Juke Box Hero, with apologies to Foreigner.

I couldn’t get a ticket. It was a sold out show.

Well, really, I probably couldn’t have gotten a sitter either anyway, and it was a weeknight and I had to be up for work the next day and the headliners weren’t going on until 10:30 and that’s pretty late for me, and….

I have an acoustic guitar and have been teaching myself some chords. Isn’t that a Bryan Adams lyric? Shit.

Anyway, I can sometimes string 3 or 4 chords together into some sort of ‘song fragment’ and I’m beginning to get it now.

I understand why kids everywhere sit on their beds, banging out 3 chords thinking they’re going to take over the world. Thinking, even for a moment, that you might have created something moving and original is ridiculously empowering. Many of these kids give up or move on. Some become Joe Strummer.

I catch myself planning my world takeover tour and quitting my day job. Then I hear stuff like this. Then I remember why I’m a graphic designer.

I have a six-string. I didn’t buy it at the five-and-dime, cause they don’t exist anymore. I don’t play till my fingers bleed – but, sometimes, they do get tender at the fingertips and I have really dry skin, so I have to moisturize with some lotion and – dammit – that’s not very rock and roll. Moisturizer is not rock and roll. There wasn’t any in Spinal Tap. I’m pretty sure.

Sometimes, after I’ve spent a lot of time playing one evening, my fingers tingle the next day at the tips when I touch stuff and it dawns on me that, maybe, almost, I can almost, maybe start telling people I ‘play guitar’. And that’s pretty badass, especially for middle-aged dudes with dry skin. I’m even starting to build up calluses.

I can’t do anything with my pinky finger though. It’s fucking useless.

New Brunswick graphic designer, 40, quits rock and roll game due to inadequate pinky finger articulation. “It just stuck out there. When I tried to use it, it would just quiver, or shake. Ugh (shivers) it was embarassing. I don’t want to talk about it. I’m going to stick to drums as the pinky isn’t as crucial and I can hide the hideous quivering behind the kit.”

Don’t cry for me. Save your tears. There may still be a chance for me in adult contemporary, or children’s music. Maybe it’s more ‘Coffee Shop Hero.’

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