Saturday, August 1, 2009

Recovering Before My Debut

Was so tired last night from going to the county fair (and getting sick from riding a turbo propeller like ride - I am good to go on fast rides for another fifteen years; back to the carousels for me!) I fell asleep promptly. Woke up in middle of the night and then I tossed and turned.


Tonight, at 7, is my first ever rock band concert performance.

Here's my glamorous to-do list for getting ready for my debut as a singer for a rock band:

1. Change light bulbs at the venue with drummer. Check!

2. Clean off picnic tables for tonight.

Yesterday, I went down to the park with D and my kids and we unscrewed the bases of light bulbs some marauding vandals shot out with air soft guns from weeks ago. My park contacts had said they will change them, but as of yesterday hadn't, so I thought I would just do it as a favor, in exchange for the free use of the park.

This morning I will go down and hose off the tables. You know that saying, leave it as you found it? Well, I hope we will be leaving the park in better shape.

My mind is full of rock band thoughts, so bear with me.

At the county fair last night, I watched other bands perform and I made the following observations:

1. A classic rock band had hoola hoops and air guitars to involve the crowd. Brilliant.

2. But their lead singer - who looked like Bruce Willis - was dressed like he just tumbled out of bed, like a Hanes shirt and rumpled shorts. I still don't know what I'm wearing tonight, but I know it won't be slapdash. At least not on purpose.

3. Bribery works. They put out a call for air guitarists. They dangled two tickets to a baseball game to the first adult to come up, so I got up and did it. It was so fun! And I wasn't nervous at all. I mean, it was peanuts compared to having to really sing the darn thing (Go Johnny Go). And the singer really did look like Bruce Willis up close.

4. I am glad my band doesn't look like a biker gang (the blues band that followed). I would have a hard time justifying this to my mother-in-law.

In a quiet corner of the fair, a woman and her acoustic guitarist-husband played songs that I love love love. Norah Jones, Jewel, Tracy Chapman, Maroon 5. Later I introduced myself and we got talking. She told me she was in a 7-piece cover band other times, but decided to do this duo act to indulge her craving to sing "sappy chick songs". I told her I could totally relate and why.

I appreciate my band for "indulging" the bluesy ballads that I enjoy, but the songs kind of dilute our hard rock image, ya know? But give me an acoustic guitar and folk songs and I feel like I am carving time out of limestone cliffs. Timeless peace.

I requested "Ain't No Sunshine" and they winged it from the recesses of their long-ago archives, and the result was so Amazing! Everything about it - the guitar solo, her voice. Man.

The singer was not only beautiful and talented, but kind. When my sweet patient family came around at 10 pm to see if I was done indulging my live music fetish, she said, after a song, "You have a cute mom. Is it fun to have a rocker mom?" My kids looked at me in surprise - she knows? - and nodded sheepishly. Then she said we have a beautiful family.

Which I have. My kids are precious. And my husband, to support me in my rock band aspirations...he is the best.

Lastly, the other night I was on top of the world because I composed the lyrics and melody AND figured out guitar chords for a ballad called "Wishing On A Star". The best thing about it was, I performed it for my family and my older daughter said she likes it, which is such a compliment. I like writing stories and songs that my daughter enjoys. I feel like I have passed a litmus test when I do.

I wanted to share this song with my rock band at last week's practice, but between having to focus on the task at hand (last practice before tonight's performance) and not feeling like the song is really rock band material, I just held this song close to my chest. Someday, I would love to perform it in public, with me on acoustic guitar.


Melanie Avila said...

This is such a touching post. :) I love that you wrote your own song, that you rocked the air guitar with a Bruce Willis look-alike, that your family is proud of you...

Good luck tonight!

Pink Ink said...

Thanks, Melanie! Wish you could have been there.

It went awesome. I will post details sometime soon.