|12 x 12, pastel on archival paper|
I insisted on piano lessons when I was seven years old. It did not matter that my family did not own a piano. I knew it was for me and I wanted lessons. Lucky for me, my parents gave in and I began what has been a nearly lifelong passion.
But, when I was just nine, I became a genuine groupie of our neighborhood garage band. Garage bands were really popular in our town and every group dreamed of Capitol Records and Hollywood and being discovered. Fame and fortune, fancy cars, and the good life followed those dreams. Or, at least, winning the "Battle of the Bands" at the local high school.
I went to many of the band's rehearsals. Sometimes they let me try to sing along, other times they let me play the tambourine, but mostly I sat on a box or on top of a workbench and listened to the music. And one of the most popular songs in their playlist, was this: "Smoke on the Water."
Listening to it now still makes me think of the shy but cute drummer, Duncan, the smell of lawn clippings and gasoline, and the lyrics to this song.