didn't write to be fashionable or to sell records, but they wrote about what they loved, what mattered to them, what was going on in their lives, warts and all. They had a vision, and that comes through. I love how literate their music is. I love that I can always find something new when I listen to them, some line that suddenly strikes me, that takes on a new meaning in light of something I've read or an echo I've found in another song. I love that you do have to listen to their songs. Really, there aren't a lot of big, anthemic choruses with the Libs, but a lot of intricate verses, and I love that. I love how passionate their fans are about them, and how intelligent and literate the fans I've met are, at least on LJ (not talking about the people who go to see Peter because he's in the Sun who are there for the trainwreck aspect, but the people who are truly interested in the music).

And I love their friendship, in all its dysfunctional glory. The slash thing aside, no matter what went on or didn't between them, there is still an undeniable connection there, something special that transcends most friendships. It is a love story, really - and at times a soap opera. And I think that's why we do get so emotionally involved, because ultimately what we have are two people who just seem to belong together, and it's natural to root for them to put their differences aside and to be together again.

And finally, I love them because no matter how depressed I am, watching the first minute and a half of this will always make me smile:

ETA: If you'd like to leave your own comment about why you love/are drawn to Peter, Carl and the Libs, please do! I think anon commenting is on if you want to use that.
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