Long Live Roll & Roll!

I am from screaming electric guitars, from Hammond B3 organs, and crashing Zildjian cymbals.  I am from sitting in on band practice in somebody’s borrowed garage.  I am from hanging out with my boyfriend Bill’s band after school, listening to Crazy Mary sing “Proud Mary”, assuring Bill his drumming was tight, watching Bobby strut and stomp and do nasty things to the microphone.   

 I am from getting in big trouble when I got back home.  From yelling matches with my mom, from getting grounded and going to rock concerts anyway.  I am from saying, “I’m with the band” and getting into over-21  clubs when I was just 15.  I am from sitting so close to the speakers at dances I could feel the vibrations go through my whole body.      

I am from listening to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and the Doors, from skipping school and getting drunk on cheap wine.  I am from smoking in the girls’ room, and being sent to the principal’s office for not wearing a bra.  I am from French fries and cherry Cokes for lunch and bumming cigarettes. 

I am from sitting in blossoming cherry trees on April evenings, talking about the first-ever Earth Day.  I am from playing Frisbee in Wilson Park, in the shade of the ancient ginkgo trees.  I am from hiding in my bedroom, burning wisteria incense, listening to “Hey Jude” and “My Sweet Lord”.  I am from locking myself in the bathroom to write sad poetry while I listened to Judy Collins or Joni Mitchell on the radio.

I am from small town USA, where life was like rock and roll: it’s got a good beat but it’s hard to dance to – best when it’s raw and a little bit rough – you gotta have good lyrics, strong lead vocals, some tasty licks, and a chorus you want to hear one more time.   

The band broke up long ago, I haven’t seen my old boyfriend in 30 years, and I can’t imagine catching a Frisbee with this arthritis.  But I still love listening to that old music, remembering when I felt so young and alive.  Life’s a riff.  Long live rock and roll! 

(inspired by Identity Poem Prompt – (c) 2008 Kerry Vincent)

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