Here’s a compilation of memories which reveal how much I’ve always loved music. When I look back, it surprises me how much into music I was, since I have no musical talent to speak of.
The first thing I remember is having an imaginary friend named Baby Bear. Baby Bear was supposed to be from “Goldilocks and The Three Bears” because that was one of my favorite stories. I think I was about 3 to 4 years old when Baby Bear was my imaginary pal.
Baby Bear had a few special talents. Besides being able to run alongside the car at 65 MPH, Baby Bear also knew every song ever written. He knew every word, every note and who each song was by. He knew all artists, bands and genres. Although, he had a preference for Rock and his favorite song was “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by the band The Police. That was probably because they’re one of my Dad’s favorite bands.
When I remember Baby Bear, I wonder why I gave him the talent of knowing every song in the world. Perhaps it was because it was a talent that I wished to possess myself.
Next, I remember wanting to start a band. I was around 9 or 10 years old. I gathered some friends together and we started singing. The name of our group was “Newstrack”. I came up with the name from a cassette tape that my Dad got in the mail. You’d subscribe to Newstrack and each month they’d send you a tape with the latest business news on it. (Very old school, early 90’s) My Dad didn’t want it, and I was always using cassette tapes to record me and my friends, so he gave it to me.
I used scotch tape to cover up the square holes at the top of the cassette so the Newstrack tape could be recorded over and we made our first “album”. (If you’re under 35, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about with the holes at the top of the cassette, so never mind.)
“Newstrack” quickly became “The Newstrackers” which is not as cool of a name, but that’s what happened. We each had a band nickname that ended in “-io”… I was “Girlio”. The rest of the band was: “Daddio”, “Grouchio”, “Moonio,” and “Pinkio”.
Despite the 50’s-esque nicknames, our songs were basically 80’s/90’s Rock inspired. We sang, but the only instrument we had was a decorative metal tray with a cat painted on it that we used for percussion.
Of course, this “band” was really just all pretend; we never performed and no one knew about us. But we did have two unique songs which I wrote. “All The Way” and “Computer Blues”. I still remember how they went, the lyrics, melody and everything!
Other songs we recorded were “Sylvia’s In The USA” (which I also wrote) and a not-so-good cover of America’s “You Can Do Magic”.
After The Newstrackers “disbanded”, I decided that I wanted to be a D.J. So I got a cassette tape and began practicing my disk jockey-ing skills.
I chose “Betty Midnight” as my D.J name. I recorded songs off the radio from a current Rock station. After each song, I’d turn the radio down and announce who the song was by and say that I was Betty Midnight. If I didn’t know who a song was by, I’d either say I didn’t know or I’d just guess. When I played the tape back, that would always make me laugh. Because really, what kind of a D.J. doesn’t know who a song is by? It’s right on the damn record!
My next attempt at starting a group didn’t get far, but that was probably because I lived 3,000 miles away from my cousins. I had the idea the girls in the family could start a group and we’d call ourselves “Cousins”. We could all dress alike and sing Disco hits from the 70’s. Certainly not my favorite era for music these days, but I still think that would have been fun.
One fond memory I have of an ex-boyfriend of mine is writing a song with him. The song was about a pompous frat boy who he was roommates with. We both worked on the lyrics and the melody, while he played his guitar.
Our song was pretty damn good, if I say so myself. We never shared it with anyone, but I still remember how it went. It was inspired by grunge and had kind of an ominous tune to it.
Since I was 16 or so, I created an alter-ego for writing songs. I never shared any of my songs with anyone and I won’t do so here either, because it’s irrelevant and too personal. But nevertheless, I’ve written at least 50 songs since I was a teenager. I’m not real good at composing unique melodies and most of my songs sound similar to other songs that already exist. And, as I’ve said, I have no musical talent. I’m just a mediocre singer and I can’t play an instrument. But I’m a pretty decent lyricist. I think so, anyway.
I’ve written songs about just about everything: Life, society, my personal relationships, celebrities, my cats . I’ve written many parodies too. I joke that I’m like a female Weird Al Yankovic.
I started out writing Rap lyrics, then ballads, then Rock. Rock is the most difficult. Without the instrumentals, it’s nearly impossible– yet I can still imagine what the finished product would sound like if I ever hooked up with a band.
So, I guess music has a pretty big place in my life despite whether or not I’m talented. Most of my fantasies these days involve performing covers of my favorite Rock n Roll hits from the 50’s. I’d never make it into even the most desperate band with my lack of vocal talent, but I still sing as a hobby.
And I’ll continue to sing… As long as noone’s listening.