This isn’t my typical science stuff, but here we go!
So, it was 1999 and I was in High School at Whitney Young in Chicago (Yep, the one that Michelle Obama went to!). One thing Shania did at the time was have high school drumlines participate in her show for the song I’m Outta Here. Her concert was at the United Center and since Whitney Young was only a few blocks away, we got to be the drum line. There were about 7 or 8 of us and we were PUMPED for this opportunity. So, we gear up and we prep to meet Shania Twain.
Ok, sound check time came and they taught us what we actually need to play, still remember it: when the time comes JD (Just Drums) will lead you all in TataTataTaTataTATA, then hold the sticks up in the air in the “its good” pose. Click on two and four, and you’re good. In the pep talk, they said, “look animated, cameras will be rolling” and we said, “can do.” Of course, Shania Twain comes out there during the check and we were star struck. Then, she came over to me looking gorgeous with a mallet of her own and hit my snare drum. Y’all, I am certain my face turned beet red and I was crushing hard. I’m getting looks from the other drummers like “DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!?!?!”
Ok, sound check over, we go back to the hold room and OH MY GOD THEY HAVE POP (that’s how you say it in Chicago, don’t @ me!). We look around like, did we just MAKE IT FOR REAL!!!
We can hear just about everything from in there. We hear when it starts, we hear the crowd, we hear our stomachs due to the nerves. We hear the guy come get it us because, it was time. We got the last reminder to us to be animated on stage, next thing I know, we are walking out to bright lights. Thousands of scream fans for our drumli…I mean Shania Twain. Now, comes the part where I ALMOST RUINED IT ALL.
So, I had some black drumsticks and I thought I was BAD. I had also learned how to twirl my sticks. DON’T GET AHEAD OF ME. So, the song starts, and I start twirling on one and three and clicking on two and four. I hit that TataTataTaTataTATA, sticks up, and back to the groove. I’m already hammin’ it up but then I go too far. I had to throw in the point to the crowd with the drum sticks. I just had to.
And then it happened, the longest couple of seconds of my life to that point in my life, the stick slips and goes up into the air and I lose it in the lights.
There was no way I was going to catch it, but I don’t want it to go forward because if I hit Shania Twain or she slips on it and falls due to my error, I’d be over. Pack it up! Please don’t fly forward, please don’t fly forward. Cue dramatic heartbeat sound bite.
WHEW!!! It fell backwards not forward, and I am relieved. Shania Twain is safe. BUT OH NO I STILL NEED TO DO THE DITTY AND THE POSE, and I only have one stick. What am I going to do, think fast, think fast!
Ok, I got it, I can just hold my hands together to do the ditty but what to about the pose, I’ll have to figure that out later. But I’m out of time, I hit that TataTataTaTataTATA with my hands together then at the last minute decide to do a He Man, I have the power pose at the end to end the song. I hold that one stick up in the air like it is the sword of power and I bounce before I embarrass myself further.
We all get off the stage and we are hype, and despite my error, I am too. That was FANTASTIC. And right as I come off, there it is, I find the stick, out of the way from being able to harm anyone and I let out a sigh of relief.
Welp, I hope you enjoyed #MusicChronicles #Episode1. There are some other stories from High school and beyond. Cheers everyone!