Monday, December 06, 2004

A Small Life: Part I

(…or the big space inside my head)

Have you heard of the expression "Living Large"? As a young man, I just took for granted I would be living large by now. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I would live a consequential life. Hell, I was going to be a rock star. From the first time we pounded out Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water in Greg Saylor's basement I knew this is what I wanted to do. For a few years it seemed inevitable, people really dug the band. We had some natural talent and a pretty tight sound, and if we played our cards right we just might have impressed the right people at the right time. But even then real life was creeping into our little party, threatening to derail the rock and roll train. This nagging thing, this real life, sapped the energy and the soul of the band. By the summer of '83 it was over, the band was done.

The dream didn't die that summer it just scattered like a dandelion in the wind. I went on to be a letter sweater-wearing member of the classic and classy "Rocka-fellas". It was a great band and to my delight people really loved our shows. We played in some of the ritziest clubs and events in the Twin Towns. I wouldn't trade those nights under the lights for all the brass in the world. It was loads of fun and we actually made some money too. All the while, riding roughshod over the whole experience was this damnation called real life.

The years passed but the dream of living large still smoldered. After a series of undistinguished recording projects of original material under different pseudonyms and a multitude of personnel changes, even a venerable institution like the Rocka-fellas succumbed to real life. As it happened my day job went belly up around the same time and I found myself crawling up from the forsaken depths of an unrealized dream. Still, there was a spark, an ember rather, of this large life I had planned on living. History will know who I was…