This past May 18th I had the rare opportunity to walk (or should I say, head-bang?) down memory lane for a very good cause. Most people may not know that I grew up playing guitar and bass in rock/grunge bands. I even took several years of vocal lessons so I could rage like Rob Halford. Lil ole, innocent me? Yes! I started playing jazz guitar at around 10-years of age and by the time I was 14-years old, I was playing in the seedy underbellies of Syracuse, Binghamton, Ithaca, Cortland and everywhere in between–from frat parties to strip clubs. Looking back, I can’t believe that I was allowed to play in bars at such a young age but I looked older than I was and my bandmates were all of age so I snuck by. We rubbed elbows with and opened for a lot of great bands in our day. And I’m proud to say that we made a lasting impression (hopefully in a good way). I missed a lot of high school but that kind of education couldn’t even compare to the one I received in the real world. Needless to say, I grew up fast. However, that’s not a bad thing and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world. Before I found music, I was an extremely depressed and bullied kid. I had absolutely no self-esteem whatsoever and tragedy seemed to follow me. In my early teens, I lost my sister to cancer, my good friend to a gun-shot, my best friend’s mom to AIDS, and my grandparents to cancer all in the span of about two years. Playing music literally saved me by giving me a way to cope and heal. Most of all, I gained a very colorful rock-and-roll extended family/support system out of the deal–one that I still have to this day, more than 20 years later. I couldn’t ask for anything more. And although I’ve taken an overextended sabbatical from playing, my former bandmates are still rocking hard: Miner and Tractor Beam. Check em out, they’re totally awesome! I hope to someday join their ranks again.
One of the places my band played the most was the Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY. Starting from the age of 15 or 16, this was literally my home away from home. I kid you not! Most weekends and many school nights were spent either playing or seeing bands there. Oh the memories. The wonderful musical memories!
On May 18th, I returned to the Lost, after 20 years, with my friend (who was also our band tech/roadie back in the day), to see Bone China play. My band and Bone China were like peas and carrots. Everywhere they went, we would follow and open for them. Well, they decided to reunite after 20 long years for this very special cause. This very worthy cause…
One of my rock-and-roll extended family members from back in the day, Patrick Lamb needed help and support. So on May 18th, people came together, bands reunited, to do just that. And I’m hoping that maybe I can offer a little more support by spreading the word on his behalf. Here’s the situation (text and photo above taken from the Benefit for Julien Lamb FB page):
On May 2, 2012 – Julien, son of Patrick Lamb & Jennifer Schostick, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at only six years of age. Shortly after, the family learned Julien has the Philadelphia Chromosome, which will make treatment that much more difficult. To help with the overwhelming medical and financial expenses, a benefit is being held in Julien’s honor. For those who cannot make the benefit, and would like to donate cash, please go to www.facebook.com/JulienLambBenefitFund.