I remember I was all of about 14 years old when I ran downstairs and told Ma I had finally found my calling in life; I was going to play electric guitar in a rock and roll band!
I remember the inevitable reply too; “Could you not be a scientist or a doctor, and play your music on the nights and weekends?”.
God bless you Ma, almost as predictable as me in my early teens.
But in my mind at the time, Ma just didn’t get it. Guys like Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton were already making a fortune back then. And all they had to do was play at concerts and in recording studios. They sold records by the millions, had loads of girlfriends, and drove around in fancy cars. Money for nothing and your chicks for free (thanks Mark). Who’d want to be a scientist or a doctor when you could do that?
Somewhat deflated (only somewhat though), I went back up to my room to practice. But some of the magic was gone. The real world has no business biting a poor young fella of 14 in the arse like that. It wasn’t Ma’s fault. But I couldn’t help feeling the messenger made the world a little less exciting for me that day.
I’m glad she did. More on that later.
So I kept on playing my Hagstrom six-string.
And when I also took a shine to drawing in pencils and charcoal, and painting in watercolors a short time later, well, I knew better than to run downstairs to Ma again. I just kind of did it on the side and kept any meager (very meager) aspirations to myself.
I did some projects for my Intermediate and Leaving classes and definitely got the attention of my art teachers school. I won a small local competition at 14 and, at 17 (thanks Janis), I painted my masterpiece; a tribute to my guitar hero, Carlos Santana…
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