View Full Version : My Triumphant Return To The Stage!

Papa Tom
03-22-2013, 12:03 PM
You guys may have heard my story before. I was a professional drummer for many years, had the opportunity to play most of the concert arenas I had dreamed about as a kid, then packed it in about 18 years ago. Sometime in the last half-decade or so, my body started twitching and itching and shaking and I couldn't figure out what was wrong until some very wise person suggested that all that misplaced energy was the leftover music in me, struggling to get out. That's when I bought my first ukulele.

Today, I performed in front of a live audience for the first time since 1995. This time, there were no drums to hide behind; just me, my ukulele, and an auditorium filled with three and four-year olds! I've gotta tell you, if you ever feel spent, like you've lost all your energy for music and/or life, get up in front of a room filled with pre-school kids and start chugging away on your uke. I went into this experience only mildly psyched, as I felt kind of "silly" getting excited over it. Now that it's over, I can't get the images of all those mesmerized smiles, the screaming laughter, and the pure expressions of joy my little $40 instrument brought to that room today.

I know many of you are very serious uke players who can play me under the table, but I truly hope that every time you pick up the instrument, you all have as much fun as I did today.

Thanks for letting me share this!

03-22-2013, 12:15 PM
That put a big smile on my face. As a librarian I sometimes play ukulele at Storytimes to pre-school kids and their parents/carers. I also play in an indiepop band. But I can tell you now, the adrenalin and good vibes I get from those Storytimes are easily as good as those from gigging! I think it's playing for fun and the sheer happiness it brings the kids. Good to hear someone else feeling the same thing.

Skinny Money McGee
03-22-2013, 12:43 PM
Totally cool PT. Was pleasantly surprised to read your post. I was thinking of doing the exact same thing with my Son's Kindergarten class

03-22-2013, 01:03 PM
I was a professional drummer for many years... Today, I performed in front of a live audience for the first time since 1995. This time, there were no drums to hide behind; just me, my ukulele...

Way to go!!! I can relate. Another ex-drummer here. Did my rocking and rolling in the 60s and 70s! I've been having a ball with ukes now for a couple of years now but I could never sing and still can't. But I do love playing a percussive rhythm uke with a strummer/singer.

Really happy you had a great time. Gotta be a lot of fun on stage again!

03-22-2013, 01:22 PM
That is a great happy making story. Thanks for sharing.

ukuLily Mars
03-22-2013, 01:42 PM
What a wonderful story! Thanks! When are you going back???:D

03-22-2013, 03:13 PM
I love this story. Glad you got to return to the stage and have so much doing it.

Papa Tom
03-24-2013, 02:13 PM
>>>>When are you going back???<<<<<

Much like the reason I walked away from the drums at the peak of my career, the pressure of the next gig being as good or better than the last is just too much for me. This was a crazy twenty minutes with kids marching around the room singing call-and-response nonsense at the tops of their lungs and just having what seemed to be one of those moments they will remember forever. I'd rather just leave it at that. When they ask me to come back, I will probably find a million reasons NOT to!

Anyway, I'm glad this little slice of ukulele life made so many of you smile.