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Confession: I'm a Fantasy Back-up Singer

Posted on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 12:02AM by Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford | Comments9 Comments

It's time for another confession: I'm a fantasy back-up singer for some of our favorite bands. Yes, it's true. In my mind, I'm member of the Nasty Habits. I share the stage with Nikki, Tommy, Vince and Mick.

Yes, I've even sang with Poison, Cinderella and all the rest.

As Don Dokken says, "In my dreams."

Here's the thing: I cannot sing. It's not a question of "afraid to sing in public" or anything like that. No, I literally cannot carry a tune. Which is fine. I never wanted to be a singer in real life - only in my fantasies. I think if I was on a deserted island and I found a magic bottle with a genie inside, I'd use one of my three wishes on singing. And not forever, either. I just want to know what it feels like to sing amazingly well in front of people just one time.

Music is really a gift. You've either got the talent or you don't. I don't and that's fine. I'm still looking for my talent and I have confidence I'll find it someday. While I'm looking, I'll continue to dream about wearing something ultra glam and sharing the stage with someone awesome just once. It's simple fantasies that help me pass the time.

Do you have a similar fantasy?

Reader Comments (9)

I have always wanted to sing in a band. Like you I had difficulty carrying a tune. So 2 years ago I started with voice lessons. My voice teacher says that most people aren't naturally good singers, it is a learned skill, as is singing in tune. Some can do it well naturally, the rest of us have to work at it. 2 years on and I am finally starting to see my voice come in fully. I hope to actually do my thing on stage soon.
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngryGeekGirl
What a great confession! I too have punished many hairbrushes with my lack of talent. Hasn't stopped me yet. I sing off key and dance like a white girl. I've accepted my limitations, even embraced them. Glad to hear I'm not alone.
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermom2ross
Alright, when you picture yourself as ozzy or randy roads playing a gig alongside one or the other your in this category.Now, I can sing and there is video to prove it. But i doubt it will ever happen. However, remember the name DREADNOUGHT.

In the mean time,, LET ME SEE YOUR FUCKING CIGARETTE LIGHTERS!! (in room alone,) :)
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
Oh, man, I can totally relate. I have a thing for the guitar, even tho I can't play a lick. I always fantasize about being a guitar goddess. For some reason I'm always on stage with Tesla...not sure why. Guess I secretly want to be Frank Hannon. I'm afraid to try guitar hero cuz I know I'll become totally addicted.
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTrinity
I thought the Crue backup singers were re-named to the "Crue Sluts?" :-)
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
Same here! I have always wished I could sing and play the guitar. I took guitar lessons, but wasn't able to practice enough. I would love to take up voice lessons but I don't think that would help! So I suppose we will all just remain rock stars in our fantasies :)
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHilari
Although I can play pretty much anything you'd like on the guitar,I can't sing to save my life Ally, so I can feel your pain sister!
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Gary, no worries, think of all the killer guitarists who never stepped up to the mike, Page being one. Well, he steps up once in the flick, "The Song Remains The Same", during "Whole Lotta Love". Check out how half hearted that is. It's actually kinda cool to be a guitarist who duzn't do any back ups. Ask Blackmore.

Now as for the whole fantasy thing, I was actually in a band in my late teens and early 20's, but I was so horrible. I could never remember the words and missed more notes than shots fired at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Little did I know that I could have been taking voice lessons from none other than Steve Whiteman, unbelievable, but true, who used to advertise vocal coaching in the back of the Baltimore City Paper (Bmore's equivalent to NYC's Village Voice - the latter is where Kiss put an ad in for a guitarist and Ace answered it!).

I didn't know this until I passed the mike to our bass player's hot blonde girlfriend, who was and is just a total natural. She was so incredible, she could actually do impressions. Plant. Halford. Wilson. Delp. Klaus. Borden. Perry. All the hyenas. I could never hit those notes. I might have, tho, had I gone to Whiteman, right?

But by the time I became aware of Whiteman, I was on Madison Avenue in NYC. Dreams lost...

But hey, who knows, it's never too late. Angry Geek Girl has reinspired me.

Back on the fantasy angle, tho. When I was in my teens I used to play stuff like Aerosmith "Rocks", Zeppelin's "Presence", Cheap Trick's "In Color" and Mott The Hoople's "All The Young Dudes" over and over again, playin' my tennis racquet (Head Arthur Ashes and Wilson T-3000's, hahaha!!! Hey, at least they were Metal racquets -- an early sign).

I really went crazy with it. I bought an acoustic guitar, got so frustrated, I smashed it up on the front stoop. I frisbee'd "Rocks" from my front door of my house which was at the top of a hill and watched it float across the street and halfway down the cul de sac before crashing and smashing to bits kinda like watching a blow out -- I've mentioned this before -- and then proceeded to go buy it again just two weeks later.

