Live through this: Rock ‘n’ Roll saved my life

A Simon and Garfunkel record plays on the background as the clock announces is past midnight. I am not tired at all, must have been all that coffee I drank earlier or perhaps like any other parent, I stay up late because this is only time when my room is filled with tranquility. I avoid tracking my mood today; for once I want to forget about my illness and the essentials I must follow every day to gain some perspective and balance on my condition.

My mind goes back to one of the first memories that changed my life forever. When close my eyes, I see myself in that moment when I discovered my father’s records in the living room. he played records all day, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Janis Joplin, The Zombies, The Stooges, etc..Thunderclap Newman’s “Something is on the air” it’s on, followed by Cat Stevens.

I let the music take me where my heart wants to go ” Every human being since childhood needs that intrinsic feeling of belonging, to a lover, a parent, a group, school, church, etc…my path directs me specifically to music. I know exactly what Cat Stevens/Yusuf meant when he wrote that song because there is no other avenue inflamed like music does. I find solace in music like many others who feel entrap in oppressive surroundings. If you must know, I started writing poems and songs when I was about six years old. during math lessons, I’d be dreaming about forming a rock band, become a great writer and publish my poems about the sad flower who couldn’t  enjoy spring because she was different. She was hurt. that dream had stayed on all these years. The only hindrance on my way to becoming a performer is my worst critic: Myself.

I don’t need to be forgiving, I have battled from low self-esteem for a long time due to certain chapters I’ve shared on this blog lately…anyway, I didn’t officially start pursuing music after I graduated from High School. -During that time I was going through a rough depression, I hated all the people at school, see, I was your typical nerd trying-too-hard to become popular like my older sister, but my passion for knowledge got the best of me, thank the gods for that.

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– I had this bittersweet recollection of school “Don’t look past my shoulder The exodus is here, the happy ones are near; let’s get together before we get much older; Teenage wasteland It’s only teenage wasteland”  Yes Pete, I’m still trying to follow your advice. -I was being my isolated-music junkie-normal self, but my mother recognized that as a problem so she and grandma convinced me to apply for an audition to the conservatory of music “Francisco R. Diaz Zelaya” in Honduras. What you’ve got to lose Steph?. The next morning the three of us went to the conservatory, I passed the required audition and picked the saxophone as my instrument of choice. Everyone else picked the violin, viola, piano, I thought that was too boring; saxophone on other hand is sensual and harmonious. That was more important to me than following the crowd. I had a tough teacher who made me very nervous, but of course he educate me by allowing the sounds and harmonies take over my soul.

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My spirit was consumed by the great characters I had the privileged to meet during my short musical period, musicians, poets, writers, nothing else mattered in life, but your talent, discipline, and passion to pursue the right to call yourself an artist. Now suddenly, the scenery molds into mellow elegant sounds, with enough sophistication with an aura of mystery. Charlie Parker makes an entrance, Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo a la Turk is a must, don’t forget Coltrane, a friend reminds me; Jazz it is, the fusion between the bass, saxophones, the percussion resonates into a parallel sound without an order; improvisation at its best. My depression was gone until this bright music episode ended with my impending travels to a new land. It was hard to say good-bye, and tried to cultivate my love for music as soon as I relocated to the U.S. but I faced the cruel reality many immigrants go through: learn the language, find a job or else  you won’t survive a day. It’s ok, Bob Dylan and Neil Young comforted my sorrows, Bruce Springsteen lifted up my mood, but of course U2 and Patti Smith are my ultimate favorites. I’ve studied classical music, punk, heavy metal, new wave, alternative, hey if you want to infuse yourself in this world, make sure to know the producers as well. Of all that combined, helped me to forget those wonderful days in Honduras.

-Anyway, I was watching “Almost Famous” the other day, and let me tell you, it’s one of my favorite movies, I wanted to be like Kate Hudson’s character, Penny Lane so badly, the cool, witty-free-spirited chick, the “band-aid” adored by many. In reality I’m William Miller “The enemy” the uncool kid who’s easily influenced by everyone from his mother, to the rock stars he meets along the way. He might not be the popular kid on the block, but he is a dreamer, he understands what music is all about. It’s the energy that makes you jump when you hear your favorite song and inspires your whole being into a supernatural state of mind that can last a lifetime. I take my title with resignation, the mother Theresa of the unhip day -dreamers, if you want to join, don’t forget to bring your vinyls, ITunes is overrated anyway.


One thought on “Live through this: Rock ‘n’ Roll saved my life

  1. Stephanie, this post makes me cry. It’s so honest, and my experiences with music are quite similar to yours, I think. Like you, I didn’t see myself as a “real music person” in high school, even though I listened to the radio and records all the time and occasionally went out to see bands, because I was too much of a nerd to fit in with the really cool music people. But no matter where I went, music always came with me. I couldn’t survive without it, and I swear it kept me alive through some really dark days. As for “Almost Famous”, that’s one of my favorite movies too, and I also wish I could be more like Penny Lane! But you know, I don’t think of William Miller as the enemy. Music needs dreamers and dreamers need music. We’re all part of the same thing, and I think that’s beautiful. xox

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