Take Me Back to Monday Monday

 

THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS

(CIRCA 1967-68)

MONDAY, MONDAY.    Remember that song?

I can still sing it today. The lyrics. Verbatim.

“Bah-da bah-da-da-da
Bah-da bah-da-da-da
Bah-da bah-da-da-da

Monday, Monday,  So good to me, Monday Morning. It was all I hoped it to be.”

By the – The Mamas & Papas

Are you singing or humming the tune now?

Maybe whistling it?

I always wished that I could whistle..

“Monday, Monday.. it was all I’d hoped it to be..”

I was, and still am quite taken by their music. Some days especially more than othe3rs.

And ironically Monday’s are those days. (Today is a Monday)

Growing up with music being a major part of my world it was soon to become the most important thing in my life. My parents were both involved in music in some way, and there were quite often (what my parents called) “house parties” every Friday & Saturday night at someone’s home. Everyone came for old-fashioned jams. Instruments of choice arrived;  guitars of all kinds, banjo, a foot pedal steel guitar, a fiddle, (violin)  spoons, along with a few tambourines my parents & their friends kept the music flowing.

It was a wonderful part of my childhood that I found great solace in.

When my parents seperated as parents sometimes sadly do, and went their separate ways the music went out of my life. I was nine years old and all of a sudden the times that most left me feeling content were gone. The music just stopped. The music had died.  My dad was gone, my mom was a mess and could not even tolerate listening to her vast country western-folk music collection she’s amassed. Family & Friends still would come by but no one ever sat in that circle in our living room again.

I was sad, confused, and the only way I knew then as a young girl to express my emotions was through music. Any music I knew.

My salvation came through a small box suitcase looking record player given to me by a sensitive girlfriend of my older brother’s. A child’s record player. I remember it was painted pink and white on the outside and inside the top lid  was a painted  ballerina. You may have had one just like it, or you guys out there – your sister might have owned one you may remember.

No great sound – but it was music.

Singing along to music by bands and artist’s like; the Mamas & Papas, The Association, Judy Collins, Joan Baez,  The Everly Bros, Leonard Cohen, Patsy Cline, Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell, Connie Francis,  all of my older brother’s music. Stealing away his records and time alone to wallow in the music were my first real secrets.  I would get home from school before he would, and I would steal away into his room “borrowing” a stack of vinyl albums & 45rpm singles, then running as fast as I could back to my own room and closing ad barricading the door. Listening in in my own heaven until just before that same time every day I knew my brother was due off his bus. Then running and putting each record back carefully in their exact spot. My brother was meticulous with his music. alphabetical order of course. And no tell-tale finger prints God forbid or the jig was up.

Soon I was adding music of my time.

My own music: The YardBirds,  The Turtles,, The Grassroots, Derrick & the Dominoes,  the Rascals, the Youngbloods, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, more folk sounds of Peter Paul & Mary, The Mamma & Papas. Music had a strong hold on me. I wanted to sing music. I wanted to use my voice. I just needed to sing, whether or not I was any good did not matter to me. It was all about the expression through voice with or without music accompaniment. I heard remarks that I might be good, but it was no matter to me.

I  just wanted to sing.

Singing all my life because of those artists. How many others are singing because of the music from the 60’s & 70’s. I may be partial but I think it to be some of the most awe-inspiring music of our time.

I have spent most of my life involved in music in some way;  singing, time with two different bands,  a University Women’s Chorale Society, to managing a band & producing a CD for a band I managed.  Music was a large part of my life. Always. My music tastes as I grew older included female vocalist Janis Joplin. I thought her to be the leading woman’s voice in Rock n Roll and lets face it Rock n Roll was the Happening genre. And the empowerment that she gave to me to nurture and project my voice she’ll never know, Nor of course will she ever know that my youngest daughter is named for her.  I also loved the way this women could sing the blues. I may not have liked her lifestyle, and sadly the fact that she is the only woman to be part of The 27 Club  and this breaks my heart. I moved from Joplin’s, whose voice I tried for a couple of years to master and emulate and just could not. I worked instead on voices that I could imitate like Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Gracie Slick. In the 80’s I found a real affinity to Stevie Nicks & Christine Perfect McVie from Fleetwood Mac. .

Stevie Nicks and her songs such as like Landslide & Sara have been music that again rips at the very core of me.. This music would also allow me to keep my voice in fairly good shape.  In an awesome way I went through a period when the only music I was now practicing was an occasional get together with a girlfriend from high school. We’d work for hours upon hours upon hours on songs like Landslide trying to perfect our own harmony. She and I used to jam quite often together thinking that someday…

Some day’s  that became Monday Mondays again…

My Mondays I turned into a job managing my little brothers band The Bounty Hunters. They did a mix of Country Rock & Country Folk. As well as some of their own originals.  My little brother is a songwriter too. It was different being on that side of the micro-phones again. I was back to doing sound checks where I started out in the beginning.  I was happy. I collected the bands money, made sure they had everything they needed. It was great. I loved taking care of my guys while they did what they loved. Played music.

Good things don’t always last forever. I know that music has always been a part of me.  It very well could be again that I find myself involved like this. Of that I am sure of.  Though I am not able to perform like I use to  I will always sing my heart out. And  music will forever be part of me. There is just something about the music of my soul and from my era that never ceases to ring true for me. Music has left me, and it’s come back. It left again. And it will again return.

This I know this to be true.

That’s the thing about Monday’s.

“There’s just no guarantee” and like the songs says too:

“Monday Monday, can’t trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me?”

And the other thing I know to be true:

I trust that music will be back in my life soon. In some way.

And maybe it will be on a Monday too.

©tjhelser2012

 

 

 

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