I LOVE to drum. I drum on everything and anything no matter where I am or what I’m doing. When the music moves me, I drum. It has always been thus. When the “drum circle” movement started back in the 90’s to help folks get their frustrations out and get a cathartic healing, I was already there. My first drum circle experience was on the beach in Santa Barbara, California (if you haven’t been there… it’s like living in a post card… absolutely BEAUTIFUL!). Anyway, since then I began collecting drums. Because, as I said, I LOVE to drum. Admittedly, though, my most frequently used drum is still the dashboard of my car.
Sure I sing too. I love singing almost as much as drumming! Especially those classic rock songs on Q104.3 (NY) that bring back fine old memories along the lines of first concert (Jethro Tull), favorite live band in a bar (Zebra at Speaks), favorite songs to drive to (Locomotive Breath), sing solo (Peaceful Easy Feeling), karaoke (American Pie), sing with your friends (Stairway to Heaven), songs that remind you of “good” old boyfriends (Love the One You’re With) and long-lost best girlfriends (Anthony’s Song)… You know those memories that ALWAYS put a smile on your face. (Are you smiling yet?)
I drive 60 miles [in traffic] per day dropping the boys off to their integrated pre-K class. That means I get to spend a lot of time in the car. Yes, I am passing my love of music to my kids and it’s definitely working. But, generally, the boys insist on listening to James Taylor’s One Man Band to and from school. (James happens to be my favorite single artist… Has been since high school.) However, the reverse trips are mine — with the radio is blasting my favorite tunes! Nowadays, people just assume if your mouth is moving when you’re in the car, you’re probably on a hands-free cell phone. I hope and believe that no one is thinking that as they see me move down the road drumming the dash, head bopping and wailing my favorite sing-along rock and roll lyrics… American Pie, Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, that song where “the roadies take the stage” after the concert is done… by Jackson Brown, I think. Can’t remember the title right now. Funny how I don’t have to know the artist or title and they don’t have to be my favorite songs to make me smile either! Heck, 80’s-era disco can get me there just as well as the classic rock and roll some days. I spent a lot of time in dance clubs back then. Just remembering all the good times and, strangely, every single word of songs I didn’t know I even knew automatically puts me in a better mood.
This morning, I noticed the woman in the car stopped in front of me bopping to her own music. Clearly not Q104.3 because she was off-beat from my music. Made me smile though, knowing someone else was letting the music move them the way I do. The guy next to me gave me a weird sideways glance as I sat drumming my steering wheel waiting for the Long Island Rail Road train to pass so we could all be on our way again. But, at the next red light, there he was hitting imaginary symbols in the air… And, another one bites the dust! He was off and drumming! My morning ride wouldn’t be complete without some music to move me. It makes me happy. Each song igniting unexpected old memories from days gone by…
The next time you’re in the car, turn off the phone and turn up the volume on your favorite radio station… and let the music move you to happier times, places and memories.