Too many times we reach hurdles. Too many times we make mountains out of mole hills. Find the string that leads to your destruction and pull it. That is the basic formula for most of us. Or atleast its the nearly unavoidable path we travel on all too often.
Many of us in general have an uncanny way of focusing on the negative. The day was beautiful, the sun shined, the birds sang, there were flowers literally blooming as you walked down the street with a tune in your ear, then you unwillingly step in shit. Suddenly the sun is too hot, the birds can't carry a proper note, those flowers smell weird.
Its easy to find that one little reason, that one bit of shit that sticks to the sole/soul and we let it grow to a full on poo farm. When we are young it can easily go much farther and much faster in either direction.
I've been telling the scholastic tales of my youthful musical trials. In kindergarten I tried out for the talent show. I was terrible. I didn't get to perform. Yet I did not let it keep me down. In first grade I went out with that same song and killed it. I didn't win but then again I never did. Not the contest anyway. But I did win the hearts of the audience. It was always kind of disappointing when I never placed in first, second or third. But I never let it keep me back from doing it again and again and giving it my all everytime.
After the success of my chubby little boy body hopping around the elementary school stage to the tune of "johnny B. Goode", I was prepared to move to a new genre. I had started in early on classic rock and blues. My father was always a lover of music and that bled into me very easily. Who knows, I never even thought to ask him if he used to play the guitar to my mothers pregnant belly. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least. I can't remember a time when he didn't sneak off to play and sing the blues in a room on his own. I went to sleep hearing it many times through the years. And if he ever disappears at a family get together, bet your ass he's in the music room.
All of my brothers and sisters (5+me) had some kind of musical talent or at least showed some interest through the years. In fact most of our uncles can guitar or bass if nothing else. One of my uncles even played french horn in the Armed Services. We all played an instrument at some point in either elementary or middle school. My eldest sister played thru all the above and then thru college as well. I will never forget when we went to see her college final. She had to score and conduct and symphonic piece. It was awesome to see and I was so proud.
I was always obsessed with music. I myself "played" some instruments through the years as well. But not just yet. I was still working out my performance style, getting used to the lights and the big stage. I didn't think about actually trying out for music until the 4th grade.
My mother was a fan of golden oldies. Classic rock in its truest form. The bopper, little richard, buddy holly, ritchie valen, etc etc. I fell in love with it too. I wasn't so much into beach boys and such but I loved the classic tapes you could get for a buck or two in the bins at Hills, or woolworth, or wherever. My primary tape deck consisted of some jackson, some elvis, some classics of the 40,50,and 60s, and symphonic/orchestral music like beethoven and bach. It was an odd mix for a little 7 years old boy but it was what I knew. Modern rock and grunge were just around the corner.
So when time came again for the lipsync I decided I would do one of my golden oldies songs. I chose to do a little number called "couldn't sleep at all last night" by Mr. Bobby Lewis. It was great song about bein crazy bout a lady.
I loved the blues and rockers like berry, presley and jackson cause of the way it made me spirit feel. I loved the classical conductors for how they made my mind feel. But I loved the golden oldies stuff cause it lifted my heart. In reality it was a pretty hard time for anybody that wasn't a white male, but the songs were mostly about love.
Like many kids in my general age range I tried to moon walk. We all did. Don't lie. But my shotty attempts at moonwalking basically gave birth to the little soft foot shuffle I created for the show. I still do a similar little two step thing on stage today when I'm feelin a certain groove. But I never really knew much of any dance moves. I just acted like I did . Hell, invite me to your wedding and gimme a few too many glasses of wine and you will see that I never stopped acting like I can dance.
I was well prepared for the show when the time finally came. I was never a kid that needed help creating something. I didn't ask for it and I didn't want it. Notice I didn't say I never needed it, but still my parents and kin never knew what they were gonna get until the night of the performance. But they were rest assured that I would do my thing. As I always did and always do.
I can't say I recall the why of my next statement. But that year we were told that the top 5 acts would tour the local elementary schools. There was no doubt in my mind that I would be one of them. When the night came for the show I went out on the stage and did a better job than the year before. I was dressed to impress and a dancing machine. The crowd went wild yet again and I got chosen to go on my first tour at 7 years old. Did I make 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, no, but like I said above, I never did.
But I had no fear. I went out every time to every stage and did my thing without a tiny care in the world for whether or not i'd win or whether or not they'd like me. I liked me when I was on stage. I was wearing my insides on the outside. When I wasn't performing or doing a skit I was just a charred blackened mess in a fat kid suite. But when I'm on stage I"m made of light, I"m ethereal, I'm all things and nothing at the same time. There truly is nothing like it.
I decided that I wanted to be a singer after that. I started taking more notice of mtv and the radio and trading tapes with kids. Things were changing in a big way. Styles were starting to change, music, politics, the Berlin wall came down and the knight rider sang on top of it. There was something else I started to become aware of, this thing called rap and metal. Times were changing in me and around me. I was headed to third grade.
I had already decided what I was gonna be when I grew up. Went on my first tour. Drove crowds wild. And become a performer. It was the highlight of my year each year. In between breaking windows, getting in trouble, being grounded and trying to survive regular life, I had this spotlight to shine in. I would be ready to do it again next year. And it would be bigger than ever.