Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We have a drum set!

It’s one of those small miracles that restores faith in the big stuff.

Poor Scarletta has been playing everything on a measly snare drum. We’ve posted pleas on Craigslist, scrounged ebay and pawn shops. And still an actual drum set eluded us because we’re so cheap.

Enter Kleveland. (As you may remember, she is actually a teacher at a real music school.) She discovered that the music school’s drum set was languishing in a former student’s basement, that the music school didn’t want to house the ponderous thing. She offered my garage, which is half a block from the music school, and poof, we had a drum set in my.

Scarletta and I have already practiced twice. The garage looks very band-ish, as the drum set is certainly as big as my husband’s Mini and approaching my RAV4. We’ve got all sorts of wires and mics and speakers, two guitars, a keyboard, a carpet and a chair. If you tried to load all our band paraphernalia, it would take creativity and both tiny cars. The band members would have to rent a limo.

The drums are glittery burnt orange, which, to me anyways, screams Marmalade SuperLove. I’m still trying to talk Scarletta into letting me make her a drum-seat cozy in furry orange with gold lightning bolt appliqués. I do believe she’s agreed to letting me add a drink-cup holder to one of the tom-toms.

We’re practicing tomorrow and will schedule our first open mic performance. Please, disregard any time and date info I divulge in the next blog if you’re a friend of Dr. Stacks, who does not want to perform in front of anyone she knows. Namely, Deb and friends.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I’ve got a really cool electric guitar…

I didn’t know this. My husband let me use his old guitar. He got it in college from a pawn shop, cheap. It’s old, heavy, wood and doesn’t have any cool swoopy parts or flashy colors. Don’t get me wrong; I like it. It stays in tune and sounds good even when I play it. But we both figured it was the lowest end of the low end.

I’d been fondling new red, light, and swoopy guitars at the music store. They were so pretty, so rock star-ish. When my husband and I had been in to buy me a distortion box for my birthday a few weeks ago, the music store guy, we’ll call him George, asked what kind of guitar we had.

My husband hung his head and said, “Oh a real cheap Ibanez I’ve had since college.”

George hung his head, too. “Yeah, we all have one of those beaters.”

A couple weeks later, I broke a string practicing bending. My husband was out of town and I haven’t learned to restring so I took my old Ibanez into the music store to get it restrung. I set it up on the counter and opened the case…

George gasped. “Is the Ibanez your husband was talking about?”

I nodded.

“Oh, man,” he said.

“What?” I said.

George ignored me and yelled to the three or four other customers in the store. “Hey, come look at this.” Apparently they were all guitar heroes. Within seconds, they’d crowded around my guitar, crowding me out.

I could hear snippets of what they were saying as I tried to peer around them to see what they were doing with my guitar.

From the ‘70s. I’ve got a dozen guitars and my 70s Ibanez is my favorite. Yeah, the Japanese knew how to make them back then.

Soon they were taking off the cover of a little compartment in the back. I hadn’t even realized there was a compartment in the back. They were fingering some electrical connections in there. They were talking about the bridge construction. About materials. Workmanship.

I finally pushed my way through them and took a look at my guitar.

“This your guitar?” one of the heroes asked.

“Yeah,” I said.

“You got a cool guitar.”

“She’s in a band,” George said.

They all looked at me, nodding. Before when I’d told people at the music store I was in a girl band, they’d grimaced.

I didn’t even glance at the new, red, swoopy guitars hanging on the wall as I left, carrying my super cool, cheap, pawn shop Ibanez.