I was fortunate to grow up with a big extended family, but aside from that it was just Mom and I day to day. She put up with my frequent noise making, my synths and other random instruments wired up all over the place, and my general inability to hear anything because I was always wearing some kind of headphones.
As you can see, all of that started early.
I started taking music lessons on the violin in fourth grade. My mother is, in all likelihood, a saint for allowing that to go on for any length of time. Within a year, though, I got desperate to play the saxophone. Saxophones are not cheap, even the educational versions that were what I would need.
Somehow Mom found the money, and I got an E-flat alto sax which still lurks around the studio (after spending a number of years in the care of my friend Pete Cooper).
When I was in my first rock band in high school, we managed to take over the basement at Mom’s place and set up our drums, guitars and amps for rehearsal. Amazingly the cops didn’t show up – well, except for that one time – and Mom didn’t even secretly call them to shut down our practices.
And of course over the years Mom has come to shows and been very excited about each release that I would deliver to her. She still tries to pay me for her copy of the record. It’s cute.
I think I was most excited when she came out to see Skinny Moo perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the 2009 Best of Cleveland party. It was a huge shindig, and we performed on the big stage. It wasn’t the first time I’d played at the Rock Hall, but it was the first time that Mom was there to see me do it and that made it the best time.
So on this Mother’s Day I just want to say: thanks Mom.
Thanks for all your support and encouragement and whatever magic you used that helped me turn out to be the person I am today. I’m grateful.
And you will always get my records for free.