15 Seconds of Fame

Ever since I can remember I’ve been banging on things. It is undoubtedly my father’s fault. Many a family meal devolved into an all out jam session with the silverware. My dad has amazing rhythm. I am so-so, nevertheless a percussionist I wanted to become.

My uncle was, among many other things, a band manager, a lounge singer and an ad jingle composer, so my childhood never lacked in music or parties or interesting house guests.

One of the most memorable occurrences was when I got to play drums with a band. They were giving a concert in a parking lot. I have no memory of who they were or why they were playing in the lot. I guess those details aren’t important to a child. What was important was that I got to sit behind the huge drum set and bang.

I banged well. I banged loud.

Admittedly I was not necessarily in tempo but who cared. There were snares and cymbals and they made such a great crashing, booming noise thanks to the amplifiers. I was in migraine heaven.

Eventually the song ended. I got a round of applause and cheers, much to my delight. And then, some hapless fool, perhaps even my uncle, did the unthinkable.

They handed me a microphone.

I looked down at the crowd gathered on the damp asphalt and time seemed to stretch out before me. My mind went blank. What was I to do?

Just as someone reached to take the microphone inspiration hit me. I tightened my grip, took a deep breath and belted out the only song I could think of.

“Kiss a Beaver Good Morning.”

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