I started playing music a little later than the average bear. Apart from singing in church and two years of trumpet during my 5th and 6th grade years, I never really had much in the way of music instruction or inspiration during my childhood.
It wasn’t until college that I got more involved in the music scene — not with any professional aspirations, but just for my own pleasure. I joined the University (of Scranton) Singers and learned more about singing parts in a choral group. Even more important for the formation of my musical taste and talent (?) was rooming with, and becoming close friends with, musicians my senior year.
Two of my friends played guitar and the other played drums. I had little to contribute instrumentally, but was happy to lend my voice as we worked up harmonies for old Kingston Trio folk songs (and even an acoustic cover of Blondie’s “The Tide is High”). If memory serves, we went through at least two band names, “Sensus Communis” and “The Glorious Swansons.”
Fast forward 30 years — after years as a solo “singing weatherman,” I’m back in a band again. My middle son takes percussion and plays drums in his middle school band. My youngest is a natural as a front-man, and my eldest has the hair for grunge and can keep reasonably good time using one finger to hit the cymbals on the keyboard. Here’s what we came up with last night — a cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
We’ve got a song (and are open to suggestions for other covers), now we just need a name. I’ve always liked the name “China Shop Bulls” (in fact I used the name when scoring DJ’s movie, “The Bloody Pineapple” all those years ago). Got any better ideas?