So You Wanna Be A Rock’n’Roll Star

I’m no William Hung, but my musical ambitions had been a nagging sore at the back of my conscience for almost 20 years. It’s hard to get past all the excuses–no time, not good enough, no equipment, not good enough, no original material, not good enough, no band mates, not good enough… You get the picture. But in December I heard two things that finally pushed me into the deep end of the pool to sink or swim.

First was Home Recordings by Jim Croce. It’s just him and his guitar at the kitchen table with a reel-to-reel tape recorder (sound familiar?).

Dad’s tapes always inspired me, but at the same time they were part of the reason I didn’t move forward. I mean, he was just Dad. I couldn’t do that like he did. It was too fearless. So, while I’m not comparing myself to Jim Croce, it helped to hear someone as great as him just sitting around in his underwear putting down on tape whatever he liked without worrying about it being perfect.

The second part of the equation came from MJ. When I heard her kitchen table recordings, I had the complement to the star in his underwear: the ordinary person (who may or may not have been in her underwear) who sounded like a star.

That’s only part of the reason her songs got me off my ass. You see, when I heard them, I immediately made the comment that I wanted to record one of them. As with everything else, I went overboard and asked her for the lyrics and made it sound like I actually might do it someday. I suppose I expected her to kind of dismiss me with a condescending pat on my punkin’ wittle head, and that would be it.

But nooooo! The rotten person she is, she was flattered. Now what??? You mean I’d actually have to put out? Damn! After that, I had to find the equipment and get on with it.

Those, dear friends, are the real reasons I traded one of my sacred guitars for a multi-track recorder: pride, vanity and vague promises to a woman I hardly know.

Here’s my version of MJ’s Let Me In.

But there’s more to this fish tale.

One of the last hurdles to jump was a paralyzing fear of being Hung-like. How awful, sez Mister Insecurity, to be terrible and not know it (or worse, think that you’re actually good when you suck). But fuck it (pardon my French). I know I’m not that bad, and maybe if enough people make fun of me, I’ll get my own record contract, too! Just gotta work on the dance…

Besides, when I failed to come up with something to please my favorite critic, I promised her I’d do one she’d like next. (It’s one of these here.) That got me a thank you kiss when it was done. So, if y’all don’t like it, you can bite me. ‘Cuz you know I only got in this music biz to snag a hot groupie, and it still works!

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12 Responses to So You Wanna Be A Rock’n’Roll Star

  1. Scott says:

    You know, I wish I had some instrumental background that remained — it’s been 15 years since I really played a guitar. I’m proud of you, m’boy.

    How long did it take to lay down the track?

  2. Solonor says:

    It’s been taking about 6 hours for each one. I like to say it’s because I’m still learning how the recorder works, but it’s mostly because I keep fiddling with it. There are a hundred things I don’t like about each song that I’d like to either re-record or re-mix, but my darling daughter told me yesterday to get on with it.

  3. Kodger says:

    I was following the blogging links down the garden path and came across yours. Downloaded and really enjoyed the mp3’s from ‘Thanks Dad’. I have always liked what I call real music, the kitchen table stuff.

  4. Ric The Schmuck says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, so when are ya gonna do The Meatball Song?

  5. Solonor says:

    Crap. Now I gotta. 😉

  6. jadedju says:

    Okay, I NEVER listen to music online, since I’m on dial-up. When MJ posted her song, nope, I didn’t listen. When you’ve posted other stuff of yours, nope, I didn’t listen. But today, what the hell, I listened. And Lester, it was great! Your voice is wonderful, the instrumentals were really nice and lush, the lyrics great. *clap*clap*clap*clap*

  7. Ric The Schmuck says:

    Hey, Solly, that was frickin’ awesome. Seriously.
    Start to finish. (and MJ, the song is cool, too)
    I especially like the harmonies.
    Nicely done.

  8. MJ says:

    I avoid wearing underwear whenever possible…

    Inspiration works both ways ya know – you prodded me to post my songs in the first place and since then I’ve started practicing more – so thanks back attcha mister!

    Oh yeah and if you need to hock any more guitars – I call first dibs!

  9. GeekMan says:

    That song was great, Solonor! HoBiscuit and I loved it. She says you’re mighty talented and I agreed.

    You rock.

  10. Sunidesus says:

    Now I gotta find a computer with speakers. (I’m at work) Or maybe I should just wait till I get home…

  11. Gots to get me one of them

    I’m little late in mentioning it here but Solonor finally made good on his promise to record one of my songs. I’m totally blown away. Well done my friend. It’s sounds like a real song – holy crap! Now I’m

  12. domino says:

    I want to see the video for 10kYears!

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