Thursday, April 14, 2005

An Interesting Discovery

For me, the odds of hearing a pop song and liking it while it's still popular are slim to none. Everything on the pop stations is overplayed to the extent that if, on the slim chance I hear a song I like, I figure I'll eventually be sick of it before they quit playing it.

So given my fair amount of contempt for pop, imagine my surprise when I was out shopping some months ago and I heard a song that I actually liked a lot. I couldn't really understand the words, so I have no way of knowing who sang it. I heard it from time to time in the car, but the DJ never said who it was by. Finally, I heard it about eight times in one day while we were driving to Galveston, and I managed to snag some of the lyrics. I googled them and discovered the song is "I Don't Wanna Be" by Gavin DeGraw. I read the lyrics over and thought they were pretty cheesy, but I still liked the song.

I'd been thinking about that song for awhile - something just seemed familiar about it. Finally tonight, I watched the video and found myself staring at a vaguely familiar face. I wracked my brains.

"Gavin DeGraw... Gavin... a Gavin who sings......" and then it hit me. I had met him in NY with my friend Kristy back when I was about 18 or 19. He grew up in the same part of the Catskills we did and he and Kristy became friends. I went up to visit her, and she took me to one of his gigs. It was very local - nothing advertised and everyone there was friends with the band, so it wasn't some big groupie-fest or anything. They just played cover songs, but you could tell that Gavin had star quality. He had a great voice, a great smile, and was really cute. He also played the piano and guitar brilliantly. I met him afterwards because he was hanging around with Kristy, and he seemed like a very pleasant person - almost like he knew he'd better not piss anyone off just in case he ever became famous. I also met his brother Joey. Joey was grittier and (at least in my mind) made Gavin look like a purty little boy. He also played the guitar really well, which was really damn sexy. If I remember correctly, he bartended between sets and gave me free shots.

Kristy had a bad habit of leaving me to fend for myself while she increased her social circle, so I ended up getting wasted and hooking up with Joey. It wasn't the most pleasant experience I've ever had...let's just say that I ended up underneath a couch with my top off, listening to two people fucking in the corner and trying very hard not to throw up. Kristy scolded me the whole ride home. Bitch.

A similar scenario occurred a year or two later. We were at a bar and Kristy and Gavin were busy with their crowd, smooching on guidos, so Joey and I went to his car to mess around. Kristy found me before anything happened, though. Bitch.

All of this flashed through my mind as I re-read the lyrics. They mean something completely different to me now that I know who sings them. One line in particular:

"I came from the mountain, the crust of creation
My whole situation made from clay, dust, stone"

If you've ever lived in the mountains, this is poignant.

You can watch the video here. Joey still plays with him. He's the wild-haired guitarist off to the left when Gavin sings the first chorus, "I don't wanna be anything other than what I've been tryin' to be lately."

1 comment:

OTHER COMMENTS said...

On : 4/14/2005 8:19:43 AM Inanna (www) said:


I think that is AWESOME!!! Wow! I'm going to check out the video. How cool!!!

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On : 4/14/2005 8:25:17 AM Inanna (www) said:


And... I recognize the song!! I didn't just by title and artist but I do by listening.

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On : 4/14/2005 9:26:12 AM micki (www) said:




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On : 4/14/2005 11:19:19 AM jethro (www) said:


Dear God! I married a groupie. What have I done?!

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On : 4/14/2005 1:10:17 PM noonie (www) said:


maybe you'll cover groupie recovery in the next lesson? Z that's cool, always fun to recognise a famous person and rmeember you knew them when they weren't.

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On : 4/14/2005 1:38:59 PM Zelda (www) said:


I was not a groupie, dork. I'd never even heard of them until that night. But I must say there is something about a bass player's fingers....

Dammit. Now you have to come home early and learn to play the bass.

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On : 4/14/2005 1:39:37 PM Zelda (www) said:




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On : 4/14/2005 2:01:34 PM Jethro (www) said:


I've learned to play something else.

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On : 4/14/2005 2:08:23 PM Zelda (www) said:


Don't get cocky there, Jethro.

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On : 4/14/2005 3:25:34 PM Jethro (www) said:


Me? Cocky? What on Earth do you mean?

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On : 4/14/2005 4:47:34 PM Zelda (www) said:


You've never left this many comments on my blog.....

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On : 4/14/2005 4:48:06 PM Zelda (www) said:


maybe I should write about bass players more often...

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On : 4/14/2005 5:09:22 PM noonie (www) said:


and drummers Zelda... drummers are always the hyper ones, quick think of some stories about drummers.... really stress him out. Maybe you cleaned house for one?

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On : 4/14/2005 5:13:00 PM Zelda (www) said:


Drummers do nothing for me. Except for Phil Collins, and that is truly unexplainable.

