Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Going Home

Lou has been a friend of mine since college. It was he, our friend Brain and I that were the 3 Musketeers in school. The music program was difficult and you needed your classmates for support when it got hard, and it was hard a lot of the time. As I’ve written before, I never thought I was a great player, ever. There were so many talented people I rubbed elbows with and were friends with. I always felt like the loser of the music program. I felt I excelled in the writing portion of the program. The ear training was difficult, but not too much and the fact that I felt I wasn’t as good as the others didn’t help when it came to the other instruments we studied, and the vocal training that was part of theory. Lou was a percussionist like me but I was the Rikki Rocket to his Neal Peart. Brain is a phenomenal vocalist. He and I would work on harmonies all the time. I always loved the way our voices sounded together when singing the right songs. We also had a friend named Adam who played guitar and we’d sometimes sit in the hallway after class to just sing and play. Truly a “Fame” vibe going on a lot of the time.

I always felt I could talk, practice, and sing in front of Lou and Brain. Granted the guys knew more than me, for they started in music long before I did so a lot of their musical ability came to them naturally and the fact that they’d been into it since they were kids. I started performing in grade school and continued through college-vocally. I didn’t take up the drums until I was 19 years old and didn’t learn to read music until I was a sophomore in college. I played guitar off and on all through my teens but never took a lesson until I was in college, as with piano. Thing was with the guys I could make mistakes, not know what the hell I was doing and I’d never get criticized, ever. I never took criticism well, one of the many reasons I found it hard to be a musician. It would hurt me that I would stay up all night and work on a piece, turn it in to have someone tell me that it sucked.

I was talking to Lou the other day, talking about how I wanted to get back into it again. I really want to make a kick ass, hard-core, rock-metal, girl-grinding album. I wanna sing, play drums, keys and guitar but I have no idea how to do it.. I have barely the time to pee much less sit down, write, re-learn guitar, re-learn keys and drums. Then there’s the “not good enough” factor. I think Lou said it best, “I think you need to come out to the studio.” He’s probably right. He has a kit and I can get reacquainted with it, he can show me about studio stuff, I can sing my brains out in front of him and he will be honest but fair about what he hears. I trust and feel safe doing my music stuff in front of the guys who helped feel safe in a very competitive environment, especially when I completely melted down junior year and couldn’t perform as perfect as I wanted.

I didn’t feel I was writing as well as I could be and was having trouble getting what was in my head on paper without going off in 5 different musical directions. It was Lou and Brain who told me that maybe should stop being an overly obsessive nerd and take a bit of a break from the music thing for a semester before I turned into Howard Hughes! We leaned on each other, shared ideas, interests, fears; musically and personally. It’s the closest I ever felt to being a band.. Both Lou and Brain have been in bands, I’ve been approached but that “insecurity” monster reared its ugly head and I opted out. Lou, Brian, my Ex-Erik and Paul are the only people who have seen or heard me play or sing, my folks don’t even know I have a shred of musical talent at this point.

So in talking with Lou, at his discretion we will get together at some point, go into the studio and I know he has some stuff to work on and I’ll probably spend a good couple of days learning from him, watching and being inspired to stop being a wimp and get my own thing going.
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