So far, the biggest audience I've ever played
in front of was 3000 people. No. Not for my comedy. For my
high school concert band recital in 1993.
At what point does a musician give up
his dreams of Carnegie Hall and trade them for
teaching zit-faced 14 year old hornballs in band class?
1st, my concert band teacher is like, "This is only
temporary -- just to pay my bills. Between this and my wedding gigs,
I should be all right."
Then suddenly, 12 years pass. 12 years of
<BLURT! BLAAAAAH! SQUEAK!! MOOOOO!> His hair falls out.
Not because of old age. Because after 12 years of <BLURT!
BLAAAAAH! SQUEAK!! MOOOOO!> he's pulled it all out.
His head looks like he's torn a cotton ball apart.
Now he's resigned himself to this life.
And after 12 years of therapy and depression -- he
wakes up one morning and it hits him... "LET'S
MAKE IT FUN!"
An idea hits him!!
The kids will love it if I transcribe a pop song into a
His wife pleads groggily, "Come to bed."
But this is his Masterpiece!!
Genius at work!!
Furiously he writes the notes for Flute! For Clarinet!
For Trombone and Triangle! No one will be left out!
And that's why, junior year of high school, I'm playing in
front of 3,000 people, slumped down in my seat with the
same face you make when you've eaten too many bean burritos.
That's why I'm playing Bon Jovi's "Livin'
on a Prayer" on my Trumpet, dressed in slacks and a tie in
front of the entire school.
We were awful. But not to Mr. Morgenstern. He could only hear the
beautiful music just as he wrote it... because he was high
And looking back, I don't blame him. Dreams dashed.
Doomed to directing dorks who had no interest in
Tchaikovsky and every interest in being excused from gym
Mr. Morgenstern, if you're out there, I love you. I can't believe you
survived it all.
It reminds me of the words of the prophet, Al Bundy, who once
you think I'm a loser? Just because I have a stinking job
that I hate, a family that doesn't respect me, a whole city
that curses the day I was born?
"Well, that may mean loser to you, but let me tell you
something. Every morning when I wake up, I know it's not going to get
any better until I go back to sleep again.
"So I get up, have my watered down Tang and still-frozen
Pop Tart, get in my car with no upholstery, no gas and six more
payments to fight traffic just for the privilege of [teaching
ingrate brats how to play a musical instrument] putting cheap shoes
on the cloven hooves of people like you.
"I'll never play [trumpet] football like I thought I
would, I'll never know the touch of a beautiful woman, and I'll never
again know the joy of driving without a bag on my head. But I'm not a
" 'Cause despite it all, me and every other guy who'll never
be what he wanted to be, are still out there, being what we don't
wanna be, forty hours a week, for life. And the fact that I haven't
put a gun to my mouth, you pudding of a woman, makes me a
BUNDY BUNDY BUNDY!!!!
Be strong, Mr. Morgenstern. I hope you are still playing your trumpet,
teaching losers like me how to double-tongue while they
make sophomoric jokes about how to REALLY double-tongue.
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