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a good story, pt. 4

February 25, 2007

With the first show behind us, things seemed to change a little bit with the band. When you play a first show, no one really has any expectations. If you don’t do so well, you can blame it on it being your first show. But if people do happen to like what they hear, it’s even more impressive because it’s your first show. Our first show exceeded all expectations, and before we knew it people were actually talking about us. I remember one day after practice the guys and I went to the local Swensen’s for dinner. As soon as we walked in, one of the servers looked our way and announced, “It’s Tex Svengali!” It was the first time I had been recognized in public for something I was part of and from someone I didn’t really know. I think that was when it hit me that I was really part of something special. People actually knew who we were. And once people actually recognize you for something you do, it’s like a catch 22. It’s like you suddenly have an obligation to be good. Looking back, I don’t think any of us really thought about it that way at the time, but there’s was definitely more pressure with each show. The bigger the shows, the more people talked about us, the more pressure we felt to be a good band.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. That first show was followed by many others that summer. Some would be at local dive bars, others would be at parties. The parties were the most fun because everyone was completely wasted and right in our faces. It was loud, raw and intimate, just like rock and roll should be really.

When we weren’t playing shows, we were attending our friends’ shows. Wilmington NC was never really known for having a big music scene, but the little bit of a scene it did have was very tight-knit. We were fortunate that we were friends with some very talented musicians who had already established themselves a bit in the “alternative” scene (it was the early 90s, so no one really called it “indie” yet). We were happy to ride their coattails and play shows with them whenever they would have us.

In the early 90s, being a girl in a rock band was pretty atypical. Being a girl DRUMMER in a rock back was very atypical. It seemed to bring a lot of extra attention to our band, and with me being a really shy, simple girl not accustomed to a lot of attention, it was both flattering and daunting. The guys seemed to get a kick out of it. Mark in particular would sometimes refer to me as their “gimmick”. Looking back though, as uncomfortable as it was for me to be the center of attention, it definitely helped my self-esteem and gave me a sense of belonging. Growing up, I was never a cool kid. I had a few really popular friends but whenever I’d try to fit into their group I always felt like the oddball. But now that I was in a band, I was the cool chick. Girls wanted to be my friend, and guys at least found me interesting enough to talk to me about music. I finally felt like I fit. I was part of something cool, I was making new friends and experiencing things that most typical college girls never have the chance to experience.

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