Friday, November 11, 20058:53:04 AM EST
Wow, the last few journal entries has given me the mind-set of remembering "stuff".
But, then again... that's what happens when you get old." Most all you have left is memories." I'm just glad when it's the good ones that i'm remembering.
As a teenager in high school I wanted to play an instrument so that I could be in the band. But we never had the money to be able to rent the instrument, so I never was able to be in the school band.
About the time I was 17 I got interested in Drums. When my mother saw that this wasn't a passing fancy she somehow managed to save enough money to buy me a second hand set of drums. (much to the neighbors horror!)
I had them set up in the bedroom. I'd put on the Record Player (uhhuh.. a RECORD PLAYER! This was way, way, way before CD's!) and I would plug in a headset and practice playing my drums to the records. I was always careful to do this during "daytime hours" so that neighbors couldn't complain to my mother.
When my interest persisted my mother let me take some private drum lessons in the next town. Thankfully it wasn't overly expensive, and knowing my money situation the teacher even charged me less then normal.
My mom would take me to hear some bands by taking me to Keansburg NJ. On weekends the "bars" that lined the boardwalk had open doors to invite "families" in. They were always careful to serve soda's to all the underaged people. My exposure to the bands just made me enjoy my drums even more.
One day I got a phone call from one of the people we had gotten to know in a band. He was panicked... his drummer had quit and they had a "gig" set up for New Years Eve.. would i like to "sit in" as their drummer?
Ummm, well.. first I had never played "with a band before" and secondly I got so scared at the thought that my stomach instantly went into knots! Jimmy (the man who had called) said we could get together and do a "jam session" to see if I work out. So the next day my mother took me (I didn't drive) to where I set up my drums and we "played around some". He taught me some "q's" I could watch for and we played for a few hours. By the time we were done, I finally looked around and outside of the windows a small crowd had formed and were listening to us! (wow! my first audience!)
I did the "gig" with them, with a few goof-ups but everyone was in such good "spirits" no one but us noticed. Jimmy asked if I'd like to do some more gigs with them.. I said, sure!
For the following year I played with Jimmy and his band. We were called "The Marvels".. don't laugh ! We played in Jersey City and at the Shamrock in Keansburg. Between the two places we worked for months.
It never ceased to amaze me that I could do something I enjoyed so much... and get paid for it!! Each time I got handed my pay I thought: "Duh.. foolish people! This is so much fun I'd do this for free!"
So for a short time, before I got engaged I was a drummer in a Rock and Roll band. It was a good time, and I have to say I really enjoyed the experience. Yes, there were some "drunks" around.. but for the most part the people who followed our little band came to dance.. and dance they did! They loved Ray Charles and the older tunes like Stagger Lee and Kansas City. (boy i bet most of you are totally lost now lol)
I can remember the very last "new song" the band learned before I left the group.. it was called "Under The Boardwalk" by the Drifters. heh.. I doubt many would remember songs like that!
Below are the only pictures i have of that time.. one of me on my drums in my bedroom when i was 17 yrs old. The other is of the band.. The Marvels. (left to right: Skip the bass player, Moi the drummer, Jimmy, the lead guitar player and singer, and John, the Sax player)
Mid-life is when you want to grab every firm young lovely in a tube top and scream, "Listen honey, even the Roman empire fell and those will too."