Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why I'm Not a Famous Rock Star

There are many reasons why I'm not a famous rock star (I can't sing; I can't play an instrument), and yet I still sometimes wonder, Why am I not a famous rock star?

My mother didn't want me playing an instrument because we lived, for the most part, in apartment buildings. The two instruments I was drawn to -- piano and drums -- weren't conducive for apartments. The piano would have been too expensive, too large (I wanted a baby grand), and too loud. Drums would have been too loud and, if truth be told, probably too expensive. Oh, and probably too large.

But the primary reason I'm not a rock star is because the only instrument I learned to play at Jacqueline B. Kennedy was the recorder. Remember these little beauties?

It's possible -- likely, even -- that the recorder is a fine instrument. It's possible that it's a gateway instrument, leading the user to louder and more powerful instruments, like a twelve-string acoustic guitar or, hell, even a mouth harp. But the recorder didn't take with me. In fact, the only use I ever found for the recorder was as a weapon to fend off other, tougher kids looking for trouble. (Trust me: You could do some serious damage to the cranium with a recorder.)

But what if I had taken the time to master "Frère Jacques"? Or "Mary Had a Little Lamb"? Or "Carry on My Wayward Son"? Where would I be today, and what would I be doing?


(I shiver at the thought.)