Last Friday night, I went to a local bar to listen to my boyfriend’s band’s blues jam. A few songs into their set, the wife of the lead singer (Chris) whispered in my ear, “I still can’t believe you’re a musician’s girlfriend. You’re just not crazy enough to be a musician’s girlfriend.”
As much as I hate to admit it, Chris was right. There really isn’t an ounce of crazy in these bones. Bitchy, yes. But not crazy. I’ve done, like, three crazy girlfriend-related things in my life and those things were either alcohol or hormone-induced. I’m pretty much on the straight and narrow.
But I didn’t always want to be a non-crazy. Long ago, I tried to be a crazy musician. See, a handful of years ago (1998), I belonged in an all-girl band called “The Sunflowers.” Since it was 1998, my bandmates and I decided to channel our inner Spice Girls and have really stupid nicknames.
Jacy a.k.a Sally Sunflower
Brienna a.k.a. Suzy Sunflower
Jessica aka Sadie Sunflower
Or was it Jacy a.k.a. Sally? Brienna a.k.a. Sadie? I swear to you that I have zero idea which of the Sunflowers any of us were. Jacy – with your memory like an elephant – can you help? Please?
No matter our stupid nicknames, the Sunflowers were legit, yo’. Just look at us.
Before we began writing songs, we started out just choreographing dances. You may remember us best from our four-year Fourth of July stint at the Chambers talent show. Eventually, we took our talents to O’Neill, where we won $100 dancing to Greased Lightning.Oh yeah, we even made the front page of the Holt County Independent.
Soon, we weren’t just dancing, but composing the greatest lyrics of all time. “One moment, one time,” was one of our greatest hits. It went like this:
“One moment, one time,
One moment, one time,
One moment, one time.”
Another hit, “Impossible,” nearly topped the charts. You may remember it:
“Impossible…. For a green little giant to turn blue. Impossible…for you and me to be together even though we’re separated. IMPOSSIBLE, IMPOSSIBLE, IMPOSSIBLEEEEE.”
Brienna just reminded me that we had ANOTHER hit called, “Jam Babies,” that I completely forgot about. Here’s how that tune went:
“Jam babies, jam babies, oooooooo, oooooo, oooo, ooooo ahhhh. Jam babies, jam babies, eeee, eee, eeee, eeeahhhhh.” Thanks, Suze, for that.
(I literally want to slam myself in the head with a frying pan just thinking about how f*cking dumb we were. “For a green little giant to turn blue?” What the hell kind of trippy Frank Zappa lyric is that?! And “Jam Babies?” The F?!)
When lyrics became too easy, we decided to add instruments to the mix. Brienna a.k.a. Sally a.k.a Sadie a.k.a. Suzy chose the drums, while Jacy a.k.a. Sally a.k.a Suzy a.k.a. Sadie chose the guitar. And I decided to slap the bass.
Only thing was, none of us had instruments at first. But slowly, the instruments started trickling in. Jacy received a guitar for her birthday and Brienna got one for her birthday. And I got nothing for my birthday. I learned to slap absolutely nothing. No bass, no band.
A few years later, we broke up. I was way too uncoordinated to do Jacy and Brienna’s dance moves, so they started their own dance troupe without me. They even went off and spent our talent show money on new costumes for the group.
But a dream, no matter how big or small, is still a dream. And I’ve kept dreaming about that bass guitar. Just 16 short years later, I met a boy who plays guitar and he opened my eyes to the wondrous possibilities of creating music once again. His whole dang family is musical. A few weeks ago, we went to his hometown and he let me bring his dad’s bass to practice on in my living room.
Just last week, I was surprised with a new set of strings and a bottle of finger ease for my birthday. His dad GAVE me that base guitar as a gift – one of the absolute nicest and thoughtful gifts I have ever received in my life. And, I know this sounds completely crazy, but the blood of my my giddy, creative, wannabe childhood bass guitarist is running through my veins again. It feels so wonderful.
Granted, after only one month, I can only play a scale in open E and I can sort of play Seven Nation Army. But it doesn’t stop me from turning on my favorite playlists on iTunes and trying to jam along. Don’t worry, I’ll get there. I’ll be that awesome bass guitarist. I’m determined this time around.
Sometimes in life, it is so easy to lose sight of those little dreams you had so long ago. I dreamed of being a bassist and an award-winning author. As cheesy as this sounds, that bass guitar assured me that all hope is not lost for me. It gave me a glimmer of hope that those childhood dreams and aspirations might just come true. I actually have a plan now. First I’ll master bass guitar, then I’ll start working on my novel.
I’d really encourage you to take a look back into your childhood and recall your dreams. Feeling like a kid again and looking through rose-colored glasses isn’t so dang bad.