The 30 Day Song Challenge has been presented to me by my friend Beff. The month of April will be dedicated to those thirty songs.
In grammar school I attended tryouts for the matching band. I had failed to get into the choir because I can't sing; but I figured that I could learn any instrument.
I wanted to play the saxophone.
All the third grade boys were lined-up outside the music room in the Guild Building and the man who directed the marching band sat inside with some current, older band members.
We entered one at a time.
I was handed a single drumstick.
"Try to copy what I do," he said.
He tapped out a short rhythm. I was unable to copy it.
He tapped out a different rhythm, and I was unable to copy that.
"I don't think you will make it as a drummer," he said. He wasn't unkind, he wasn't mean, he was just matter-of-fact.
"I don't want to play the drums," I explained.
"You don't?" He asked. "What instrument do you want to play?"
"I want to play the saxophone," I explained gleefully.
He snickered. "Did you hear that?" He asked the the musicians. "He wants to play the saxophone."
And then he laughed.
And then all the musicians laughed.
I stood there in silence, my face on fire.
He pointed to a musical instrument case standing in the corner and said, "Do you know how big a saxophone is? It's half your size. You see that? That's a saxophone. You'd never be able to play that."
They all had a good laugh and I stood there.
I don't remember leaving.
I was determined to learned about music and I started to learn all the words to all the songs I liked. I studied lyrics and looked for double-entendre. I learned metaphors for love and sex, I learned about rhyming and rhythm, beyond just the obvious. I learned about songwriters and songwriting teams.
I never learned to play an instrument.
But I know I can play this: Two Minutes Silence, by Plastic Ono Band: