AS FAR BACK AS I CAN REMEMBER…

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster.

With this sentence Henry Hill starts narrating his story in one of my top 5 favorite movies ever, Goodfellas, by Martin Scorsese. I feel like adapting it to the story of my life, so I’d say my line:

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a rockstar.

And I’m not kidding. Unfortunately it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n’ roll, and if you don’t have luck nor talent, among other requirements, such goal is impossible to be achieved.

Nevertheless I’m proud to say, this is the longest crush I’ve ever had, and still feel as passionate, if not more, as the very first moment I had that feeling.

Not many can recall when I decided to become devoted to rock. I do. It was 1982, 30 years ago, no less, I was 5-6 years old and I listen to Miguel Ríos singing this song.

It was the coolest song I had ever heard, and all the guitars, the vibe, the energy and the chorus were awesome. I just wanted to yell “Bieeeeeee-veeee-ni-doooos”. I believed myself one of  the  mentioned children of rock n’ roll.

My neighbors were also diehard fans of the song, so we used to play to be a rock band, basically singing this song, with these black plastic tennis rackets as guitars, using a pen or a rule as the mic, wearing bandanas and sunglasses and putting some makeup. Sure in case my parents read this, they won’t remember such wild performances, because we used to “rehearse” at my neighbors’.  Their parents didn’t pay much attention so we felt free. Still, perhaps there are some home videos hidden somewhere, with us acting insane.

In those years my father had bought a Yamaha acoustic guitar, and he tried to play typical Beatles love tunes. It took him 10 years approx, to start considering moving to the dark side and plug a guitar to an amp and enjoy distortion. He didn’t bother us much with the acoustic guitar, because he seldom played it, but his change to electric was hard for all the members of the family, including the dog, till he finally accepted receiving guitar lessons.

On the other hand, I had two cousins, who, strange as it might be, because they were genuine nerds, played some instruments. One loved plying banjo, and the other one was into drums.

Thus, I was all the time dreaming I was the singer and the leader of a band featuring my dad and my cousins.

When you’re still a kid, but start thinking for yourself, showing likes and dislikes, and also your will and determination taking shape little by little, everything looks forward growing old. It’s curious now, the insistence of the adults on reminding you eventually stop being a kid, probably is envy, because childhood means freedom, being careless, and concerns, in most cases, deal with toys, cartoons, food you don’t like and other awesome stuff.

Anyway, there was this question constantly asked by parents, acquaintances, teachers and adult community in general:

What you wanna do/be when you grow old?

Remember one time my teacher asked this. Answers were the usual: doctor, nurse, soccer player, fireman, cop, teacher, princess, ballet dancer, mechanic, gardener… But she wasn’t ready for my reply: “I wanna be a rockstar, a rock n’ roll singer”. At that moment you could notice my teacher’s astonishment and shock, she asked me the same again, so I gave the same answer, and she requested an explanation for that.  When I told her about my father and my cousins, and my wish to start a band with them, she looked nervous. You have to remember I was attending a private nun school, thus they didn’t approve something like that. Thus, for the first time, our teacher asked as to remain silent and quiet, left the room, and went straight to the office, to ask for my parents’ number in order to call them immediately to report the shocking news. Of course they knew already, so it wasn’t big deal for them.

Since then, I’ve tried to be the singer of some bands and projects, because I love singing, but at the end of the day I must admit my voice is pretty horrible and annoying, I’ve played drums from time to time, never committing to a further stage unfortunately, I’ve thought of working for bands as manager, become a promoter…Nah! Eventually you reach the point you have to assume your role in music: I’m an avid consumer, I purchase albums and attend shows, and seems that lately I can write about music, which is very pleasant and positive, and makes me feel I’m at least contributing a little bit, to support rock and bands.

Someone said to me I didn’t have to worry, because deep in my heart I was a rockstar, and my attitude, commitment and passion were proof enough. I like to think in such way, thus, at 35 I’m proud to say, I am what I’ve always wanted to be.

4 responses to “AS FAR BACK AS I CAN REMEMBER…

  1. (this has turned into a really long “comment”, hope you don’t mind!)

    You are a rockstar.

    That’s funny, I never wanted to be a rockstar as such, I always wanted to be an Izzy for Axl, a Nasty Suicide for McCoy and Monroe. Yeah, Izzy and Nasty are rockstars but you know what I mean. I would probably be your rythm guitar, or your keyboard player. 😉

    I can’t remember a moment I can say this is when I got into rock, in fact, I don’t think I have such a moment. I remember, yes, when I started to first listen to heavy metal, and then I stumbled into Mötley Crüe, and that was the beginning of an era, and then Guns ‘n Roses and then Aerosmith and that was it, I was doomed… But I can’t limit myself to rock. I mean, I know you also listen to different kinds of music, as most rockers do. I mean “limit” as in my OBSESSION with music.

