Saturday, April 07, 2007

Not In The News Saturday Friday (NITNF)



NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

I'm going to have to start brainstorming on Thursdays because I am creatively dry these last few Fridays. After a good night's sleep, I can usually come up with something pretty decent. Here we go this week...

This June is my 20 year high school reunion. Yep, I graduated with the Class of 1987. I was not enthusiastic about the 10 year reunion. We could afford to go but they wanted to hold it in a beer hall and that was, well, repulsive to me. So I passed on that opportunity, even though it meant not seeing my old friends and fellow classmates. I really wasn't ready, either.

A few years later, I tried to organize a "Millennium Reunion" for 2000. The idea failed miserably (apparently, a lot of the ones who did go to the 10 year reunion didn't want to be reminded of it a few years later) but it did give me a chance to change my feelings about contacting and meeting my old classmates.

In high school, I was fairly shy and reclusive. My passion at the time was journalism, but I was also very involved in drawing comic books and developing my interests in music. I didn't date and I was totally into heavy metal, death metal and black metal. And just to make life a little more interesting, I was the first student in my high school's history to do album reviews on such lively (or is that "deadly") music. It earned me the nickname "Satan," which I found hysterical at the time (I don't anymore).

By the time I was 16, I had my first electric bass guitar and amplifier, plus sound effects foot pedals for flanging, heavy metal distortion and digital delay. Interestingly enough, none of these effects are usually associated with electric bass guitar -- but you might say, I was inspired. I also had my first cheesy Casio synthesizer keyboard which also had a built-in cheesy drum machine (cheesy, that is, until pumped through digital delay effects).

My musical inspiration for electric bass was Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. Oddly enough, my vocal inspiration was Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Initially, I recorded just about everything I did on a little jambox with a tape recorder. By age 18, I would rent four-track recorders for more complex recordings that were closer to "real songs." It was a fun, crazy experimentation period in my life, although some of the songs would probably either bore you to tears (especially the bass only instrumentals, although they did help me learn quickly) or make your hair curl. I am sure I contributed to the growth of many of my parents gray hairs during that time period. A couple of years later, I would actually go into the studio to digitally record my first (and only) solo album titled Allen Steadham - Dreams & Wishes. It took 3 years to record, had 9 songs and was 44 minutes long.

Okay, 20 years have passed. Many of my classmates are either married or divorced, have children, etc. I can only imagine how much each of them may have changed with the experiences they've had over the last two decades. I know I have radically changed. Physically, I really haven't changed much (although I'll admit, I do miss some of my hair sometimes -- oh well)...but I have truly changed emotionally and spiritually. As you can see by the musical influences of my teen years, even though I was a part of a family that called itself Christian, nothing about my life reflected that...quite the opposite.

All I can say to that is I am so glad God intervened in my life and gave me the chance to turn things around.

So, I'm looking forward to the 20 year reunion. I didn't realize how many friends I had until the years passed and I thought about all the people I had individual good memories with and fun experiences. I had so many bad memories of high school as a result of my own angst, which didn't have much to do with any one person in particular, that I didn't think much on the good times. When I started to do that, it really lifted the dark "angst cloud" and helped me see that we were just a bunch of kids with no idea what we were doing. There's something strangely comforting in that concept.

Anyway, I have no idea what to expect from the reunion but my interactions with my classmates who are organizing it have been positive. It's still months away but I'll let you know how things go.

Best Wishes,
Allen

1 comment:

Dirty Butter said...

I've never had an interest in going to a reunion, as there were 600+ in my graduating class. The odds of anyone being there that I remember are very slim!