tonyv Posted May 7, 2009 Share Posted May 7, 2009 It all started when I was about 12 years old. A new radio station came on the air from Providence, Rhode Island. (I lived about 45 minutes away, in Massachusetts.) This new radio station played hard rock music and heavy metal. It would also sponsor concerts in the area. One time, a band called Blue Oyster Cult came to play a concert at an amusement park in Warwick, Rhode Island. I really wanted to go see these guys play "Burnin' for You" and "The Reaper," but I was still too young; neither I nor my friends had cars or even drove yet. However, there was one time when my favorite band Rush was scheduled to play in Providence, and my father got me a ticket to the show. He also hooked me up with a ride to the concert with some responsible students from the high school where he taught. I went with these guys to the Providence Civic Center and watched this band rock. That was really cool of my father. We had a classical guitar at home (don't know where my father got it), and I started to learn how to play it from some books he had. When my parents saw that I was practicing a lot, and that I was really into it, they paid for me to take some weekly lessons. They also bought me an electric guitar and amplifier ... like I wanted. The lessons were really a fun thing for me. Each week, I would take a cassette tape of a song by one of my favorite metal bands and say to the teacher, "I wanna play this." The teacher would listen to the song, pick up on how to play it (in about five minutes) and show me the basic guitar patterns and riffs. The other part of lessons that was fun was just going to them. It was something to do on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon or evening. (Whichever day of the week it was, I don't remember, but it changed once in awhile to fit our schedules.) I was starting to learn how to drive, and though I wasn't licensed, I had a learner's permit that allowed me to drive with a licensed driver. My mom and I would go to the lesson, which was in a nearby city, and I would drive. Afterwards (probably around five or six pm), we would stop at Burger King for some supper and then at the grocery store, so my mom could get the food for the household. Eventually, it got to the point where I could do what the teacher was doing -- listen to the music and pick up the guitar parts of the song -- and, since I wasn't really advancing beyond that point, I stopped going to the lessons. But it really was a nice thing while it lasted: lessons, driving, time spent with mom, and Burger King. Soon, I met some other guys who played guitar, bass, drums, and did vocals. We decided to form a band. By then, I had my driver's license and had taken over one of the family cars (kind of claimed it as my own), and I would go to one friend's house where we would practice after school. His parents were off working some jobs (probably doing something lame, like I do now), and it was cool that we were able to use their basement to rehearse. Yea, our hair was long but not ridiculous. We had metal from the UK and metal from the USA, and we played it all. We were LOUD. It's amazing the neighbors didn't call the police, but they were probably all at work, too. One time we played a concert at a local church hall that had dances for the kids (though I think it was a different band by then). Ususally, they had some DJ playing music, but this time it was us that rocked the house. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rush, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Cinderella -- we played it all, baby! The girls thought we were great, and we felt like Bon Jovi must have felt when it rocked Moscow during the Cold War. It was glorious. I guess we all did other normal stuff, too, like played sports, swam in the nearby clay pit of an abandoned brick factory, and went on dates with girls. I probably had some part-time job by then, too. I don't know what happened to the music, or to the dream, or even to the other guys. I wrote this poem recently and posted it on a poetry site where I participate. Here's the poem: That was the decade when we had it all loving life like muchachas at quinceañeras ------------------------------------------ dreaming of Nueva Casas Grandes It was all Corvettes and discotheques until the Alhambra became a motel We didn't know you were in jail then had never even heard of cancer or Somalia We had the beach and it was one long summer in the sun ________________________________________________ Rocky Point Amusement Park Quinceanera Nueva Casas Grandes literally translated, Casas Grandes means "huge houses" or "mansions" and nueva means "new" (not sure whether there are really any new mansions there). For me, the poem kind of epitomizes my life while growing up. I didn't have a Corvette, or listen to disco (although I enjoy it now), but the poem makes me look at my life and remember certain things that were good. Rock on. 1 Quote Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.