Part 1 of a series
Since I started dancing around the living room when no one was watching to my favourite songs, and imagining I was playing the guitar and singing in front of an audience – I’ve wanted to be a rock star. But it was one of those “beautiful pipe dreams”.
But then slowly some seeds were planted in my mind that an ugly, pathetic, deadshit like me just might be able to give it a go.
The first time I wondered if I could ever be in a band was when my school-mate “Bruce” (not his real name) brazenly declared at 15 that he was going to pursue a career in rock n roll. His actual words were, “I’M GOING TO BE A ROCKSTAR” to his mum’s query, “What are you going to do with your life?” I was stunned mostly because I thought even if you wanted to be a rock star, you needed a day-job first. Even the Beatles started college or apprenticeships or day-jobs — admittedly very briefly. But Bruce didn’t want a day-job, he wanted to leap out of school and start a career in rock n roll from day one. Wow.
And although I lost track of him in year 11 when he was busted for drugs and was kicked out of our school I have this feeling he did make a go of it. A tragic and perhaps-laughable go – but good on him all the same.
So I spent a great deal of time after school, years in fact, in my room getting better at guitar and better at singing.
In fact I had to spend a good year or so just training myself to be able to sing and play guitar at the same time.
And one day I decided to write songs. I was inspired by the Brisbane band “The Melniks” who seemed to write about the minutia of being a kid in Brisbane. The stuff I was in equal part afflicted by, and in equal part fascinated by as well.
I had previously thought songwriting was for exceptional people. Geniuses in fact. For some reason every time I tried to write a song I remembered this guy from school called Fabian (and we both about 14) and he said with very sad, defeated eyes that he had tried to write a song recently and it was just too hard. And I looked up to Fabian cause he was smarter, stronger, more beatiuful and more popular than me. Even at 14 I knew I needed to write songs if I wanted to be a rock star.
But I tried and I found the secret to writing songs was:
a) Finish whatever you start – no matter how bad it turns out.
b) Start the song out by mimicking another song (hopefully a much better song), then change it just enough so no one will know where your inspiration came from.
c) Put some of your very own personality and soul into it.
So I will one day post more of my rock n roll history. But here is “MEMO”
My room circa 1996