The Talking Heads' Tina Weymouth was one of my original inspirations to bass out in basements later in life.
The Talking Heads' Tina Weymouth was one of my original inspirations to bass out in basements later in life.

Rock on

Occasionally, I make a mental list of "Things I Want To Do Before I Die" and up until age 30 "be a rock star" always made the top five. Because I didn’t find myself as the subject of a VH-1 documentary or tearing up Asia on my first Japanese tour, I reluctantly modified the goal to simply "be in a band."

The roadblock to the dream might have been the fact I don’t really play an instrument and I can’t really sing, but eventually, I didn’t let that stop me. (I call it "pulling a Luscious Jackson.")

For the past few months, I have joined forces with two other aspiring musician amigos, and we get together once a week -- religiously -- to jam in my friend’s basement. I play bass, Renee plays drums, Grant plays guitar and we all attempt to sing.

I  learned a lot about music in the past few months, and have the calloused fingertips to prove it. At the risk of sounding like Zack Braff’s narration in the final minutes of a "Scrubs" episode, I’ve discovered a lot more than music from being in a band.

I realized that at my age, most people have already identified their strengths and spend most of their time exercising them. It’s not easy to try something new and to risk being really bad at it. Life is challenging enough, who needs the added discomfort of growing pains?

But potential is an amazing drug.

It has been a long time since I was so unsure of my abilities, but forged ahead anyway. It’s like I wrote myself a permission slip to suck, and I do. Or, I should say, I did. Now, after months of diligence and lots of really bad sounds emerging from Renee’s basement, I’m a shade less than sucky.

I hate that expression about old dogs learning new tricks -- because I am neither old nor of the canine variety -- but I refuse to live inside this annoying cliche. I want to keep moving forward, keep learning, keep redefining success. One ear-bleeder of a bass line at a time.

Talkbacks

FunkyBrewster | April 3, 2009 at 9:41 p.m. (report)

34698 Luscious Jackson is better than say Veruca Salt! Where is your mp3s?

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datruth | April 3, 2009 at 4:46 p.m. (report)

...so did a lot of crappy ones.

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Dusty_Bottoms | April 3, 2009 at 4:42 p.m. (report)

Right on. Welcome to the brotherhood. Excuse me -- brother/sisterhood. There's sadness in that smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jvl8rs95pU

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MKE Luvva | April 3, 2009 at 1:34 p.m. (report)

But don't forget Kate Schellenbach was in the Beastie Boys before Luscious Jackson, so she had some experience. Good luck, plenty of great bands started out the same way as yours.

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