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On : 4/14/2005 7:06:55 PM Kristin (www) said:


Hmmmm, dad's a prison guard. Mom works in detox. Both good choices for a super star child.

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On : 4/14/2005 8:07:18 PM Zelda (www) said:


I guess they do have all the bases covered.

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On : 4/14/2005 9:55:54 PM Ciggy (www) said:


Z, my daughter keeps trying to be a groupie too. Her latest rock star victims are the members of "My Chemical Romance", and she's scored several pics of her talking to them. She claims to be the inspiration of one of their music videos.

I'd rather she get her own band going and not be quite so ...into... other bands.


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On : 4/14/2005 10:32:10 PM Zelda (www) said:


Yeah Cig. I hear you. Most likely, it's just a phase and they'll end up inspiring her.

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On : 4/14/2005 10:38:36 PM Jethro (www) said:


I have commented like this before, especially when I can tease you.

Noonie - don't make me get out my wifebeater.

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On : 4/15/2005 8:02:10 AM angi (www) said:


Joey may be able to play bass, but he can he stick needles in your forehead?

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On : 4/15/2005 8:30:44 AM Zelda (www) said:


Yeah, I'm definitely a safety girl.

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On : 4/15/2005 8:57:31 AM noonie (www) said:


Jethro....

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On : 4/15/2005 10:06:56 AM tori (www) said:


Gavid DeGraw is actually really good, but that's not even my favorite song. If you ever become groupie enough to steal his songs off the Internet or even break down and buy the CD, I'd look for the acoustic stuff. It's better than the radio stuff. But, still pretty cool that you've met him. That makes all of us reading about one degree away from someone famous. :)

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On : 4/15/2005 4:26:28 PM Zelda (www) said:


He was around 18 when I saw him play, and he really was good. He was such a likeable fellow and he had a great stage presence even then. And he sang amazingly. I can say with complete confidence that he's a very talented guy. He did the majority of the singing, but his brother did a few songs too. Joey seemed darker and harder, which I actually like, but Gavin had the spark.

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On : 4/15/2005 8:22:01 PM Gooch (www) said:


Great story, Zelda, though I would like to know more about how you ended up topless underneath a couch.

My one kinda semi-cool story like this is seeing "No Doubt" years before they hit it big, but I didn't get it on with Gwen Stefani's sister or anything so it just seems kind of lame in comparision.

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On : 4/15/2005 8:43:58 PM kim (www) said:


did you say Joey is darker and harder? kim

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On : 4/15/2005 10:25:28 PM Zelda (www) said:


Gooch - That's really cool. Mine is definitely more lame in that I they were just a cover band at the time and I had no choice in seeing them because they were Kristy's friends. It's not like I knew anything about the Catskill Mountains music scene. Also the topless thing is a really embarrassing story that makes me look like an easy slobbering drunk, so I'm not telling. I do have some pride.

Kim - In the musical sense, you dirty girl.

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On : 4/16/2005 12:06:20 AM Trashman (www) said:


You know you were a big fan of The New Kids. Come on you can admit it. "Hi. My name is Zelda and I'm a boy band junkie."

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On : 4/16/2005 1:33:35 AM JamDaddy (www) said:


Bass Players do it Deeper!
Great Story, Alcohol, Semi-Sex, and Rock and Roll!

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On : 4/16/2005 6:20:40 AM Zelda (www) said:


Trashy, you can't hold the New Kids against me. My parents were going through a religious phase when they were popular and I had no idea who they were until everyone was making fun of them. I suppose I should thank my parents now.

JamDaddy - What do you mean semi-sex?

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On : 4/16/2005 10:12:17 AM Jethro (www) said:


Noonie.....

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On : 4/17/2005 4:11:01 PM veronica (www) said:


Gah the nuances are other worldly. What were the chances of you hearing him or connecting with the song.
Life has no script.

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On : 4/18/2005 7:48:47 AM boohunch32 (www) said:


OMG.....I am so cracking up. You and Jethro are just too funny. The thing about bass players is that they go way down deep
not that I would know

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On : 4/18/2005 8:40:27 AM Zelda (www) said:


Veronica - Isn't that the weirdest thing?

Boo - I like the way their fingers move.

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On : 4/18/2005 12:09:40 PM Jen (www) said:


I finally got to watch the video, and I can understand why you thought hooking up with Joey would be a good idea. Of course, you know what a sucker I am for a man with a guitar or bass. It really isn't safe for me to be in a room alone with a musician, his amp, and a few beers.

God, I miss the days of seeing live bands every weekend.

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On : 4/19/2005 1:07:11 PM Zelda (www) said:


You were such a groupie, Jen. But at least you weren't a groupie for silly bands.

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On : 4/19/2005 3:27:28 PM jp (www) said:


I'm half drummer, on my mother's side.