Foster the Groove….
That’s a title I came up with in 2010 when I last attempted a shot at a creative outlet. I liked the sound of it then, and I still do. It was supposed to represent the simple, sometimes not so simple, act of moving forward. Or rather, moving period. The goal at the time wasn’t necessarily to create something brilliant, just to not stop. I found that to be harder than I first imagined, because when within a few weeks I had done just that….stopped. Bye bye creative outlet. Hello feelings of stagnation.
How did this reporter get here? Certainly not a short journey. As a Pisces child, I lived in a world of fantasy and play. Whether it was imaginary friends, when my real friends weren’t around, pretending to be a doctor, fireman, policeman (California Highway Patrolman or “Chip” to be exact) or an athlete in a variety of sports, I was always the most alive when my mind was creating some new world or role to live in. And live I did.
But time doesn’t stand still. I grew out of those imaginary worlds and creative outlets, and they were soon replaced with something we now refer to as Hair Bands. Although back then we just called it Heavy Metal. I thank my older cousin Chris for that introduction. He moved back from Italy when I was 13. Being an only child and my younger cousins not really being of “useful” age, or in Brittany’s case even around, having Chris to hang out with was certainly an impression. I ate it up. The hair, the clothes, the posters on the wall and what would certainly change my life, the music.
Having grown up around music in school thanks to the wonderful Mrs. Callahan at Ridgecrest, I loved that time everyday at school to go to her class and sing. As we got older we were introduced to instruments, the xylophone being my favorite at the time. To be able to create melody out of nothing using some simple theory rules and a rudimentary ability to read music was for me, awe inspiring. I would run to the xylophone when it was my turn. The favorite tune of the day….Linstead Market, an old Jamaican folk song. Talk about a melody that moved me. Loved to sing it, loved to play it.
But returning to Chris’s influence. We would spend most of our summer days hanging out at the pool, walking through the mall, playing at the arcade or simply cruising around in his convertible MGB. Mountain Dew and loud metal music!! At the time I had a little Casio keyboard that my mom had bought me for Christmas I think. I had started to have this desire to make my own music. Unfortunately the keyboard wasn’t leading me anywhere.
And then it happened….this guitar riff I’d never heard before…it sent chills through me and I thought to myself, “That’s what I want to do!” The song was “Talk Dirty to Me” by Poison. Ya, I know not exactly a guitar classic. But, you see, it didn’t need to be a classic. All it needed to do was inspire, and that it did. In that moment, I found my next creative outlet. One that would consume my life for most of the next 25 years.