Thursday, June 12, 2008

Talk Thursday: All The World’s A Stage

When I was eight years old my birthday gift was a plug-in AM/FM radio. It was my best friend in the world. I loved that radio, knew every lyric to every song played on KHJ. I rock at name that tune. I hated the Beatles (well except the ballads,) but discovered when they broke up (and every station played Beatles music all weekend long) that despite my dislike of the Beatles


In other words, as a kid I ate, drank, and slept music. Music has always been in my life. I cried the day my radio died (some fifteen to twenty years later.)

Growing up, when I wasn’t with my radio, I was abusing the neighborhood. The people down the street had this really strange front slab – not a front porch, not a flowerbed, a large, rectangular slab of concrete that was my personal stage to the world (the front face as about 18 inches high.) Lucky people. I was destined for stardom. I performed faithfully, loudly, and with all the onerousness of a ten year old with vocal cords. They, I am sure, were delighted.

Did you ever have that song stuck in your head that drove you crazy? The one you found yourself thinking of at the oddest moments? Through out childhood I had a problem falling to sleep at night. I couldn’t sleep because the Cascades’ Rhythm of the Rain played in my head - over and over again. That was at night; during the day it was the Letterman’s Going Out Of My Head / Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You that dominated my vocal cords. Well of course it’s the medley version, it gives you more stage time. For at least one summer I was center stage on the Monge’s slab singing – quite robustly and rather loud – afternoons to a crowd of none (baby AnnaMarie doesn’t count she was held captive in her stroller.) Credit to the Monge’s they never threatened me, kicked me off the stage, er off their slab, and they never told my mother on me (she probably could hear for herself.) I knew I was going to be a star. Cher size; Tina size. Maybe even (dare I think it?) a Diana size star (well sheesh who knew back in those days that Tina and Cher would be bigger?)

And then I sang in the sixth grade talent show. Did I sing a Beatles tune? No. Did I sing The Age Of Aquarius? Nope, not even the medley version. No, I sang the obscure, and mostly forgotten folk song about a chicken with no bone. Yeah folks, that one- The Riddle Song. Who knows what the hell I was thinking. I suspect my mother had a hand in the song selection (I’ve conveniently blocked the memory) evidently I didn’t know how to match music to audience at the time. I did better in the seventh grade, choosing to cover Janis Ian’s At Seventeen (man she can write lyrics.) Better reception, but not stellar, it was at about that time I realized I made a much better back up singer.

My aspirations of singing in the band went down the same road as being a dance diva. I have worked horses, as a CMA, a cashier, I have been a personal trainer, I even went to beauty college – all the while kicking ass at name that tune. When my daughter was in the eighth grade, soon to be ex number two left. I was working hair at the time, picked up hours as a personal trainer at the local gym, but it wasn’t enough. Then one day a client at the salon had an offer I couldn’t resist (okay when Linda turned down the job I begged. I begged like not getting this gig was the end of tomorrow.)

I began working as a board op for the local AM radio station. Then I started doing the news. Then I started doing the morning show (I miss seeing the sunrise but that is all I miss of the morning show.) Now I sit in a little booth with a mic and all the music in the world. Thousands of people consider tuning me out daily, as I command my own invisible – but quite audible stage to the world. These days, I am much better at the song selection.

(I wish I had a picture to go with this post)


Phoenix Touch said...

I am appreciating that you turned your first love into your eventual career. Further proof that our genius shows up when we are young.

Anonymous said...

Very belated response...

...but I loved this.

I do NOT know all the lyrics to every Beatles song!

Cele said...

Abgue, I don't know it it is genius, but I can play a hell of a game of Name That Tune. My grandfather had been a dj at one time.

Sid, I learned that I didn't dislike the Beatles as much as I thought, I am just extremely picky as to which Beatles songs I like. But my lyrics are a bit rusty these days.