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I thought I’d be a Rock Star
Old 02-17-2018, 04:46 PM   #1
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I thought I’d be a Rock Star

Ok, age 58. Got infatuated around age 5 seeing the big kids garage bands, Beatle hair, Fender amps, sparkle drums, “House of the Rising Sun” “I Can’t Explain” “Love Me Do”. 1967 or 8 at Myrtle Beach Lakewood Campground rec center, my brother drumming, Cousin Steve on bass, CousinBobby vocal, some dude on guitar, playing “Gloria”, “Satisfaction” “TheLetter” “Spooky” “Wipeout” “Hey Joe” . My goof nerd looking brother had girls hanging around to talk to him! Gross! Steve and Bobby waltz off with a girl on each arm. I guarded the drums. I started learning to play at 13 and graduated to songs quickly. From 14 on I ended up being the singer because literally most kids were afraid to even try and I had been in church boys choir since age 8 and of course kicked out at 12. Wish I could still those notes like at 10. Anyway by 14 Music was the only thing that mattered and everything else like sports, hunting, fishing, hobbies, Boy Scouts, got left behind and playing in a rock band and making it as a rock star wasn’t everything, it was the only thing. First real gig when I was barely 15. It was at the drummer’s church social hall and it was packed with kids! I think it was close to a 100 but could have been 50, all I know is it seemed full and by the time I barked “Hey Man” for the first verse of “Suffragete City” five or six girls were at the stage area and the rest of the kids were on the way. We played 8-9 songs, all covers like Stones, Kiss, Monkeys, Deep Purple, Free/BadCo, etc. 2 real guitar players, me, bass, drums, keyboard. I had thes knee high leather platform boots and in the middle of a song I was ricking back and fort and a heel snapped off! I stumbled but didn’t fall and pulled them off at the end of the song. The stage riser was concrete so the next time I went to sing my lips touched the mic and shocked the hell out of me because I was grounded w no shoes on!
So, a couple embarrassing gaffes but we sounded good enough that they liked us and asked for encore. We played Smoke on the Water again. After the show I was surrounded by girls from age 13 to 17 and I thought it must be dream! I got kisses on the cheek and notes with phone numbers slipped in my pocket and from that day onward, until I was 21 and said goodbye to the dream for good, I had never imagined myself doing anything else and still happy. Who else chased, almost caught, and was then rejected by that thing called Rock n Roll? What’s your shoulda, coulda, woulda been a Rock Star story?
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:15 PM   #2
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I almost ended up in a Rock 'n' Roll band playing an electric guitar back in 1968, because the band had lost their guitarist and wanted a cute girl up there to replace him and improve the visual appeal of the band. At that age, half a century ago, I fit the bill. They needed the replacement to start that weekend because they had gigs lined up and no guitarist.

Only one problem - - I played folk guitar, and a few folk/rock songs solo, but I had never even touched an electric guitar in my life or played with a rock band. They said I'd pick it up in a jiffy, but I put my foot down and would not do it. Probably just as well.

Now, if they had given me a couple of months to ease into it, who knows?

Anyway, my would shoulda coulda story didn't progress as far as yours before it screeched to a halt. Oh well!
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:56 PM   #3
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In my youth I was one of those guys who knew a few chords on guitar but couldn't play a single song from start to finish. I farted around with in a few bad bands that went nowhere...mostly because we sucked and finally at age 40 I decided to either learn how to play properly or pack it in.

I'm now 55 and in 3 decent bands that gig regularly. I'm too old to be a rock star, but I definitely enjoy playing music and plan to keep it up as long as I'm capable. In fact, I'm leaving for a gig tonight in a few minutes.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:54 PM   #4
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I never played an instrument, but lived like a Rock Star until I was 50, moved from NYC to Peru and married a hot 22 y/o. No longer a Rock Star, more of a cool jazz player now.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:04 PM   #5
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What’s your shoulda, coulda, woulda been a Rock Star story?
Played a lot of guitar in friends' garages, along with harmonica, a little drums and a little keyboards. Always wished I could sing.

Now, I'm happy to play my guitar and ukulele and sing kids songs for my grandkids. Their smiles makes me feel as close to a star as I need these days.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:36 PM   #6
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Played a little guitar also. I remember a band of locals guys that where about 10 years older then I. I remember when they would practiced us younger kids would hide out and listen to them. It was the thing to be was a rock star. I dreamed of it! LOL The Beatles were starting to be come known in that time frame and they had a huge impact on the young people at that time. I was one of them.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:28 PM   #7
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Too many crazy nights to count....been playing for years but never became a full-time star. I still try...

