My very own guitar hero
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Brothers and sisters sure have an interesting dynamic.
The brother-sister relationship is so enthralling, there’s even a primetime television show about it. It’s called “Brothers and Sisters.”
My relationship with my brother has always been that typical older brother-younger sister scenario. Older brother teases younger sister. Younger sister tells on older brother. Older brother gets in trouble while younger sister gloats.
Some things never change.
One of my favorite stories of childhood sibling shenanigans goes back to when my brother and his neighbor buddy would, shall we say, flatulate in a circa-1970s burnt orange Tupperware dish. Then make me smell it.
I still have that gag reflex anytime I open a tightly sealed container.
My brother also enjoyed torturing my Barbies. He would remove their heads and hang them by their feet in my room, or give them unwanted body hair.
Courtesy of my parents’ shag carpeting.
But there were many situations in our childhood where we, as older brother-younger sister, connected.
Let there be music.
When my brother and I were kids, we loved Cheap Trick. Not just the old “I-love-that-‘Surrender’-song by Cheap Trick” kind of adoration. We took our appreciation for Cheap Trick’s music to the next level.
Believe it or not, that is possible at 8 and 10 years old.
While some kids played Army or Barbie, we opted to play Cheap Trick. I was always Robin Zander. Mostly because I had the long hair. And I’ve always wanted to be a frontman for a band.
Even if I am a girl.
My brother, forever a guitar fanatic, always stepped in as Rick Nielsen, complete with the flipped up checkered hat and Star Wars lightsaber for a guitar. We pretended to be Cheap Trick like it was our job. Sometimes I wish it were our job to sing “I Want You to Want Me” and “Dream Police” covers in a Las Vegas ’70s cover band bar.
I think we could pull it off.
My brother and I loved Cheap Trick so much, we begged our mom to take us to see the band in concert, at the now-leveled Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. The opening band was 38 Special. Whenever I play that “What was your first concert?” game with people, Cheap Trick and 38 Special trumps any Kool and the Gang and New Kids on the Block name drop.
At least in my opinion.
My mom said she was a bit out of her element at this concert, with an 8- and 10-year-old in tow. But, remember, we begged her to go. And we loved every minute of it. I suppose it would be the equivalent of taking kids to a Justin Bieber or Black Eyed Peas concert these days. Except way more cool.
And a lot more rock ‘n’ roll.
Eventually, my brother and I grew out of our first musical love, Cheap Trick. He continued to be an electric guitar fanatic, though, and learned to play a mean six-string. He is one of the most talented musicians I know. He’s basically a natural. My brother’s passion for music is so infectious, I decided over Christmas I wanted him to teach me a few chords. I was thinking maybe I could use it in my comedy routine. Or maybe I could add some color to my language. Learning to play the guitar in the past hasn’t exactly come easy for me.
Hence the colorful words.
Little did I expect my brother to go as far as he did this Christmas. He pretty much floored me with my Christmas present. In a move that made me cry, well, like a girl, he gave me one of his guitars. Actually I don’t think he had even played it, and I’m pretty sure it was always intended for me. It’s shiny and black with rhinestones, so that might be my first clue. It also comes with a 12-CD how-to set that will teach me the basics.
And hopefully cut down on some cursing.
I did learn a G, E and A from my brother when I was home. Maybe I’ll know a song or two the next time I see him. Hopefully that will be in May for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500, a Hoosier tradition.
Maybe I should name my brand-new shiny guitar Indy.
April E. Clark is still planning to someday start an all-female band called Moon Boots. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@ yahoo.com.
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