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.”