Back to the fantasy. I was so obsessed with Aerosmith during this era and was lucky enough to have seen 'em in their heyday from '75 to '79 a total of 5 times, catching every major tour -- off "Get Your Wings" twice, "Toys" once, "Rocks" once, and "Night In The Ruts" once.

Anyway, like a year after I saw 'em off "Rocks", I had the most amazing dream. In it I was me but with really long Robert Plant hair and a voice and clothes like Tyler's... the hair wound up something I added in NYC (and wrote a song about it -- "Last Of The Long Hairs").

My ex-lead guitarist and best friend today was in it. He was him but with a hairdo that was a cross between Keith Richards "Exile" era hair and Joe Perry "Rocks" era hair, which is funny cuz he actually had Page "Zeppelin II" era hair. Why the h*ll was I changin' it in the dream? Early signs of Art Directoritis, is my theory.

And so this dream just looked and sounded completely amazing as we were playing a show that was completely sold out at RFK Stadium, capacity 50,000 including General Admission in the field (by the way, that gives you an idea of how big concerts were back then, as this place sold out for a show that had Aerosmith headlining a roster consisting of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ted Nugent, Nazareth and Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush in the May of '76).

Anywho, this dream was amazingly realistic but it only lasted like a half of a song. Here I am totally like Plant except it's me and I can sing just great. There I am on stage, arm around my best friend on guitar, singin' with him leanin' in, Joe Perry/Keith Richards style for the chorus of an original song. I'm runnin' around goin' to the edge of the stage, lookin' out at the sold out crowd of 50,000 as they are cheering at the top of their lungs as my bro runs up and cranks out the most incredible guitar lead...

Then I woke up...

Well, what the h*ll, I was so happy that day. The dream was so vivid and filmed in my head with like 5 camera angles. I never made it happen, but what the hey, it was an awesome dream, and I still remember it to this day.

Much later I had another dream after I had been out shooting in L.A. in '86 and then living in NYC beginning in '88. I had seen Kingdom Come (as previously mentioned, invited by the Cult, who I met by the Pool of Le Parc Hotel), L.A. Guns and WW III (the latter killarious, BTW) and then had seen quite a few bands at Hammerjack's in Baltimore (Saxon, Ratt, Kix, Kingdom Come, Warrant, etc.), the Bayou in D.C. (Guns n' Roses, Zodiac Mindwarp, as mentioned before) and then places in NYC like the Cat Club, as previously mentioned, as well -- Kix, White Lion, Roxx Gang, Bulletboys, Mr. Big (wretch), Extreme (barf), Alice in Chains, Black Crowes opening for Junkyard (who were better than the Crowes), Dangerous Toys, Valentine, Steve Stevens, L.A. Guns, D.A.D., Kings of the Sun, Quiet Riot, Divinyls, Life Sex and Death, Bang Tango, Danger Danger, Southgang, Slaughter, Tommy Gunn, etc., from like '86 to '92.

Anyway, I guess I really didn't need to mention all of this, but it duz give a context for this next dream (BTW, these are the only two dreams I've ever had where I am performing, the first being the RFK dream).

In this later dream I had around '88 or so, I'm totally Vince Neiled/Brett Michaelsed out replete with big blonde hair, make-up and a red vinyl motorcycle jacket. I'm playin' in a band in a club, Fat Tuesday's in NYC, which is hilariously incongruent cuz I don't think they ever had a rock band there, it's a jazz or blues joint.

Anyway, same thing as the dream I had in the late 70's... I'm singin' an original and the lead guitarist is my best friend only now it's totally Glam Metal, something between Faster Pussycat and Poison, hahaha!!! It was awesome because this dream lasted like 2 songs -- which I don't remember except that they were good -- and we were hangin' with these drop dead gorgeous chix...

Then I woke up...

Epilogue: I still have fantasies, tho, alas, no dreams (hmmm... maybe I will again). Even as lately as the other day on the beach, something funny really happened... I'm runnin' barefoot in nothin' but my bathing suit along the water and here comes this old dude who's like 80 or sumthin', dressed in a Ralph Polo shirt and golf slacks headed right toward me and I sh*t thee not, the old geezer's playin' a ukulele! Well, I just could not resist!

When I ran right next to him, I promptly stopped, spun around up alongside him, leaned in like "invade-my-space" close, and sang into my imaginary microphone I formed with a clenched fist, and in my best Steven Tyler voice, "Yuh, yuh, yuh, yuh, yow! Dude look like a lady!" to much laughter of a crowd of Spring Breakers laying on their towels nearby and the horror of some drop-jawed old bitties seated in their beach chairs beside them.

I never looked back but continued to run an extra 3 miles with an extra clip in my stride and a cheshire sh*t-eating grin on my face...

"It's only a Rock and Roll Dream
It's only a Rock and Roll Dream
Can't you hear me scream,
It's only a Rock and Roll Dream?" -- MB!, 1979
April 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I consider myself a air guitar god.
April 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkchaze
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