I remember the first time I heard an MCR song. I was dancing around my living room watching MTV's video hour. (Remember when there was music on MTV?) A song that I can no longer recall had ended, and as an 11 year old would I eagerly awaited the start of the next song wondering what it could be. And then I heard it. The opening riff of Helena, and the one of a kind rasp of Gerard Way's voice. "Whats the worst that I can say, things are better if I stay. So long, and goodnight. So long, and goodnight." He sang, as the funeral procession danced up and down the aisles in the church, thrashing and dancing like I had never seen before. The whole thing lasted about 3 minutes, as it was only a music video, but it left me wanting more.
And then we got Life on the Murder Scene, a documentary and a live album. And I can tell you that now, at 22 years old I still know every spoken word and every lyric they sung on these discs. But it was more so the content of the video diaries that hit home for me. There was a point in this video that Gerard sat there and told a story about fans telling them that "their music saved their lives" and that seemed to blow the boys away. Hell, it blew me away. I couldn't understand it fully then, but later I would.
I remember begging my mom to let me go to one of their concerts. Waiting and waiting for them to come around. Of course once they did I had to be at EVERY show they did in the tri-state area. (Duh!) And then they released the song "Welcome to the Black Parade" and like that, everybody knew them, and they were even on Z100, the most popular radio station in our area. And the boys found their fame, which made me even more excited because now it was super easy to get their shirts, and their other merch everywhere. I even had a binder and pencils with their logos on it. (okay, I might be guilty of still having it!!)
As the boys are all (besides Bob!) natives of New Jersey, their album release show was held at Vintage Vinyl Record Store in Fords, NJ. Normally, Vintage Vinyl has small in store shows, but for them it was a giant outside venue taking up the entire parking lot. The show was loud, and fast, and everything that any fan of the band had hoped for. And then it was over, and a lucky few of us got to shake their hands and have them sign our brand new copies of TBP. And this moment changed everything for me.
And it changed everything for them too. MCR toured and toured after this album, letting it create a live album called "The Black Parade is Dead!" which gave us and them the closure to move on to the next story, next album that they would create.
The Black Parade told stories of fear and heartbreak and sadness, and then came around to say that life goes on, and that you CAN get through anything hard that life is throwing at you. And no matter what you were going through, the boys were ALWAYS there for you. All 5 of them made efforts to talk to fans, and to really be inspirational no matter what they did or sang. Gerard would take time out of every single show to tell fans how important they are, and to never give up.
For me, this music got me through the day to day. Pushed me through heartbreaks, and even my coming out story. For me MCR made strides and wrote stories and lyrics that fit for every moment in my life. And by the time Danger Days came out I felt certain that these songs would stay with me.
My Chemical Romance did a lot with Danger Days, even let out an EP that was supposed to be a side soundtrack to the story they were portraying. Singer Gerard Way wrote and published a comic book series ABOUT the characters they sung about on this album. This album may have portrayed the lives that they felt they were living, and their fans could relate to at least one point in each of "The Killjoys".
I distinctly remember waiting in line for 10 hours one mid - December to watch the band play a few songs that would air on a New Year's Eve television broadcast from Time Square. It was freezing, colder than one could take with warm clothing and jackets. But I, alongside hundreds of other fans stood there for them. The 5 of them made it a point to show their gratefulness for their fans the entire performance and there after.
I even got the chance to see them on my birthday one year, and that is one I will never forget.
But sadly enough, after the tours for the album and its great success MCR decided that they wanted to go in separate directions. All of them now being husbands, and some fathers. Gerard wanting to write comics, and Frank having another band. It was apparent that this would be the end for MCR but not the end of the 5 of them.
MCR has slowly over time released never before heard demos, and portions of songs that have changed before their album releases. They have released covers and material that fans that grew up with them like I did would cherish. And I have. It always seems as though a new piece of MCR pops up right when I need it the most, and at any point that I am feeling low I can always go back to the songs, to the things that the boys have said and remember that everything will be okay.