Living the Dream …
June 23, 2009 § 15 Comments
My BFF from high school days has a daugther, Em.
Em went to art and design school in Savannah and while she is amazingly gifted with a needle and thread (and those complicated sewing machines) and is a designing natural, she began quite another “career” a few years ago.
She sings. And she sings in such a way you’d never expect. She has amazing pitch and can move her voice around without missing a note. We are not talking church choir or piano smokey jazz stuff. Nope, Em sings with a band that her boyfriend has put together and while you might call it rockabilly or punk or something akin to the CBGBs, it’s darn good stuff and they work hard at it.
The band calls itself The Designer Drugs though I’ve never once asked why. Their lifestyle has naught to do with drugs though they enjoy the occasional beer but music is their game and they’re determined to make it big enough to be their full time job. In the meantime, they all work to support themselves.
As we all know, even before the dawn of all the TV talent shows, that there is a lot of talent out there. And a lot of energy. The DDs are a combo of guitar drum and voice talent working the groove.
The band, this morning, sans bass player who will meet up with them in the Southwest
Two years ago the band went on tour across the US, stopping to play at all kinds of little clubs, sometimes paid, and just as often, not. We were on their route and they stayed a night with us, lugged all their instruments in the house and played for us. I filmed some of it and have kept it.
And two summers ago, they had a CD and tee shirts and made money on “merch” that summer. (They’ll do that again this time). Their goal was twofold: 1) tour and 2) not create any debt while touring. They accomplished both. Last summer went by and they stayed home, in New York, working on their music, dropping their bass, a lead guitar and drummer only to find another lead, bass and drummer.
It’s a merry band, not egotistical, fairly independent but not cynically so, and Em seems to keep them organized and on track.
Last week, Em emailed to say the band “made it” to be part of VANS Warped Tour 2009 this summer. They were heading to Cali where they’d be doing their first performance, then three other stops as part of the nationwide Tour. Following that, they had nearly a dozen of their own gigs booked across the country.
Em asked if the band could stay the night as they drove through St. Louis on their way west. Of course! Stay with us!
And so they did. (and my BFF, Ro (Em’s mom) was sooooo happy, too.)
Snarl helped me on the cooking side of the kitchen to set out hot, home-cooked food for them when they rolled in around 8:30 p.m. They had driven straight through from upstate New York. HM sat down with them to chat about music, and how they were managing. (HM toured with his band at the same age.)
Later, we jumbled about getting out towels, making up beds, doing a B&B kind of thing (though I knew that in the a.m., I’d be offering only cereal cuz I’m not too brilliant in the kitchen on workday mornings) and finally HM and I trundled off to the Land of Nod and the Band stayed up, working on a song.
They were up this morning, spit-spot on time and at the ready, packing up and suddenly climbing into their van as we turned our own cars in the direction of our respective offices.
At the second STOP sign, we waved to one another before they turned left, and we turned right.
The band’s stage persona. (I did not take this photo; it’s from the band’s myspace page)
It’s important to have a dream and to live that dream. May we all be doing that.