Once a rocker, always a rocker

By Olivia Zhou Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/23 15:43:39

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT

I was a drummer for five years. I am capable of playing five instruments, and I can tell you the exact notes of a rhythm after hearing it once. I have been to over 18 concerts, and I consider myself a music fanatic.

Back in junior high school, I was crazy about Mayday, a Chinese rock band. I downloaded every song they had and memorized the solos and the drumbeats of dozens of their songs.

When I learned that my high school had a rock band I was so thrilled, and I went to see the teacher who was in charge. I told him that though none of the instruments I knew how to play could be a part of a rock band, I was willing to do the chores if he could let me stay.

One day he said, "Why don't you learn some saxophone since you can play the clarinet?"

That was my in! I was admitted to the band as a saxophonist-to-be.

Luckily, the teacher was a drummer, and he offered every member of the band the opportunity to learn how to play the drums. From that day on, I started showing up in his office each day after lunch. During the three minutes I walked from my classroom to his office with the drumsticks in my hand, I felt like a rock star.

I was the only one who persisted in learning the drums and for some reason, the two professional drummers quit the band, and I became the band's drummer.

Since that day, I began to enjoy the happiness of band life. The seven of us rehearsed together, had dinners together, did homework together and hung out together.

Every Wednesday was club day. We would gather in the rehearsal room 10 minutes after classes ended for the day and refused to leave until the bell rang for evening study.

During the three years, we held several live shows and two concerts. I still remember the first song I performed as a drummer, "Swallowtail Butterfly" by Mayday, on the New Year's Eve of 2010. I looked at the crowd in front of me shouting and cheering and the band beside me, all so into the show, and I thought that was all my life was about.

And then I went to the college. I also joined the school band when I was a freshman and played for two years. I quit it my junior year because of the pressure of applying for schools. I was lucky enough being part of two brilliant bands; everything was beautiful when we were together.

However, when I left the band, I wasn't aware that the temporary goodbye would become a farewell to the band and to my time as a drummer.

Moving into professional life and adulthood, I knew I would be too busy to be a part of a band again.

I could always return to the stage and show off my drum skills in front of my future colleagues, but the feeling would never be the same as being on stage surrounded by a band you are a part of. Once a rocker, always a rocker and some feelings and memories just won't go away. 

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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