January 06, 2007

We Are So Famous

About a week ago my dad walked into my room with the portable phone, mumbling about some lady wanting to talk to me about Matt for an article. I rarely listen to what my father is actually saying (purely a defense mechanism, I assure you), so when he handed over the phone, I had no idea what to expect.

On the other end was a warm female voice saying she was from the local paper and she wanted to talk to me about my little brother Matt and our family of musicians. Let me step back for just a brief moment to give you some necessary info: We were raised in a musical family. From before I can even remember my dad had an acoustic guitar, and sang the family country songs (whether we wanted to hear him or not). My mother had me in piano lessons at a very young age, and then in flute lessons, and then in piano lessons again (I still was not feeling the whole "discipline" thing), and finally in drum lessons, which is the instrument that finally stuck with me. I played drums/percussion all throughout high school, and was in nearly every band class available in high school. I was actually pretty darn good at the time, winning awards and junk, but I kinda burned out on it.

All of my younger brothers play as well. Kevin started with guitar - shredding Van Halen tunes as a little kid - then picked up the saxophone in junior high. He's now a professional sax (and flute and clarinet) player, and makes his living from playing and teaching. James started thrashing about a kiddie drumset at a very young age - even before I started playing them. He, like all of us, can also play the guitar and keyboards, and a loose variety of other instruments.

Matt was a bit late to the musical game, and not just because he was seven years younger than the youngest of us. He wasn't dragged into it. Not until junior high, at least. See, in juinor high you get something called "electives", and band was the easy choice for ALL of us. I think Matt felt compelled by our legacy. He started playing drums. I don't think he was ever really into percussion, but he made a go of it - playing in a variety of school bands, and in drumline in high school. It wasn't until high school that he picked up a guitar.

Matt's graduating high school this June, and he has his heart set on attending the Berkelee School of Music in Boston, to further study the guitar. I have mixed feelings on going to college to study music, but whatever, he really wants it. So today, he has a scholarship audition for Berkelee in Hollywood. Like anyone would be, he's a ball of nerves - and to add to that is the unfortunate fact that, because of the, shall we say, interference by my brother James (who is a publicity whore, himself), Matt's whole audition ordeal is being publicized.

Which brings us back to the phone interview. It was probably one of the most humiliating, painfully-embarrassing conversations of my life. She asked about my being a musician. My father had spoken with her earlier, and he mentioned something about me in a band that played on television once (the L.A. Olympic Festival Marching Band, in 1991 - which was held at Dodger Stadium and was broadcast live on FOX), so she asked for details on that. Then she asked where I went to college (ugh), and if I got a degree (...um...), and if I still play, and what I'm doing now, etc. etc. Painful.

She then asked if she could send down a photographer to shoot all of us together for the article. She needed it to happen pretty quickly, and there was no real way to get us all together, so I offered to send her in some photos of us playing (without intending to send one of myself in, heh). I had a pic of Kevin playing, and went and shot Matt playing, but James wasn't around, so I had to find a pic of him on his computer.

A short time later, the article is published (click to read it). I was full-on expecting details to be screwed up, as I know that happens a lot in journalism. Now that the article is out, let me correct some things:

- Kevin is no longer a Band Director on the cruise ship. And it wasn't a Band Director, but a Musical Director (I guess there's a difference).
- I have only worked at Universal Studios for three years, and it's not in the audio mixing department, but in the digital services department. I think she mixed up the fact that I went to audio school and studied recording with what I'm doing now.
- I did not say I was the only girl in the drumline in the L.A. Olympic Festival Marching Band - I said I was the only girl in the SNARE line in that band.
- We do not have 16 guitars in the house. Maybe something closer to 10.

So there you have it. It's not my first time being written up in the local paper (there was an article about me and a few other students back when I made the Olympic Festival band), but it's certainly the funniest. My favorite part in it is where my father talks about how he was referred to as "Johnny Trash" (a combination of Johnny Cash and white trash, I assume). I had never heard that anecdote before, and boy did I get a good hoot out of that!


posted by julie at January 6, 2007 10:12 AM


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