"Here come the jesters, 1 2 3 it's all part of my fantasy I love the music and I love to see the crowd dancing in the aisles and singin' out loud, yeah..."
Photo courtesy of Mama Beast
I didn't actually have a rock and roll fantasy. Well, I did, it just didn't involve me. Or I was kinda me but mostly a hybrid of Chrissie Hynde and her angst with a sprinkle of Fiona Apple's depressed undertones. I had never played a musical instrument in my life. Besides the recorder twice in elementary school before I purposely jammed it with spit when I realized I was tone deaf. Wait. I actually learned I was tone deaf in middle school when I tried out for show choir in the 7th grade and got the tilted head pity look from the panel of judging teachers. Which is when I took a vow to never sing in public again. I kept that promise for 30 years. Until...
My kids had a concert at the end of their School of Rock camp. The moms gathered with cell phones in hand to capture our precious little Angus Youngs' and Jimmy Pages' graduation concert. That's when we were cornered. "You should start a mom band!" Obviously, he didn't know about my tragic recorder dreams, butchered Doobie Brother's performance and subsequent shattered confidence that derailed my promising music career. But he hooked me with his last reassuring comment. "I teach 8 year olds, so you can do this." I knew right then I had to prove I could groove. Challenge accepted.
When all the other mom's bailed on the idea, I told my ex derby wife Mama Beast (the ex belongs with derby, not wife, just for clarification) she was in. She recruited the baby and only non-mom of the band, Anna. None of three of us sing or play an instrument. So, I recruited the most musical person I know, one of few people who will sing at my parties with the rental karaoke machine, Lori. The band Visible Panty Lines (VPL) was born. We even had someone to help teach us some street skillz and take our money. John, our pimp. Which is confusing because a john isn't usually a pimp too. But, both Lori and Mama have johns. I mean, John's. So somehow it all balances out and comes full circle. Trust me people.
After 5 weeks we were ready for our first performance. Ok, we weren't ready, but it was performance day. Thank god one of us can play an instrument and sing lyrics she wrote in a really breathy sexy way. Brace yourselves and listen closely.
I know you're thinking to yourself, "You learned to do that in just five weeks from a guy who looks like he could be the sixth member of REO Speedwagon?" Yes. That's exactly what I'm telling you. True story. It was time for the second song in the set. And this is where we get really rowdy.
The night was winding down and it was already time for our encore. Who are we to thwart popular demand? Let the people have what they want right? Or wait? Maybe they just wanted cake. Then let them eat cake! Unless that was CAKE. But, let's just say it was VPL...
I swear to god, we did that song so much better in practice at least 24 beats of it in a row were completely perfect anyhow. And it was an awesome 4 seconds! Did you see the cameraman pan the huge crowd of teenagers playing on iphones to soothe their embarrassment?
I know you want to know where we're playing next so you can come see us live and throw money at our pimp to support some rockin' local women musicians. Here's the thing. Yoko Ono might be breaking up the band. Something about kids soccer games and some such benevolent world peace crap. Any day now the VHI Behind the Music cameras are gonna start taping the tragic story of how Visible Panty Lines broke up. Until then...
We are Visible Panty Lines! Thank you and goodnight Colorado Springs!
****The name VPL was coined by my Mama. Well, not my mother. My other Mama. Who was inspired that day when we were eating lunch at Poor Richards together and she discovered the tandem toilet in the ladies room. Yes, the one perplexing stall with two toilets that allows you to ask your toilet mate the age-old question, "Do I have any visible panty lines?"***