Monday, May 2, 2011

We're on a mission from God.

baMmo! July 2009 – Brad, Alex, Meg, maRk, & Orlando

Which means, obviously, we're getting the band back together!  I'm sure you all gathered that from the title of this post – a quote from the classic film, The Blues Brothers.  Or did you think I was suddenly returning to my Catholic roots?  Not likely, my friends.  Not likely.

Getting the band back together, you may be asking yourself.  When did you break up?  When were even in a band?  Well, let me take you back...

In early 2009, when I was working as computer software trainer, a few of the other trainers and I were waiting for our appointments, when suddenly a band formed.  Four of the guys played instruments and they figured, why not play together?  I was mostly just observing this happen when they turned to me, and asked if I wanted to be the singer.  I laughed, but said yes.  At this point, no one had heard me sing.  I don't think anyone even cared if I could sing.  I'm convinced that they just wanted a "cute girl" to stand in front of the band and prance around (possibly with a tambourine).

So, that's how we all started practicing two times a week after work.  We called ourselves baMmo! after the names of everyone in the band: Brad, Alex, Meg, maRk, Orlando (I kept tried to name us things like Alonzo Hawk and other obscure Disney references that no one else liked).  We had no drummer, but we did have two guitars and a saxophone.  And we had an amazing practice space: Orlando lived in a warehouse next to auto-body shops, so no one cared if we played loud music well into the night.

Orlando on the Sax, Brad on the Axe.
We started out playing some covers to get used to each other – "Hey Sandy" by Polaris, more popularly known as the theme from underrated 90's Nickelodeon gem The Adventures of Pete & Pete, was a personal favorite.  And after a while, we had a hand full of original songs – some that were actually pretty good!  Everyone seemed somewhat surprised at how good we all were together: Alex and Brad were awesome guitar players who worked so well with each others style; Orlando did rockin thing with the sax in really unexpected ways; maRk had this quiet understanding of everything that was going on (and a totally awesome bass); and, well, everyone pretended not to be shocked when they found out that not only could I sing, I could write.

maRk on his totally awesome bass, Alex and Meg rocking out.

We decided that we should record an EP consisting of our 5 or so original songs as well as a heavier cover of "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane (I think that shocked everyone the most when I belted out this song for the first time).  It wasn't so that we could shop it around, but so that we had a record of what we had spent the past few months doing, a personal memento of the early days in the band.  Sadly, this never happened and we're left with some quasi-decent, but mostly shitty, Garageband recordings (but, who knows, they could be valuable bootlegs someday!).  Orlando had to leave the warehouse and Brad moved to San Diego.  And thus baMmo! went into hibernation.

Maybe I should rephrase the first sentence of this post.  We're not getting the band back together.  We're getting a band back together.

I would love more than anything to have a Blues Brothers-style road trip down to San Diego, knock on Brad's door and tell him, "We're on a mission from God."  Of course, I would then hope to be able to say the (modified) line, "It's 460 miles to San Diego, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses."  Oh, and there would have to be an epic car chase.  And Nazis.  And The Good Ol' Boys.  And I'm getting off topic.  The point is that I can't really drag Brad back up here - even if I miss him terribly.

In fact, I miss the whole band terribly.  I miss playing music and I miss the other guys.  We're all mostly in different places now, with different jobs, and we don't see each other everyday anymore.  It's been nearly 2 years since we've all even been in the same place, nonetheless played music together. Beyond it being fun, it was a total confidence boost to become comfortable enough with these guys to not only sing, but to sing songs that I wrote myself.  I'm sure everyone felt that way to some degree.

And I'm gonna be honest here: I need this.  I've realized that while I love working for Big Computer Company, it's not my passion; while my job is great, it's not fulfilling my creative needs.  And the more I get to know my co-workers, the more I feel like that weird girl in grammar school that used to eat paste.  And I've never been that girl.  Perhaps its also something to do with the fact that since graduating from an all-girls high school, I have steered clear of large groups of women.  All through college and up until now, I have always been one of the few girls in an all male environment. . .

The band brings that back, lets me be the girl - I LOVE being the girl; it lets me write and sing and bounce around like a crazy person.  It lets me open up with these guys in ways that I never have before.  It might not be the same as before, but it's something.  And that's enough for now.


  1. San Diego Nazis, I hate San Diego Nazis.

  2. Jenny, do you know how much I LOVE you?