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July 2, 2018

My Career As A Rock Star

In high school, I was just a nobody (not much has changed), just a face in a sea of faces, some of us drowning, some of us just hanging on to a lifebuoy or clinging to the side of a lifeboat...and it was a rough sea, captain...I was just an anonymous student in the back of the class with no face...I certainly wasn’t someone who the teacher would remember for anything, academically, although they might for somewhat less favorable first couple of years in high school were uneventful, just trying to get passing grades and meet girls...not necessarily in that order...I was not on any sports teams...I wasn’t popular at all with the girls...I just went from class to class, drifting along like a leaf in a river...this however would change...a friend of mine mentioned to someone else in school that played the guitar, that I wrote songs and sang...sang would be a generous word for what I did, but this friend had played a tape of some crude musical noises I had made in my basement on a big reel to reel tape recorder we got at some garage sale...on one of those long, long days of a summer vacation that I never wanted to end...they say some kids get bored on summer vacations and look forward to going back to school, but I sure as hell wasn’t one of them...the songs weren’t good in my opinion, but the guitarist who would become my friend was impressed or stoned enough to think they were and asked me to sing in his being the shy type at the time hesitated, but I said that I would, even if this meant later I would wonder what I was getting myself into...I didn’t know what to expect...I showed up at his house...he and another guy who was the bassist were there and we ran through a few formal arrangements or anything structured, just ‘jamming’ as we liked to say then...we hit it off pretty good and the practice went well even though I’m sure we sounded like an opening band for an opening band...we were intentionally tone deaf I suppose and crank up those guitars and cover up the singer...
anyway, a couple of days later at school, I had some kids who I’m sure didn’t know I was alive previously, acknowledging me in the hallways between classes and at the cafeteria during lunch...a couple of kids came up to ask me if it was true that I was singing in the band with Pete and Tommy and I said I was...they said something like ‘cool’ or some other accepting words...all of a sudden, I was popular among a group of people that had never had nothing to do with me before...girls came up and said hello and wanted to get together...damn...why didn’t I do this sooner?...I was Nowhere Man and all of a sudden I’m Jim was a nice change, I was accepted...that is something that all people that age strive for; to be accepted, to be liked, to fit in somewhere...I had a friend who I thought was well-adjusted confess to me that he often thought of bringing a machine gun to school and killing as many people as he could...this was in the late 70’s when such acts were unthinkable...these days, they’re all too common...there is so much anger...I can’t imagine what would push someone over the edge like that...thankfully, nothing ever came of for my story, I enjoyed the notoriety of being known as a singer and songwriter, even if we never were more than a garage band and a bad one at would come over to his house and bring some booze and drugs and hang out while we played...some covers, some original songs...a different life to be was a lot of fun but when high school ended, so did the band and my singing career...we all went different ways...we never saw each other again.