Hello, all! Someone’s going to have to explain to me how we’re already up to February. This is supposed to be the short month, not January (though I have heard the months only get shorter as you get older). February also means I’m going to respond to one of the questions posted in the last few blog posts (I’m only qualified to answer one of them, to be fair – being that I don’t play an instrument of any sort, I’m not actually qualified to answer the others).
The question was – “How far back does each band member’s musical journey go? What about music first drew you, how did you start, how did you first learn, who in your lives was instrumental in introducing you to and/or supporting your dreams regarding music?”
I believe I can safely say mine goes back before I have any solid memories. I vaguely remember dancing along to some of the shows aimed at the very young in pre-school (I’m absolutely certain at one point I had the dance for “Skinnamarink” from “The Elephant Show” memorized), I’ve been listening to music for as long as I had the motor control and height to reach controls on a radio, and I participated (including solos) in many school holiday plays, as least through 3rd grade (life got a bit messier after that).
I couldn’t say what drew me into music, because it’s realistically been a part of my life for longer than I can recall. It was rare for my father to not have music on unless he was watching the TV, so he’s probably a large part of it. He was certainly an enabler, and bought multiple copies of Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” cassette because I kept wearing it out and got me into what were very short-lived drumming classes when I requested them in what I believe was 5th grade (we won’t get into the why they were short-lived at any point). Though my father was absolutely instrumental in my musical exposure and interest, a friend I met in my early 20s named Glen was a huge part of reshaping my musical tastes, introducing me to Rush and Queensryche (still some years before Tate was fired).
My mother, however, is solely responsible for my introduction to Irish music (and my very early introduction to Brian’s music, years before I would actually meet him or even lived in Arizona). And in this, it can be strongly argued that she’s responsible for my attachment to this band at all, because if she hadn’t supplied me with a copy of a certain CD, the conversation with Brian that started a friendship and all the rest of this rolling may never have happened. (Thanks, Mom!)
There went many years where I went mostly without singing. Certainly without singing in front of people, aside from the occasional karaoke because it’s what friends really wanted to do. Like the drum lessons, we won’t get into the why. The fact that I get on stage with the band for a few songs now and again can be attributed primarily to none other than Brian himself. While I was certainly singing along at shows, it was Brian’s gentle but persistent encouragement that finally got me behind a mic one night in August of 2019. It was not a short period of time from the first time he asked if I’d be interested until the night I finally did. And now I wouldn’t change it for the world. Not saying I’d want to front a band or anything (let’s just say my skills points aren’t in Diplomacy and I don’t know that I’d be comfortable on stage for that long), but it’s a fun thing to do and a joy to watch the crowd react.
With that, I’ll let y’all get back to whatever other regularly programmed schedule you may have going on, and hope to see you at a gig soon.