Some memorable nights were:

In my junior year in High School, I was in an exchange program in Madrid and was introduced by my family to these kids who had a band, and all but 1 of them didn't know how to play. But they had entered into a band contest in Madrid that featured real, grown-up touring bands I had seen while in Spain. Over several weeks I taught them a song - Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull - and we went and performed it to a huge audience in the center of Madrid, where other real bands were also entered and playing. I ended up having to play keys and sing the song since their singer was too afraid to get onstage...the crowd started clapping as soon as I started playing the intro and they loved it! That's one I'll never, ever forget.

Since then, some great rock and roll memories include:

Subbing with a friend's band on the closing/last night of Madame Wong's West in 1987 in L.A. - it was wall-to-wall, the Motels were playing downstairs, tons of amazing LA bands were there to pay tribute.

The band I was in toured with Fishbone and the Untouchables for awhile in the 80s which was really fun. We also did three gigs in the Bay Area with NRBQ if that name rings a bell - awesome band!

Another band I was in won the San Diego Music Award for best Reggae band in SD. Enjoy! Roughneck Posse Live and Direct

And two friends I introduced to each other in college went on to produce Beck, the Beastie Boys, Hansen, the Stones, etc. And I could have worked with them at the beginning, but I chose to go to Europe for a year. They both FIREd more than 15 years ago with enough $$ for 10 lifetimes!
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:11 PM   #8
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And two friends I introduced to each other in college went on to produce Beck, the Beastie Boys, Hansen, the Stones, etc. And I could have worked with them at the beginning, but I chose to go to Europe for a year. They both FIREd more than 15 years ago with enough $$ for 10 lifetimes!
You went to school with the Dust Brothers? Way cool!
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:36 PM   #9
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I would have loved to be a rock star!

In 8th grade we told our music teacher we wanted to learn guitar. Enough kids had them the we could share a guitar with 3 others.

I found out my fingers would not move to do even simple chords. I also can't do the Vulcan salute. My fingers just don't work that way.

So I did what I was good at, engineering. Never failed me -
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:45 AM   #10
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When I was 15, I was in a short-lived garage band. We were really bad.

There was a little neighborhood kid about 10 years old who used to hang out and dance around when we practiced. Once in a while we'd give him the microphone and let him sing.

His name was David Lee Roth. Always wondered what became of that kid.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:09 AM   #11
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I quit the electric bass in college because the girls left immediately if I as much as mentioned it. Instead, I picked up the acoustic 6 string, and even though I knew only 3 chords, they'd hang around and listen to me sing.

One of the songs I did on the acoustic was "ice cream man"... that answers a bit of what happened to that kid that was mentioned in the previous post!
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:15 AM   #12
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Played trumpet in grammar/high school. Also, alot of air guitar in late 60s.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:01 AM   #13
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Played in three bands over the years, but was mostly gigging in bars I’d prefer to avoid...
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:26 AM   #14
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Did a lot of gigging (sax and clarinet) in jazz/big bands back in the 70s. Made good money doing that, and worked a lot of conventions and decent restaurants. Nobody wanted us in a sleazy bar, so that was a positive. I was in a short lived "Chicago" style rock band back then too. Had a great horn section, but it was sort of hard to cover them without a Terry Kath. Or a singer. Mostly did community centers and small fairs for that one.

I did have an incredibly realistic dream once where I ran into Eric Clapton in a bar, and he had just fired his bass player so he hired me and I went on tour with him. Man, I was upset when I woke up from that one. But that's as close as I ever came to being a rock star.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:27 AM   #15
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I almost ended up in a Rock 'n' Roll band playing an electric guitar back in 1968, because the band had lost their guitarist and wanted a cute girl up there to replace him and improve the visual appeal of the band. At that age, half a century ago, I fit the bill. They needed the replacement to start that weekend because they had gigs lined up and no guitarist.

Only one problem - - I played folk guitar, and a few folk/rock songs solo, but I had never even touched an electric guitar in my life or played with a rock band. They said I'd pick it up in a jiffy, but I put my foot down and would not do it. Probably just as well.

Now, if they had given me a couple of months to ease into it, who knows?

Anyway, my would shoulda coulda story didn't progress as far as yours before it screeched to a halt. Oh well!

So, Big Brother and the Holding Company couldn't wait for you to get up to speed, and moved on to hire Janis Joplin as a singer instead. I guess they did okay with her out front. Great story!

-BB
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:31 AM   #16
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Did a lot of gigging (sax and clarinet) in jazz/big bands back in the 70s. Made good money doing that, and worked a lot of conventions and decent restaurants. Nobody wanted us in a sleazy bar, so that was a positive. I was in a short lived "Chicago" style rock band back then too. Had a great horn section, but it was sort of hard to cover them without a Terry Kath. Or a singer. Mostly did community centers and small fairs for that one.

