The faculty lounge came alive! The lunch discussion was concerts and such. We laughed at the ‘youngsters’ among the staff who had attended Jonas Brothers concerts in high school, the Jimmy Buffet attendees, who had blown out their flip-flops many years over, and those who had journeyed to Journey, time and time again. Myself included.
The various tours unfolded…and it reminded me of a euchre game. My John Mellencamp jack trumps your Billy Joel. His partner leads with two queens: Tina Turner, Madonna, and don’t even think about playing Taylor Swift in this mix. Guns n’ Roses may be buried, so think I’ll take my chance on laying down Bon Jovi. It was a lively game, and soon I decided to show my hand. “I have the King right here; yep, saw Elvis in the seventies.” They all got quiet. All eyes were on me, so it was time for the real ace: “Yep, and the greatest concert ever was Michael Jackson—the ‘Thriller’ tour.” I threw down my ‘loner’ and knew I had won the game. Take that, you New Kids on the Block. Picture this…a bunch of teachers trading in their lesson plans for Rock n Roll 101. About time we laughed and acted like our students!
But for me, it made me think of another band, ‘My Hidden Track’ which I must admit, was this concert goer’s favorite. I spent a lot of time at their shows, listening to their cd’s, watching their videos on YouTube, and still have their merchandise scattered around my house like old memories. My youngest boy played in this band, following his passion to make music. Some folks criticized my support for such lofty goals; college should come first. But dreams need immediate attention sometimes, and I told him to do this now. The band bought the van, the trailer, did the tour, sold the ‘merch’, recorded cd’s, screen printed the shirts, gave out autographs, and refined their sound. I could not have been prouder.
I was often asked if the band was good. I answered by saying that I did not know, that I was not their audience. However, I would watch the kids peer up at the stage, and rock out to every song— dance, jump, and smile from ear to ear, and I knew this was a valid gig. I’m the mom. Of course I loved it! But more, I loved the fact that my child is (and was) as committed to music as I am to writing. Indeed, I told him once that if he ever walked away from music it was his decision not mine. I had not written my first book until I was fifty; his music should not wait. I am and was as proud of his commitment to ‘My Hidden Track‘ as I am to the songwriting he continues doing today. On one of his visits home from L.A., we were riding in his car and he popped in a cd. I listened to the guitar intro, and wondered if this was a new John Mayer cd. Soon, I heard the voice and smiled. In secret, he had written this song, had it recorded, and watched as it melted this mother’s heart. It was really good. But then, doesn’t every mother say that? Yet, I heard the pain and growth in every lyric and knew how far this musician had come.
I treasure the concerts that featured my son and his friends, and how it became a time for the whole family to gather and cheer them on. And it was pretty cool to get in free as my name was on ‘The List’ at the door. Motherhood has its privileges, I suppose. I think that Mrs. Presley and Mrs. Jackson would agree.
Whether on stage or in his room with the guitar, my son, the musician, trumps all others.
I should know: I’m with the band.