Dear Diary: December 1986
I have to laugh when ever I look back at the journal I kept twenty-five years ago. The red spiral bound notebook now worn and tattered with age still feels like youth when I hold it and delve into its pages. It began its journey originally as a notebook for my music theory class before becoming the repository for my thoughts and dreams. Over the months of my final year in high-school it was covered with stickers that would indicate to anyone who dared view some of my real obsessions:
“Gibson”, “Explorer” and “Guitar” to stand for the electric guitar that I played and “5150” for the Van-Halen album I was listening to and wearing out at the time.
So many years have since passed and it’s amusing to once again read the adventures of the seventeen year old boy trying to find himself during his final year of public education.
This post, with entries written a quarter century ago, deals with me getting ready for the Easton Area High School Concert Choir Christmas show and facing the notion that my life may be falling apart.
I had just recently resigned my position as fry cook at the local McDonald’s and wanted to concentrate solely on my music. A stupid move in retrospect considering that in addition to resigning my burger flipping duties I also sacrificed my only source of income.
My mother had been renting an electric guitar for me to learn on for over a year (one I still have to this day) and I used to spend most of my free time practicing it up in my room after school. At the time, my only real social activity was limited to seeing the 80’s hair bands whenever they came to town to perform.
Looking back it’s also kind of sad to think about how serious I took the insignificant issues I was going through. But I suppose that when you are seventeen and have only the belief that rock superstardom awaits you every little bump in the road suddenly becomes a major event. But I am happy to report that at least these entries contain a happy ending as you’ll soon discover.
After reading me vent about my inner turmoil feel free to leave your own comments or, if you were there with me at the time, leave some of your own memories about those days.
12/17/86: Tonight is the choir christmas concert. Who knows, it might work out ok. As for practice: hardly any due to the fact that I have to find a ride to school because of the shitty headlights on my car. It starts at 6:45. I have to be there by then so I’ll leave around a quarter after six to have enough time.
It’s over. I mean I’ve lost all interest it’s so I don’t have the feeling anymore. The spark is gone. I don’t get inspiration anymore. All of my songs I try to write just don’t seem right. The words all come out wrong. You know, my career is dying….and part of me shall die with it.
It’s time I confess my problems. Last night, several things came into focus to really put me down for the count. They are as follows:
1. A very low-grade on my Mythology test.
2. Trouble with seeing Bon Jovi due to headlight failure and it being at night. The headlights worked perfectly the night before.
3. No money: Probably my biggest problem
4. No interest – It’s been falling for about a week
5. No guitar – though I possess it it’s not mine yet (it’s rented) and I feel I’m losing out somehow.
6. Aggravation – Peer pressure and the like but I’ve been dealing with that for years.
7. Finding a ride to and from the concert tonight.
8. Losing friends rapidly
If I gave it more thought there would be more than eight problems but these are the big ones. It’s over now….done.
12/18/86: Well, my life is still falling. I’ve never felt this way before. Lately I’ve been flipping out on everyone for no reason. Yesterday I discovered my car needs a register or some part to fix the headlights…good luck with that!
One good thing: Last night at the choir concert some girl got me confused with someone else she wanted to hug….but I obliged. Haha… It was funny though. I’m beginning to get myself together both psychologically and musically.
Soon I shall be back on top.