A Sophisticate on Music Row: Background

Me and my Aunt Angela during
a piano lesson
The day I discovered my minor athletic ability when I entered high school was the day the music died.   My life became  about studying and playing sports rather then listening to music. Music became a diversion.  A means to an end instead of an end itself.  

My mother playing the drums at
her wedding
My parents were both drummers, part time musicians, who loved music. Both had been involved in sports as well but their love of music died. Maybe that was why I was born.  Although my father claimed it was my mothers smile, their love of music may have been  the bond of the love that allowed them to be married for almost 35 years.

According to my parents, before I could walk, my parents would set me down in my bassinet in front of the record player.   "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow supposedly was my favorite song when I did learn how to walk because I could dance. And dance I did as my parents told me. They had to play it three or four times in a row before I got tired.

My Dad at his first drum competition 
The first memories I have are of my and my Dad dancing in the living room (Only Time Will Tell), my Aunt Maggie practicing her dance moves in her apartment, my Nana playing me "The Rainbow Connection" on her banjo, and my uncles' wall of drums. 

The wall of drums. I called it the wall of drums, because my uncle had a drum set that was so  large it covered the wall of one of the rooms in the basement of my grandmothers house. It was huge. I remember being allowed to sit there and not being able to touch the pedals or seeing past the cymbals. To a young girl it was a mini-house. A house where I was completely surrounded on all sides with different types and sizes of drums. 

"Showtime, Synergy"

Christmas- Me, my Uncle Greg, and
my Barbie and the Rocker Doll (gift)
Growing up, the choice was not Malibu Barbie or Ballerina Barbie rather it was Barbie and the Rockers. It was having all of the Jem and the Holograms dolls complete with instruments and stage. Who else remembers Jerrica business woman by day whose secret identity was Jem a fashion  forward, edgy, rock star?

"Wrists up!"

When I was in fourth grade. My parents decided I should learn the piano. In my family, learning an instrument was a prerequisite.  My Aunt Angela who was amazing on the piano taught me. Even though I was a  decent enough player my great-grandmother loved me so much that she always said that if she had the money she would have bought me a grand piano. 

My mom in the drum corp
Tutor 1: What does it feel like when you're dancing?Billy: Once I get going... then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin' like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity.  
                   From the movie "Billy Elliot" (2000)

Even after she shared her love of the piano I still continued to I gravitate towards dance. Dance was the movement of my body versus  the movement of my hands. That is where my love of music seeped deep into my soul. It was where I was most talented and what made me happiest (A Sophisticate Dances Ballet).  When my Aunt Maggie died, the dream of dancing with her at my wedding as well as my love to dance died as well.  

When I think back and remember my past there isn't a memory I have regarding music that isn't attached to my family. The time spent with my family and my love for music is the same. I'm not home unless there is music.    I'm not home unless my family is there. In the end, music is love and love exists where music is played and/or heard.