Childhood Memories Life Adventures Music

Dreams of Stardom

Diamond Mike Watson 

image14-1“Hello Matt! It is great to find you on Facebook,” I typed on my tablet.

It was so nice to catch up with Matt. He had a great sense of humor and a jolly laugh. I hadn’t heard from Matt for over forty years since German class in High School. Two years earlier, Matt was our first bass player in a teen band I had assembled. Cliff sang, Tony played drums, and I played guitar. Our debut as Uncle Zipp drew a crowd of about eleven or twelve bystanders from a foggy morning of the annual New Albany Harvest Homecoming. We were scheduled on a Saturday morning between 10:00 and 10:45 in the lonely parking lot of American Bank. There was no pay (to prove talent sometimes one has to perform for free.)

We were not amused to be penciled in at a time most people were still in bed, but then again, no one ever heard of Uncle Zipp. We could have sounded rotten. We were pretty good, if I am allowed to be a judge, and we had practiced hard in a basement all week. Before the first song, we each blew warm breaths into our cupped hands to loosen our stiff fingers. The Southern Indiana air blew cool on our sleeveless arms. We had no roadies, no theatrical lighting, no sound mixers. We did have monstrous amplifiers. We winked at each other and cranked our volume controls to ten.

Thousands of watts cut through the misty air. Matt’s harmony vocals would send chills down one’s spine. Upon cue, Matt and I slid to our knees in perfect choreography. Then we played our instruments behind our heads. The final chord resounded as the amplifiers screamed with ear-splitting feedback. Although we were prepared for thunderous applause only two people clapped. Maybe it was my imagination, but I think Matt’s mom yelled, “Go Uncle Zipp!” Cliff’s dad strutted around with his thumbs in the air like he was our professional manager. The rest of the crowd stood gawking at a safe distance with their mouths open. No one asked for autographs. No record company signed us to their label. No chatter cut through the silence.

At least we knew we rocked our socks off. It wasn’t our fault the wrong crowd came. Would any music critic review a band in an empty parking lot on a Saturday morning? I’m sure a large evening audience would have been more appreciative. There was no recording of that famous forty-five minute concert. No tapes, no cassettes, no CD’s. Our goal was to forever change the destiny of that sleepy, Indiana town that rested on the north side of the Ohio River. Maybe all we accomplished was blasting decibels of pure rock into the ears of a few deaf people. A seismometer would have surely recorded ground movement that morning. Or, perhaps we inspired even one person to live the rest of his or her life with a newfound sense of awe and exhilaration. The good news was there was still the remote possibility the earth spun slightly faster after we strummed the final crescendo on the rickety stage.

Two years after I found Matt on Facebook his sister informed me he recently died. It happened suddenly and without cause. After expressing my condolences, I returned to the brief messages we exchanged on the social media site.

I had typed, “Matt, do you remember when we had dreams of stardom? Weren’t those the best days of our lives?”

His final reply was, “They certainly were, Mike. They certainly were.”

Recommended Posts

Adoption Life Adventures

He found his birth family 35 years later. Then he helped them find a ‘vanished’ sister.

Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star Published 5:14 p.m. ET Aug. 24, 2019.\ Everyone in “Diamond” Mike Watson’s life told him he should give up. The baby in the 60-year-old photograph was probably dead. And if she wasn’t, they said, she may not want to be found. It wasn’t out of callousness or apathy. The opposite […]

Diamond Mike Watson 
Adoption Amazing Today Gallery of Diamonds Life Adventures Philosophy Why Mom Deserves A Diamond

How I became Diamond Mike

My name has not always been Diamond Mike. In fact, when I was born I never had a name. The name Michael was given to me three days later by a loving woman and man who I would later call mom and dad. I was adopted. I never did meet my birthmother, who died in […]

Diamond Mike Watson 
mom, child, happy, kind, together, one, love, black and white, diamondmikewatson, newport beach, 92660
Adoption Family Life Life Adventures

Police Report

Today I filed a missing persons report for my sister, Debra Kay. It appears there was never such a report filed since she vanished as a child. This will be submitted to the Indianapolis police, where my birthmother was living at the time of her disappearance. I hope the relationships I have forged with my […]

Diamond Mike Watson 
Tales of Imagination

The Anniversary Ring

“You love birds can sit here with me if you want,” the elderly man said to the young couple desperately looking for a vacant breakfast table. “I’ll be leaving soon, and it looks like these are the last empty chairs in the house.” The Garden Terrace was a romantic spot that peered across the Pacific […]

Diamond Mike Watson 

To whom are we praying?

Less than a few hours of oxygen remain on the small submersible that imprisons five passengers in the freezing North Atlantic. Millions of people are praying. Millions of people also believe in the power of prayer.  Surely this concentration of thought will lean toward a positive result. Surely with our focused intention our prayers will […]

Diamond Mike Watson 

5 thoughts on “Dreams of Stardom

  1. faithhopechocolate

    If you don’t dream big, you can’t live big. I’m sorry to hear your friend died, but I’m glad you reconnected and shared the memories.

  2. AR Neal

    Thank you for sharing this, Mike. Beautifully written.

    1. Diamond Mike

      Thank you, AR. Guess this proves the excitement of a child always lives within us. I hope my heart remains at seventeen years old.

  3. Diamond Mike

    Thank you, Vanessence.

  4. Vanessence

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: