Saturday, January 9, 2010

One of My Secret Dreams

I want to be the lead singer in a band. There. I said it out loud. I love to sing. In my own humble opinion, I'm a pretty good singer and often practice in the car, shower, around the house, in the yard, at parties. . . As I write this, it's occurring to me that perhaps this is why my kids have iPod buds surgically implanted in their ears? To drown out the, ahem, "background noise" around here? They know they are a big part of my dream for I yearn to form a garage band with my little family of four. My husband Dan is a drummer from way back when. Three days before our wedding, his parents arrived in Rhode Island with a full drum set attached to the roof of their van. I wish I had a picture of that. . . "You get him, you get his stuff," my mother-in-law proclaimed after they offloaded the drums into my parents' garage in preparation for our move to Spain. This was a woman who had all but given up on marrying off this particular 31-year-old son, so the passing of the drum set was filled with symbolism. We have moved the drums from Rhode Island to Spain, from Spain to Maryland, from Maryland to Florida, and from Florida back to Rhode Island. Since I've yet to see him PLAY those drums, it occurs to me that we should've just left them in my parents' garage, huh?

Okay, so the drums are covered. We're all decent singers thanks to the karaoke machine I bought Dan for his 40th birthday, which was, holy cow, nine years ago this February (he's getting OLD!) My kids have grown up hamming it up on the microphone, which, I might add is a wonderful gift to give your kids. I can't imagine either of them (or many of the other kids in our lives) will ever have issues with public speaking. They've been doing it most of their lives. A few years back, Emily received a keyboard for Christmas. I believe it's under her bed. A couple of years later, Jake received a guitar from my brother for his birthday. It's collecting dust in his room. They clearly don't feel my sense of urgency. Emily is in 9th grade. We have just a few more years left to pull this off. Isn't ANYONE willing to work with me? Recently, they have made some inquiries about learning how to play these instruments and getting them into lessons is "on my to-do list." How long should I reasonably expect this to take? My instrument is ready (me mee mee meeeeee). In addition to the "instrument" I was born with, the best gift I received this Christmas was from my cousin Jen, who, in support of my dream, gave me a tambourine! SQUEALS OF JOY! Oh my God, I LOVE my tambourine. I see myself in Stevie Nicks-esque robes, flowing locks of hair, a microphone in my hand and a tambourine at my hip. I am so READY.

The next challenge is the music this band would cover. I picture Fleetwood Mac (see above reference to my beloved Stevie Nicks), some Chicago since Emily does play the trombone but Jake is flaking out after only one year of trumpet, maybe some Crosby, Stills and Nash or CCR. That's my kind of music. I fear the other "musicians" in my band will have a different play list. This is often the topic of dinner conversation where debates rage about what songs make the list. In an effort to keep the plans for the band on track, I have agreed that each member can pick four songs to start us off. Mine would be:
1. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
2. Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac (Jake agrees with this one)
3. Don't Stop Believing by Fleetwood Mac
4. Only the Beginning by Chicago with Emily on trombone
5th bonus song for founder of garage band: Come to My Window by Melissa Ethridge

I'd be willing to consider some Coldplay as Viva la Vida and Yellow are favorites of mine. I could probably pull off some Beyonce--all the single ladies, all the single ladies. Jake sings a mean Shakira. . . I'm willing to occasionally cede lead singer duties to another member of the band as long as I still get to play my tambourine. Dan will need a mic at the drums so he can belt out his signature song, "Brandy." I think it was all those years in the Navy. . .

Here's a picture of my future garage band, except, well, the lead singer is ME (with flowing robes and tambourine) and the other performers aren't all men, and, well, this is nothing like MY garage band will look. . . We'll be MUCH cooler. My kids are a lot cuter than these guys and when we rock out. . . well, we won't look so pedestrian. Maybe we'll even get matching haircuts and outfits like the Patridge Family had. Oh and a bus! Definitely a bus and my dad can drive us from gig to gig. It occurs to me that I might be getting ahead of myself. . . Even if the bus and matching outfits don't pan out, we'll be stars of our own garage! Disclaimer to neighbors: we apologize in advance if the um noise--I mean MUSIC--coming from our garage in any way impairs your enjoyment of that very expensive pool you installed a few years back. We won't, however, charge you for the privilege of being entertained.

What other songs do you think we should cover? How long should I expect it to take for my kids to learn these instruments I need them to play? Is there any way to fast track this process? Is my dream achievable?

I leave you with the wise words of Abba:

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream.

Standing on the edge of the stream. Anyone with me? Hello?

Two other quick notes before I sing us out: Today would've been my mom's 73rd birthday. More than five years after she left this life, I still miss her every day. AND, today is also my 14th anniversary at the best day job I ever could've hoped to have. Thank you AGA. Here's to many more years together!


Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Marie! Hey, if I come to the first gig, do I get a backstage pass?

By the way, you're so lucky you can sing. It's one of those talents I'd really love to have and I sound like a crow with a sore throat when I try and hold a tune. Sigh.

Marie Force said...

Of course you get a backstage pass, but in this case, backstage is my laundry room. Is that okay? Worth coming all the way from Australia for??

And um let's face it, I THINK I can sing but, you know, everyone's a critic. LOL! Haven't gotten hit with any tomatoes--yet--but the threat is always there.

Nice to see you today!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Marie! I'm coming over to your laundry room, too, OK? ;) I love that you *can* sing! Enjoy it, and looking forward to hearing about your singing success! ;)

Marie Force said...

I will definitely save you a seat in the laundry room next to Anna Campbell. She's hysterical and you guys will have a blast at my "show." Ahhh, a girl's gotta dream!

Judy F said...

oh can I be a back up singer. I can moderately sing and can move with the best of them. LOL

I always wanted to do that or be a dj. LOL

Sending you hugs on an anniversary of losing your mom.

Marie Force said...

I'll consult with the other members of the band and see if we can accommodate a backup singer. :) Thanks for the hugs!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Nickelback says it best. "Hey, hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar!" I'd love to be the lead guitarist or lead singer in a rock band. Aw, who am I kidding? I'd like to be a back-up singer/guitar player, too!
Which reminds me...I haven't played they ol' guitar lately... Must go tune it up....

Marie Force said...

You're welcome to come jam with us anytime, Cheryl. That is, when we actually start jamming... Any day now.