Being Idolized Ain’t that Great


I found it rather annoying, really, even though it involved endless lines of females making themselves available, among many other perks.

Told a friend recently that I’m glad ***** never meant that much to me. That attitude has always made my life decision making a lot easier.

Sitting in the parking lot, in front of one of the two clubs my rock band played at during the summer of ’82, I looked across the street. There was a shopping center (condos now) with a Bowling alley, Turner’s Sports, liquor store, donut place, and a burger stand (still there.) I see a bunch of tour buses getting packed with people and stuff. Soon the buses pull away, and some people are standing and waving as they leave. I wonder, hmmm, what was that all about. (Next summer, I am in that parking lot, looking across the street at the rocker dudes and groupies, and hanging in their parking lot. Yes, another story. Actually, probably a couple of dozen, at least.)

A couple of months later, I’m at a backyard party. We were done playing for the night. I’m with a friend’s girlfriend in a dark corner, he’s with some other girl, or two, or three; and I’m thinking I need to stop this bullshit. I quit the band the next day.

Soon the hanger-ons, groupies, etc. fade away and I am exactly where I want to be. Alone with my thoughts and not living with other people’s expectations of who I was, and them wanting a piece of that. 

“I’ll either break your face, or take out your legs, get my way I will. Go for the throat, never let loose, going in for the kill. Take my fists and break down walls. On top tonight, oh no. Better turn me loose, better set me free. I’m hot, young, running free, a little bit better than I used to be, ’cause I’m alive, live wire.” – Live Wire, Motley Crue

When you’re 13 years old and you sing these lyrics to yourself several times a day, and 2 times a month or so, sing them in front of a couple of hundred people, and they cheer; that ***** with your head. You start believing that, and worse, you let others believe the stage persona you project is who you are too.

It seemed like such a good idea in the beginning…

8th grade talent show. I can do that. Been singing in the shower for years. I knew I had an ear for music, and I was a ham. (Oh Miss Pell, never should have let me in front of the class with that joke book.)

I had a lead guitarist, and soon had a drummer, rhythm guitarist, and bass player. We picked a song, rehearsed it, and signed up for talent show auditions.

The day came. Me and the lead guitarist were there. Other ******* were no shows. *******! We go with it, wtf, right?! I belt out the lyrics; guitar licks rain on the 3 member faculty panel. We finish. Long unblinking stares greet us for several moments. Finally, one stammers something to the effect of we’re in the show, but could we pick a different song.

We had just performed AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. At volume 11.

I didn’t see the big deal. Apparently that was the reason the other 3 didn’t show to the audition. They somehow thought either we wouldn’t get picked, or would get in some kind of trouble be performing a song that has the word “hell” over and over in it.

We did pick another song. No faculty asked to check it before we did the first of 3 performances the talent show day, and indeed, we did perform! Walk all Over You. Yeah, that’s better than going to hell.

At the night, and 3rd performance for the PTA, parents, friends, and other kids that wanted to see the show again, was the moment that shook me (all night long! Sorry, couldn’t resist)

When the song got into full rock and roll extravaganza, after the first few bars, a friend and her girlfriends rushed to the edge of the stage, screaming and taking pictures.

I remember thinking, **** yea!

That band was one and done. The band I later played in for the next two and a half years did include the drummer. We pretty good. Cut a demo. Got looked at by some music people. The drummer and the bassist did go on professionally, played in separate bands that toured mostly Japan, Canada, Australia, etc.

It was an interesting time in my life. Helped me understand what is really important to me, and how I relate to others, and how I want and expect my relationships to be.  I also learned lessons in human nature, human weakness, addiction, abuse, gluttony, avarice. I was not nice to people (oh crap, just remembered another story, bad ray, mean ray) I found some very dark places, but it has made the light that much sweeter.

I am finding links between all these stories I’ve written the past few days. I would appreciate comments from whoever is viewing. My hope, at some point, is to string these stories together in a narrative, and your feedback, I believe, would help that effort.

Enjoy, until we meet again.

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