I did have an incredibly realistic dream once where I ran into Eric Clapton in a bar, and he had just fired his bass player so he hired me and I went on tour with him. Man, I was upset when I woke up from that one. But that's as close as I ever came to being a rock star.
WOW! I would consider you a Rock Star. That is interesting,
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:55 AM   #17
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I did come to learn that for me, life without playing music was very unsatisfying. Once back at college, I was writing and playing the occasional gig with other musicians. I kept writing and jamming all through my 20’s up to the point where DW and I needed every penny to raise our kids. For a few years, I was without an instrument and then DW surprised and amazed me. She said, “ I need you to go look at something with me.” I was prepared for an appliance or furniture viewing. Instead she steers me to a pawn shop. We go in and hanging behind the counter are guitars, one that jumped out was a 79 LesPaul Standard, Tobacco Burst. I ask to see it. Shop owner says “So, you like?” Of course I like it! But $600 for the LP is beyond extravagant for us in 92. He chuckles and says “ All yours then”. Dumbfounded, he says, “ She bought it yesterday, and wanted to surprise you.She had scrimped, saved, and hustled to amass it. Since then, I’ve gotten back in to music,played in a few bands from cover to original and bought too many guitars and gear. I will use much of my newly liberated time to indulge this passion.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:21 AM   #18
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I started playing at the age of 14 (bass, guitar, keyboards) in high school stage bands and rock and roll bands that drove all of our parents crazy. I spent my years of savings from my paper route to buy my first guitar and bass (74 Fender Stratocaster and 75 Fender Jazz bass). We played in our basement. We smoked a lot of weed and drank beer. We played Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, David Bowie, Beatles, Santana, and Hendrix, and then got into progressive rock (ELP, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Spooky Tooth, Gino Vannelli). We would drive to Manhattan to buy guitars and other equipment. The 70's was a time of super bands and musicians. It's sad how music has evolved today. When I started university, I auditioned for jazz improvisation class (I had unrestricted electives). I didn't get in as guitarist or keyboard player (far too competitive and playing Carlos Santana riffs didn't help) but was accepted as a bass player. Those were some of the most difficult courses I took. I met some of the most incredible musicians and started playing standard and progressive jazz such as Duke Ellington, Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Jaco Pastorius. I did a lot of studio session work. My parents would always attend my concerts but never supported music as a career. They were not too crazy about smoking pot and growing weed in my room, but tolerated it as long as I continued with my education. I took some electronic music courses in my final year of University. I really got absorbed into analog synthesizers and the weed helped too. It was a great playing music but I understood that I was not going to make a career out of it. The path was far too difficult. Then I started my career and entered the world of suits and ties and later business casual. After I got married, my wife was not that supportive of my musical aspirations and would not tolerate any playing in our house. My instruments were packed away for over 25 years. However, just a few years ago she let me set up one of our bedrooms as a studio so I can practice. I bought a few pieces of studio equipment and have started where I left off over 25 years ago. One thing of note is that the guitars (electric and acoustic) and bases that I acquired in the 70's are worth a lot of money today. The electronic keyboards from the 80's and 90's not so much.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:42 AM   #19
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After I got married, my wife was not that supportive of my musical aspirations and would not tolerate any playing in our house. My instruments were packed away for over 25 years. However, just a few years ago she let me set up one of our bedrooms as a studio so I can practice. I bought a few pieces of studio equipment and have started where I left off over 25 years ago.
I've had some similar problems in the past. I had a hard time playing my sax for 20 years, since the dogs would want to sing along. Hound/terrier mixes can really howl. But playing my bass (I'm not that good, so I like to keep it quiet) has been easy using things like a Bass Ace where I'm feeding the music into the machine and hearing it and my playing in my headphones. Very inoffensive to family and pets. I've been teaching myself flute recently, and our current dogs (pugs and a Chihuahua) don't seem to mind. The high tone instruments don't carry through the walls as easily as the low ones.

Edit: My cousin, a wannabe self-taught drummer, uses the electronic drum pads and a headphone. It's still pretty noisy, but certainly nothing like a kit.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:22 AM   #20
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I've had some similar problems in the past. I had a hard time playing my sax for 20 years, since the dogs would want to sing along. Hound/terrier mixes can really howl. But playing my bass (I'm not that good, so I like to keep it quiet) has been easy using things like a Bass Ace where I'm feeding the music into the machine and hearing it and my playing in my headphones. Very inoffensive to family and pets. I've been teaching myself flute recently, and our current dogs (pugs and a Chihuahua) don't seem to mind. The high tone instruments don't carry through the walls as easily as the low ones.

Edit: My cousin, a wannabe self-taught drummer, uses the electronic drum pads and a headphone. It's still pretty noisy, but certainly nothing like a kit.
I use a Line 6 POD HD with headphones for playing guitar and bass. They are really great. I use a PC with Cakewalk Sonar Producer to record directly from my POD HD and the various synthesizers. Recording technology has improved several orders of magnitude since the 70's. I only make noise when I want to hear through the studio monitors. I tried to attach a video of my setup.
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