As I was growing up in my large family, there was six kids and eight members including my parents, family bands were a big thing. It was the seventies and the Jackson Five, The Osmonds, The Mandrell Sisters, and of course my personal favorite The Partridge Family (I didn’t grasp that they weren’t actually a real family) were all quite the rage. My family was pretty musical and I didn’t have the mental capacity to not realize that we weren’t really famous. I was the type of kid that would sing in the grocery store because I thought for certain that I would be found by the talent scout that is obviously scouring the grocery store for his next huge star. We would have amplifiers, guitars, key boards, pianos, microphones and drums at our house. I wanted so badly to be in our band. The problem was that I didn’t play an instrument. Also I found it difficult for people in my family to take me seriously because I was a little bit of a clown. (I know shock and Awe is what you feel) My mother would say “You can dance for the band”
Umm I’m no backup dancer I am an absolute fucking star. I just needed to find the One thing that no one was doing and do it the absolute best. One night I was sitting and listening to everyone put together their ideas for the song they were going to record. (Guys as a child i thought huge…I thought recording studio and record deals…I thought we were the next Partridge Family and we even had the bus for it) I was so excited. I had to be on this record. What was I going to do? No one can see you dance on a record. I had to do something that would get me noticed.
I could sing I was actually a good enough singer. The problem was I didn’t know the words to this new song (I found out later that my Dad was making it up as he went along…honestly he was trying to write a song….but his daughter was such a fucking jackass during this process that she made it difficult to think….perhaps he sang don’t have asshole kids)
He would sing (words that he was putting together about his feelings)
I would also sing a bit louder and into the recording mic (ahhhlllwwwoaards put ahhh getherrr aaaalll feelings) i might note that all was my go to word when i didn’t know the words….it has served me well up until this point. my husband sings watermelon for the same reason.
Everyone stops and looks at me. Clearly I don’t know the words to this new song because no one knew the words, including the singer. He smiles and says that I could push the record button. I know that isn’t going to make me a star so I just shrug and say ok. I’m still closest to the recording mic. (Now that I have your attention I might also want to mention that the recording device in play is actually a rectangular tape player that also can tape cassettes. I didn’t know much about how recording music was done….so clearly I am misinformed)
We start the recording session again.
MY dad (I am singing about my feelings and here they are)
Me (I am singing louder about his feelings but I don’t actually know what he’s feeling)
We are all told to stop again. MY father looks at me and says “Becki what are you doing?”
“I’m going to be the lead singer in our band.”
My father sighs.
My father says “I am trying to write a song right now. You don’t know the words so you can’t sing them.”
Me “Ok. Why don’t you just tell me the words and then I will sing.”
My father “No.” he smiles and says “Just hit record and sit quietly.”
I hit record and I honestly try to sit quietly but sitting quietly is not my specialty. So I then think of Marie Osmond and she sings harmony. I am going to sing harmony.
My father (singing about his feelings and getting a good groove going as I come up with my next move)
Me (he’s singing about his feelings…..so many feelings…I am singing in a higher voice about his feelings)
by the way I should mention that I still don’t know the words to my father’s song. It was not ever a hit or even completed I am sure. These are not the actual words, this is not an actual depiction. I am still improvising his song…which makes me laugh.
My father is losing his temper. “What are you doing? I said to sit and be quiet.”
I am stunned. Why can’t he just let me be the star that I was obviously born to be. I look at him and I know that he’s really angry and the last thing I want to do is make him angry….but the first thing I want to do is to be a fucking STAR! So that is what I am focusing on.
“Becki, are you hearing me?”
I nod…but I wasn’t even listening because I was putting my next plan together. I hit record and I hear them playing and singing. I have left the room and they underestimate me because they think I have given up on stardom. I HAVE NOT!!!!
I come back with a pair of spoons….I learned this little trick watching HEEHAW (probably) and I stand over by the mic clanging this pair of spoons to the beat of the music.
My father gets to a breaking point and says “Ok Becki play it back to us.”
I hit play and I hear my father start out (singing about his feelings alone because he doesn’t know what a brilliant star his daughter is and he is singing until…and rather loudly because I know exactly where the mic is….. all that is heard is CLANG, CLANG CLANG CLANG…CACLANG CACLANG…CLANGITY CLANG CLANG.)
MY FATHER LOOKS AT THE SPOONS IN MY HAND and he can also see the proud smile on my face (which he doesn’t really care about)…AND HE LOOKS AT ME WITH SO MUCH FURY THAT I KNOW MY ASS IS ABOUT TO GET IT.
I drop the spoons and yup that was the noise we all just had the pleasure of hearing. I would like to say that he sat me down and explained to me that what I did was wrong like they do on tv. But I wasn’t in the Partridge Family and that bus was not for touring in. This was reality and I was not a fan of my reality. I went to my room and brushed my dolls hair to deal with my feelings…and I listened to the family band go on with their amazing recording without me. In my mind they were all going to be wildly famous and I was going to the asshole that carried their shit and hit the fucking record button. Turns out the guy who does hit the record button…he’s a pretty big deal. I should’ve realized that. I could’ve had a great career. But instead I just pushed buttons of a different kind…the kind that gets me in trouble.
Moral of my story: there are no little jobs and no little stars. Be happy with being in the background because the frontline can be terrifying. Also…playing the spoons never really took off. Not many bands have a spoon player (to my knowledge)….maybe I could still be a big spoon playing star…I’m going to be wildly famous guys.
Until next time 🙂