What the hell is this?

I Can't Stand [Meeting] You is a collection of all the ridiculous things I've written to and about drummer and composer Stewart Copeland.

I actually did meet him for about five crazy seconds in 2007, again for a few exciting moments in August 2009, and my most recent (and most thrilling!) encounter took place in October 2009, where I proved myself capable of being, yet again, a total dork in the man's presence.

I can't believe what I get up to. And neither should you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Stewart @copelandmusic

Hi, my friend,

It's been awhile.

How are you? I'm pretty good right now. But, I found out in the past week or so that a friend of mine from High School was pretty sick, and then yesterday, I got the news that she had died.

This person and I weren't close or anything, and I only have one story about her. I think I'd like to share it with you.

Her name was Lisa, and we were in band together. She was one year older than me. She had blond hair, and she was kind of a rocker. She had that style. But... she played the clarinet. So we had class together and interacted in that way, and that was mostly it. You know, I was kind of nerdy and quiet, and I think she might've been more outgoing than that. But one day, we decided to leave campus together and go to lunch. I don't know how we came to this decision or why we happened to be together. It was just one of those things. I was, I think, a sophomore, and she was a junior. Only seniors were allowed to leave at lunch, but we decided to ditch anyway.

We were pretty bold: she and I just walked out the front doors of the school and headed to the side parking lot where her car was. Of course we got caught. However, we also got away. I'm not even sure how - all I remember now is, our names were taken down, but we took off anyway. We made it to her car, a classic Mustang, and went first to her house, which was near the school. I think she needed to pick up some money. Her parents must've been at work because the house was empty.

I'd never been to her house before. I didn't really know anything about her except that she was blond, pretty, funny, played the clarinet, drove a Mustang, and wanted to ditch school with me that day. Let me just say right here and right now: it wasn't my first time ditching, nor would it be my last. I was kind of notorious, especially in my senior year, for being allergic to school.

Anyway, when we got to her house, she took me through to her room. And there were her drums.

It was totally unexpected. She had a big black Tama kit. It looked band new, and perfect. At that time I didn't know to check out cymbals, so I can't say what kind of cymbals she had (for instance, I can tell you that Patrick uses all Paiste Rude crashes, and all Zildjian K ride cymbals; he's a hard hitter so he prefers heavy cymbals. He also likes the vintage ones, from the 80s). I can tell you that upon seeing those drums, she suddenly became a super hero to me.

There weren't a lot of girl drummers at my school. In fact, I only knew one, and she quit when we were in middle school. My friend Missy played "percussion" after quitting the trumpet section when she got braces (it was a shame, because her brother Todd was an excellent trumpet player, and I know if Missy had put some time into practicing, she probably would've been just as good), but she was strictly a tambourine and triangle player. Not to diss her or anything: triangle is a cool instrument. However, the girls at my school were mostly flute or clarinet players, with a few in the trumpet or French horn section. It would have never occurred to ME to request a drum set or a drum lesson, even though for many years, that was my secret dream. Oh, yeah: there are certain Joe Jackson or Elvis Costello songs, even a few Foo Fighter or Led Zeppelin songs that make me wonder... could I, with training and time and patience, ever do that?

Hey, maybe I could. The flute stuff I've played over my lifetime so far is pretty hard music, some of it, so it's not impossible. But there's something special about drummers, and I don't know if I have that. Maybe it's best to not find out.

But back to Lisa: she wasn't afraid to find out, because there she was, a drummer.

After we got whatever it was we went to her house for, we went to Tito's for a long lunch. It was a nice afternoon, but we never repeated it. The next day we both were called to the office and had to report to detention, but I never even went. I think she did. There were no consequences, so I guess I got lucky.

Lisa, I think about you once in awhile when I see a pretty blond girl driving a rad old Mustang. I'm sorry you had to go to detention and I didn't. I hope you got whatever it was you wanted from being a drummer. I wish I could've heard you play. Everyone reading this blog knows how I feel about drummers, and you're on my list.

Telling this story makes me think that even one time little encounters with people make an impact. I never really got to know her but even when I didn't know she was sick, I never forgot about our little adventure. It's a nice memory about a nice person.

Love you,

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