Without You I’m Nothing: Celebrating 21 Years of Placebo

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The year was 1998 and as usual for that time, I was watching music videos on TV. Not on MTV cause only if you were living in Northern Italy could you get that channel, but rather it was an indie music channel that heavily focused on rock. In between moments of boredom and trying to figure out complex math problems, I looked up and noticed him. The person in question was Brian Molko. There was something strangely enigmatic and enchanting about his nasal voice and sparkling charcoaled eyes that made it impossible for me to look away. And starting into the deep abyss of his blue gaze, I knew that nothing would ever be the same for me.

For the past 21 years, Placebo’s music has been the soundtrack to my life. There’s an inexplicable bond between myself and those songs that now they belong more to me than they ever did to the band.

I recall early winter mornings where the dreariness of January had hit is peak and I’d pop in Pure Morning to wake myself up. Those months where I continued to cut my own hair, each time shorter than the last and burying myself in a grey cashmere sweater, just hoping that something would melt the chill that nestled inside of me.

I recall heady summer days where I shared my passion with my cousin Melody. Of course, someone who had suicidal tendencies would be drawn to My Sweet Prince, a song that depicts a suicide over a lost love. We were young and fearless, blasting the stereo with Molko’s dark lyrics as we applied lipstick in Crimson Sin. We were 18 and ready to take the world by a storm with pearls and posh seduction.

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I remember a time in Paris when dressed in a red flowing gown I danced to Twenty Years. When my soulmate looked into my eyes and held me like he was never going to let me go. That I wouldn’t be slipping out of his hands once dawn arrived. That we weren’t planning on saying goodbye. Pretending that everything was perfect. But perfect only existed in our optimistic dreams and was never based on our reality.

Then there was the time when, listening to Bosco on repeat, sitting in the passenger seat and looking out into the city with tears in my eyes because I wanted so desperately to hold onto someone that was clearly slipping away from me. My friend Lexy sighing from the driver’s seat, telling me to move on, that if I could just do that, then maybe I could be maybe. But, just as unrelenting and soaked in sorrow as that song was, I was unable to move on or let go. Until two years later. Because something we’d rather clutch love’s skeleton than to admit that it is dead and gone.

I’ve been listening to Placebo for so long that I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t listening to their music. And today, since it is Brian Molko’s birthday (he turns 47) it seemed the most fitting for me to dedicate my blog post to him.

Happy Birthday, Brian and thank you for the music and the memories. I’ll forever be shouting into the void, Soulmates never die.

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