Years ago, I was a high school band geek. Say it loud, say it proud, but there’s something about That One Time at Band Camp that still makes me smile. I wasn’t your ordinary band geek: I was a drummer, the only female drummer in the section and co-captain of my section my senior year. People sniff at that until I tell them that I played with my high school youth orchestra at Carnegie Hall my junior year. If that makes me a band geek, I’ll take it.
My first year, I was assigned the largest bass drum on the line. I had transferred in from private school and the older guys gave it to me, hoping I would quit. The drum and the harness weighed 70 lbs. all total. I weighed about 115 lbs at the time, but I didn’t complain. I led the bass section the following year and earned the respect of my percussion mates. Our captain my junior year, Nate Robson, gave me the nickname “Dangermouse” because I was seemingly unafraid to tackle challenges.
Truth was, I was terrified. I would carry it until we got to our car and then collapse into a heap of painful tears in our car, safely away from the eyes of my fellow bandmates. I still have a lopsided disc in my back from carrying that giant drum, but I always remember the pluck I showed when I was a kid when times get scary. Our next door neighbor, Jack Parton, evidently told my mother that watching me swing that giant drum around was a sign I could do anything to which I set my mind. Don’t worry about her. She’ll be fine.
Senior year, I was the only girl in the county to play quads, the marching band set with four drums attached to it. I still love to dabble with drumsticks when I can. The childhood hero that made me want to play drums? Gina Schock of The Go-Go’s, of course. My big brother Jay bought me the album for my 9th birthday, and I still love the videos of Gina, pounding away like a badass.
Can you hear them? They talk about us…
Now I rock a faux-leather-sleeved version of the old classic, but it still makes me smile. Even though it’s paired with fashion-forward camouflage pants and a studded handbag, I still feel like I can do anything in this jacket.
Look at me, all grown up, filled with pluck and taking on the world, one big proverbial bass drum at a time.
Shop the shoot: Forever 21 Game Time Varsity Jacket and Sunglasses, vintage black blouse from Beacon’s Closet, Joe’s Jeans Dayna Camouflage Print Ankle Pants, Nine West Pumps, Rebecca Minkoff for Avon handbag (no longer available, but check out her new stuff here), Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb