I use to be a Rock Star

I was a Rock Star once.

My keyboard
Image via Wikipedia

Well…that may not be entirely true, but I was in a band. I was the only female – chic if you will – in a basement band. We didn’t have a garage to play in; our parents gave us a Rec Room. I was lead vocals and keyboard. We played Journey, Led Zeplin, original music , and an assortment of contemporary rock. Often we played in the leader’s basement. His name was Denis. His brother let me use his keyboard because my dad was not so interested in hauling our Mason & Risch Piano around to my friends homes. It was easier to cart around Denis’s brother’s keyboard than Ross’s drum kit. The rest of the band was made up of a cast of characters that mom refered to as “Huey Dewy and Louie” in spite of the fact there was only two other members, Paul and Renee.

I always had more guy friends than gals. I would be playing the piano in my basement rec room when the backdoor bell would ring. If my parents knew the guys were coming over, my dad would anser the door…always. The back door had one steep step. my dad on a good day stands at 6’2″. He would open the door and loom over the fella’s with his hands on his hips. He would glare at the guys in silence for about a minute and say things like “I have a gun and I know how to use it”, or “I know where you live”. My dad was a teacher and had that “teacher look” that was required for disappointment purposes. He used it on the guys all the time. The guys would laugh, ” Hahahaha Mr, E(dmonton) you are so funny!” “What ever you say Mr. E!” The guys would come to the rec room and tell me how lucky I was that my dad was such a great guy….

They would sit on the couch and tell me to play what I had been working on. Ross would tap out a beat with his sticks and Denis and I would sing harmonies. When we had it figured out we would head over to Denis’ house, but I would have to take my bike or borrow mom’s car because I was NOT under ANY circumstances ALLOWED to ride in Ross’ car. Dad had Ross as a student once….knowing him that way sealed the deal. NO BEING IN ROSS’s CAR EVER. That was fine. I prefered driving myself and still do. I LOVED cruising around Sherwood Park in my mom’s Datsun B210 Mustard Yellow with a baseball bat beside my seat…for just in case. You’d think the way my dad was over protective that guys were flocking in hordes to my house….not so Mr. E, not so. If they were, my dad had successfully scared them all away. As far as I was concerned, I was one of the guys…except with maybe Ross. Hindsight tells me dad may have been right, but I was oblivious. Besides, I had a certain set of standards. The guy I dated needed to have a job, not live in his car, his thighs had to be larger than mine ( I was a cyclist so boys with stick bodies just didn’t do it for me), AND go to school. Being a drop-out was just not okay. Therefore, Ross was off the radar on all accounts.

Our goal was to play in front of an audience that wasn’t our parents. HA! That never happened, only Denis was serious. The rest of us were just goofing around having fun. Eventually, Denis fired us all. I think he is a Country Singer or DJ or something. I saw him on a TV ad during the National Rodeo Finals in November.

Playing the drums the other day had triggered that memory. I hadn’t thought about those details in a very long time. Today I sat down at the piano and played for the first time in years…possibly 10 years or longer.

I ran scales and thought of my piano teacher and how she use to put pennies on my hands to keep them up. I heard “clicking” and remember how she would tell me to cut my nails. I was surprised at how easily everything came back to me. Then I opened some books of my offspring. They play and I do not. I can still sight read my way through a simple song. When I pulled out some more complicated classical…I stumbled.

Today I thought my “New Thing” should be Learn a New Piano Song. I have been feeling melancholy lately so I pulled out Feed the Birds by the Sherman Brothers. I had never played it before in my life, but I often sang it for my mom. Me and Mary Poppins go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back. This was always one of my favorites. 4 tries of sight reading, learning the bridge separately, and 6 practice runs…I learned it. Several more practice runs and it will be memorized. I forgot how much I love playing the piano. I went a printed off some music. Classical music by Bach, Liszt, Mozart and Beethoven were found on free downloads. Sonatina in C was my first choice. All it did was made me miss the Mason & Risch, which had a rich sound like a honky tonk piano. Not classical like a Yamaha or a Steinway, but I loved it. It reminded me of THE Piece I played when the company came over. It was my concert piece. The Swallow opus 100 no 24 in G by Friedrich Burgmüller. Dad would always say…play it for me.

After hours a few minutes of searching (thank you University for teaching me awesome search techniques for impossible things) I found it in spite of not having all the title or the composer. The best news? I was able to download and print it. It is more complicated than I am capable of right now.

But practice makes perfect.


12 thoughts on “I use to be a Rock Star

  1. I used to play the clarinet… My daughter is a budding musician, she sings and plays guitar, and sometimes I fool around with her keyboard, and find myself missing my clarinet, wishing I hadn’t pawned it to pay our bills years ago… Hmmm… wonder if I should wonder through the pawn shops and pick one up?

    1. DO IT! I have been fantasizing about the piano all morning and can’t wait to sit down later todaya – chores first! When I was looking for a clarinet for my son, I checked out kijiji. TONS of clarinets are available on there! Bring music back into your life is a wonderful thing 🙂

  2. A long time ago, I might have been Ross … except with the job, studies under control, stick skills, etc. At that age, I’m fairly sure Mr. E would have scared me!

    One my favorite piano pieces is Für Elise … can you play that?

    1. I read your comment when it arrived in my mailbox. It stuck with me while I was painting my daughters room. What interests me is you said you might have been Ross. I had a horrifying epiphany…what if I always judge too harshly? I have no idea what happened to Ross. He may be doing time OR he may have got his act together and is living the life of Riley. Quite frankly, for all my “requirements” I didn’t make stellar choices either. In fact, I should have picked men based on character rather than job, education, home, and car. Status, while nice…didn’t fill a void I was searching for.
      As for Für Elise, I use to be able to! It was a piece I learned because of my love and serious crush on Schroder from the Peanuts. I always had a thing for musicians. The thought of dancing in a man’s arms while he is singing to me…melts my knees. I did download Beethoven’s masterpiece. I will give it a whirl. When I am good at it I will record it and send you a link 🙂

      1. My primary connection with Ross is drumming, not any of the other stuff! That’s why I mentioned him. In fact, I *have* a drum kit in my basement, so apparently even Old Guys don’t remember how to grow old properly. 🙂

        I think it’s reasonable to use some basic socio-economic filters on selecting guys in addition to the normal ones of character, chemisty, etc.

        That would great fun if you passed on a link to a saved recording of Für Elise! Thanks in advance!

  3. Ahhh but I had left out “in addition to the normal ones of character, chemisty, etc.” I also picked too young. There is no way people understand who they are at the age of 17. My neice is in the process of trying to decide what to do for rthe rest of her life at 18. Impossible. Because who you are at 44 is not who you are at 18. Thank goodness we evolve and change! I told her it is reasonable to expect the career to change too. So if that is the case, is it reasonable to expect people to be monogamous, maybe if the two souls evolve at the same rate. This gives me lots to think about.

  4. Oh sure, just because YOU do means I have to as well? Hmmm we will see. To keep up with you, I will have to sing as well. That I can do but I will need to try my hand at original stuff. Maybe i will add that to my 52 new things to try!

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