So I also played some football for the Cardinals of EH. Unlike my unsuccessful baseball team, the Cardinals were a top tier team on all levels (A, B and C teams). I again was a bench warmer up until my second year of B team. That was the year that I remember the coach and a couple of kids called me out at practice for being lazy and not giving a shit. My immediate reaction was that I wanted to quit. But after some conversations at home and from my coach I stuck with it and they continued to piss me off until one day I snapped and started drilling these little fuckers into the ground. They liked it and encouraged me and I actually played the best football of my young career that year. Coach called me out at the end of the year banquet as the most improved player of the year and also said I became one of his best players all around that year. A proud moment for sure but I was still in search for my dream. The next year was my last year of football.
When I was 7 my Mom’s friend’s husband was selling his guitar for $25. It was a cheap blue no name guitar from the 50’s with big sliding selector switches and was just ugly as hell. I was 7 so this guitar was almost as big as me. I started taking lessons from Tony Spada at Burnside Musicland and got the old Mel Bay 1 book to learn from. My feet couldn’t even hit the floor and Tony would tell me to play a note – In my bratty ass voice I would just smile and say nnnnnno. He earned his money. I took lessons for a few months but probably didn’t get very good. When I went to my Dad’s that summer I stopped the lessons and did not start back in the fall. My mom used to give me money to bribe me to clean my room (otherwise I would have lived in filth forever) and one day after getting $10 for cleaning my room I went up to Musicland which was also a small record store and saw a new Kiss album (they still had the makeup at this point) staring back at me with their glowing faces. I was 9 and it kind of scared the shit out of me so I did what any 9 year old boy would do – I bought it.
I went home and played it on my cheap little plastic record player (you know, the kind that you used to play 45’s on) and I was absolutely hooked. It was dark and heavy and they swore a little bit – everything that I hadn’t heard up until that point. I knew that day that my true dream was to be a rock star. I was going to play every instrument and sing every song and write the best songs ever that would change the world! Remember how Bill and Ted ended with their music changing the world and everyone listened to them – yup I thought of it first (what is it with these assholes stealing my ideas?!?). I started taking lessons again from Tony. I needed to learn how to play my ugly ass blue guitar and play it so well that my ugly guitar became cool. I also became Gene Simmons every Halloween onward (I still don the makeup every once in a while).