I have never really written about this anywhere, but today I watched “The Last Song” and it really made me nostalgic. I grew up surrounded by music. My parents raised me on classic rock. My first memorable concert complete with souvenirs was Foreigner (technically Sammy Kershaw was my first, but I remember nothing about it). I was a rather dramatic child who was known to break into song at any time.
In sixth grade I decided to join band. Of course I wanted to play percussion. That’s when I met one of the three most influential men of my life. Mr. Collier scared me at first. He was extremely gruff and demanding. He smoked like a freight train. He threatened to tie us up by our toenails and burn our houses down. I ended up loving that man as much as I loved my own grandfather. He believed in me – I was the only girl who played drums from sixth grade until I was a junior. He made me take lessons and told me I was going to be something great. He gave me confidence and helped bring me out of my shell. He introduced me to great men like Coltrane and Armstrong and Miller. He made me fall head over heels in love with real jazz. Showed me how to be a real musician. He pushed me hard. There just aren’t enough words to describe how much he meant to me. When he died, the world lost a great man.
I get curious looks a lot when people look through my music. Everything’s there… rock, hip hop, opera, jazz, metal, country. I will listen to anything at least once. I seriously can’t imagine my life without music. I mean, I married a musician. We have an entire closet full of guitars and a keyboard. We’ve got a drumset in our office that we bought just after we got engaged. It’s common to hear music in several rooms at the same time here in our house. We spent way more time picking all the music for our wedding than we did for anything else! I mean, who else have you ever heard of who had hymns, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and Smashing Pumpkins in their wedding?