    My mother always says that when I was a baby, she would park my craddle in the middle of the house (to be able to keep an eye on me as she moved around cleaning up or cooking), put music on the radio, and I was the happiest and easiest child. She alwas says I LOVED this 1971 song Mamy Blue (I was born in 1970) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lgpC4NTr0Y

    So I can blame my mother! And then we had a record player, in a huge chest of drawers type of thing, with a radio too and stuff, I mean, it was not easy to replace if damaged, and since as early as I can remember my mother always allowed me to use it and play the family records, with many different types of music: cuban stuff, crooners, piano albums, Manolo Escobar, Raphael!! And I would jump on the sofa and sit over the back, like on a horse, and sing my lungs out, to the lyrics or the instrumental tunes.Then I got a cassette player that was mostly a toy, then a better one, then my own record player, then… Always the music.

    • It is so nice you tell about your music experience here… I totally understand what you mean with being obsessed with music. At the end of the day, everything is related to it. Love, hate, happiness, sadness, anger…you can always refer to music as as the best way of expressing feelings, and we gotta be grateful for that, as already said, my longest and more constant relationship, we never give up on each other, we’re still passionate, we get hot and we have plenty of fun together.

  2. Honey, let me start with a comment about the quote you’re starting with… aaahhhh, Goodfellas… I do really love that movie. Who doesn’t? The second thing is when you refer to Miguel Ríos… It’s been a while since we know each other, more or less, and you may realized I’m plenty full of prejudices, against the most single silly thing. And Miguel Ríos was one of that persons hated with no reason why. The most suitable expression is “me da rabia”. Or “me daba”, because although these feelings, once, in a Fira Del Disc, I’d get his “Rock n’ Ríos”, a very crappy double vynil record for just a couple of euros. And… wow, that was a revelation! What an album!

    But the main topic I’d wanted to share with you is the feeling of… “I want to be a rockstar”… yeah, I do as well… now I’m too old to become a rockstar, even a musician, although I’m still trying with guitar… sometimes. Anyway, that’s one of my huge frustrations list. It’s been a while since I’m, let’s say, reconducting my “artistic career” to writing, since I’d realize that although I would look great in skiny silver pants on stage, I won’t be a rockstar. I’m not good in drawing and painting, nor also in photographs, even being a world I’m more and more passionate about it, and playing characters in screen or theatre… no way. But you know what? I’ve discovered that I do enjoy writing. So, who knows. I’m old to be the next enfant terrible of the Spanish Literature, but … I’m working on it (on being an “enfant”, I mean :-P)

    • Can’t recall someone making a great point few days ago regarding prejudices, I found particularly brilliant. Anyway, the idea was that they were necessary to limit or narrow our approach to music, otherwise we’d get crazy trying to assimilate everything. Prejudices, no matter they can save us from great bands, also prevents us to end up saturated.

      I’m full of prejudices. To start with, I despise national product. Hate Spanish films in general, and the business in particular, dislike most of Spanish rock bands just for the language, and I’m not very attracted to hispanic literature either, but seems that you might help me to change my mind on this regard as far as I can read from your comments.

      Admitting it was Bienvenidos the turning point in my earliest conscious days, is something weird at least, but it’s true, and I remember it proud and grateful, although I’m not interested in Mr Ríos’ career beyond Rock n’ Rios. Someday I’ll write a post talking about the few Spanish (spoken/singing) bands I respect.

      Goodfellas is in my top 5 films ever, I adore it regardless. It’s perfect, and reckon is, in my personal and humble opinion, Scorsese’s master piece, over Taxi Driver (absolute passion for this one too) and Raging Bull. I need to watch the story of Henry Hill’s at least twice a year. I’m serious.

      As already mentioned, I know my role regarding rock nowadays, and I’m also aware of my creativity limitatios. I can’t draw nor paint, can’t tattoo, haven’t enough knowledge to compose songs, although I’ve written some lyrics, and I don’t see myself performing either. The only way I’ve realized I can feel creative with, is by writing, but I’m far from developing a great extended work. I love blogging and reviewing because of the immediacy and the spontaneity they allow to my writing. Still, thanks to my huge imagination, I’d consider attempting to write some script in the future.

      Good luck in your projects, Kar, I hope you manage to deliver something good I can enjoy soon. In the meantime I encourage you to keep on posting and try to update your blog more often, I really enjoy reading your stories, and you know it 😉

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