I've been loving songs and memorizing songs for as long as I can remember. I saw my first concert when I was a mere seven years old. Three Dog Night at the old Fulton County Stadium. Some guy named Rod Stewart opened for them. Having three older sisters gave me plenty of exposure to music ahead of my time. I was mesmerized by that music and the people who wrote it at a very early age. When other children were probably reading bedtime stories, I was reading the liner notes of the albums that were always strewn across my bed. The proverbial "now I lay me down to sleep" was more than likely a "Wait a minute...Irving Azoff produced this crap? He's better than this!"
Anyway, I've always loved songs. Around twelve years old I started writing them. I'm not saying they were any good, but I started writing them. I always kept it a secret because I thought it was silly that a child would be writing songs and knew that, to anyone else's eyes, they'd be likened to the "crap" I mentioned earlier. After literally years of getting up my nerve I finally HAD to show them to someone. That someone was my sister Susan. I'll always credit her for this - her attitude wasn't a condescending one - "Oh, isn't this cute! Little Timmy's trying to write songs." She told me she loved them (there's no way she loved them..they were BAD.) She told me that my style of writing (STYLE?) reminded her of this guy she listened to named Jackson Browne. So she bought me his "Running on Empty" album. Despite the fact that I was clueless what the song "Rosie" was really about until I was in my 20's I was completely taken with the music. In no way did I liken anything I wrote to what he wrote, but it still inspired me. It also gave me the courage to start showing my stuff to other people - mostly my other sisters and my parents. They were equally as encouraging and complimentary and I'll always be grateful.
But massive weight gain caused my songs to suffer the same fate that everything important in my life suffered - neglect. Only recently have I taken out the briefcase where I keep all my song stuff. Only recently have I gotten my guitar out of its case and reminded myself what some of those songs sound like. I've picked up my mandolin again and, though I'm not exactly Bill Monroe yet, I'm getting better. I've recently gotten back in touch with one of my oldest friends, Mark. He's a natural musician and a great songwriter. (Check out bearfoothookers.com to check out the band he's currently in and the music he's writing.) He wants to get together and work on stuff I've recently written...got an e-mail from him just this morning inviting me out to his place. The common denominator in all of this is, of course, my weight loss. My music - as hokey as it sounds - is part of me. If I didn't like me, I didn't like it. The cost of this surgery was astronomical...but I'm beginning to think it was a bargain the likes of which Kmart couldn't put a blue light over!
Now you're all Googling "Rosie" to see what it's about....aren't you?