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The ramblings and observations of a kidney transplant recipient, although not necessarily for that reason.

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Monday, August 21, 2006
Once at age 6, I was walking up the Avenue with my mother and I talked her into taking me into Wollmer's Music Store. It was fantastic! All the brass things (horns), the wood things with strings (guitars, violins), even the silver things for $5 on the counter next to cash register (harmonicas) had captivated me. Thus began my "career" as a musician. Big plans I tell ya. I had a goal to be rock star. Not like my sister who was probably playing with Hello Kitty or something.

I got my first guitar, an acoustic thing with nylon strings, perfect for a six year old on a mission to become the next John Denver (John Denver? Really? Kid needs a new record!). Got me some lessons and by the time I was 11 I was playing in my first band, a group my guitar teacher pieced together from all his 11 year old students. We were called (I tried blocking this from my memory, but apparently the transplant has allowed it to resurface) "The Juveniles". We played at Rec Centers, Street Faires, Walk-A-Thon Kickoffs....We even played at the Concord Pavillion (a local concert venue for real acts) and a couple members of Journey walked out on stage while we were playing. BIG SHIT!

We were also on TV.....local programming, a show called Superkids, hosted by Gene Washington (ex-49er football player). That was my debut on TV and the place I felt necessary to declare (when asked about drugs) "I don't ever wanna do drugs. I don't even wanna try them!" This statement may have been a little premature. Here I was with big plans, fame, fortune, backstage parties knows, (not drugs) but its gonna rock! Big plans for a 12 year old.

The thing about the band is that it required me to abandon the acoustic guitar and get an electric. Fender...that's what Wollmer's sold. I needed to get me a Stratocaster. They are the shit! The Shit for Big Shit (like me, the next Righteous Brother! A definite improvement!). But see....I can't afford a Strat, so I get the knock off look-alike "The Lead II", also made by Fender, also looks like a Strat, also 1/4 of the price (for you guitar buffs, it was the Squire of the 70's). Whatever, its a Strat. Red with a black pickguard.

After a few years The Juveniles went their separate ways. We thought we could do better on our own then with that guitar teacher/manager holding us back. I formed a new group in the 7th grade. We did it the way we wanted, the music we wanted, we took the gigs (no "s", just one gig) we wanted. We were The UnXplained! We were the next Police or U2 or Sex Pistols (anything but John Denver or The Righteous Brothers!).

One of the members of the UnXplained quit and the rest of us found a replacement and changed our name to Scarlet Macabre (ooooooh). We were no longer that happy crappy modern rock shit....we were Death Rock! We put on eyeliner and took publicity photos in cemetaries. We were the next......well.....lets just say we were along way from Rocky Mountain High! Once Scarlet Macabre broke up, this was the end of my guitar playing days....

I went on to play sax, tuba, piano, bass....just about anything but guitar. I always had a soft spot in my heart for the Strat. I have since grown to like other guitars better, but there is nothing like a Strat.

I didn't really tell you this whole story for any particular reason....I just wanted my post to be long enough, so there would be a huge impact when you scrolled down to see THIS!.......

NO!!!! JUST, NO!
posted by othur-me @ 2:58 PM  
  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Lisa said…

    Oh man...I thought you were going to put up a picure or two of you in these bands! Pleeeeaaase?!

  • At 5:00 PM, Blogger don't call me MA'AM said…

    That's hilarious. Freakin' kitty.

  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger othur-me said…

    Lisa - I'm pretty sure all that evidence has been destroyed.

    DCMM - It's wrong. I told the owner of the music store I was actually offended.

  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger Jester said…

    Call me crazy, but I rather like the pink one... and I can see a really hot chic guitar player slamming on one.

    And yes, pictures of you in eyeliner in a cemetery please.

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger othur-me said…

    jester - if you go to the Fender website there is a picture of Lisa Loeb playing one. Apparently she is the spokeswoman. While I think she is hot, I know she loves pink and all, I cannot accept the big Hello Kitty pickguard. It is JUST. WRONG. (at least its only a Squier. I would probably have gone postal if I saw one on a American made Strat)

    Also....the pictures are no longer with us. They have left this world.

  • At 2:19 PM, Blogger Jester said…

    Othur-me - I can attest to the fact that Lisa Loeb does in fact love pink. Back in the day one of the riders in her performance contract included 3 dozen "soft" pink roses, and the table settings in her dressing room had to be pink.

    I love the irony of something that rocks, being plastered with the likeness of something that definitely does not. Coming soon: the Peekachu Les Paul, a Gibsons Power Ranger, and my favorite, the Pee Wee Herman Strat.

    And I don't believe you about those pictures. No one destroys pictures. I'll just ask your mom for them.

  • At 2:50 PM, Blogger othur-me said…

    Here's the deal....if a little Japanese girl bought a Squier Strat, removed the pick guard, spray painted it pink and then air brushed her favorite picture of Hello Kitty on it (is there more than one picture of Hello Kitty?)? That MIGHT be cool. At least she made it her own.

    But for Sanrio and Fender to mass produce this mess and try to sell it more than one little girl (and maybe you)....its just.....NO!

  • At 3:15 PM, Blogger Jane said…

    I like the pink guitar minus the hello kitty.

    And I'm with Jester. Those pictures are in a drawer, or shoebox somewhere. Find them so we can see them!

    Great story about your early years!

  • At 4:13 PM, Blogger type1emt said…

    it would make the perfect present for your sis..
    (if she does indeed have a Helly Kitty collection)
    Funny as heck.

  • At 5:40 PM, Blogger mjd said…

    Yes, othur-me, we want pictures. Interesting names UnXplained, Scarlet Macabre. Pictures in the cemetery...what fun; I bet you rocked.

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Seattle Tall Poppy said…

    Hello kitty cracks me up!!! My friend Marc travels to Asia on a frequent basis. Last year, he brought back....HELLO KITTY DILDOS for all the women in his office! Seriously.

  • At 9:26 AM, Blogger Rattlehead said…

    Woah.. I remember Scarlet Macabre... didn't you guys play at Mabuhay Gardens (or whatever it was called??)

    Anyway, hello from an old school bay area metalhead! Those were the days... \"/

  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger othurme said…

    Rattlehead - The fact that you remember that shit is absolutely crazy. We only played two gigs. Once at the Mab (and that is what it was called then) and one upstairs at the On Broadway. If you were not a member of the band, I am in awe of you. And if you are, we totally need to get the band back together. Call me.

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