A couple of nights ago I went to a memorial concert for a friend of mine whose father died back in February. Many years ago he started a Beach Boys cover band that performed at different venues around Colorado every summer. I went because my friend invited me, and I care about her, and well, memorials are for those of us who are left behind. But that’s another story for a different day.
One of the band leaders came up to the front of the stage to talk about my friend’s father. He wrote so many musicals I can’t even tell you how many, and he was clearly a driving force in the Colorado music scene. But what became really clear to me as this man spoke is that my friend’s father sold people on their fantasies of what they thought they could become. Here’s the story:
This man had come home to find his wife sleeping with another man. In his distraught state he went to talk to my friend’s father who said something like: “Be done with her. Let’s start a band.” And that is how the Beach Boys cover band was started. They talked about touring, about the fun they would have.
But here’s the really awesome part. Each person in the band got their own nickname, a surfer name…in Denver…a landlocked city in a landlocked state. What I love about this is that this person convinced people they could be anything. That is his legacy. He convinced people they could become their fantasy of who they were. They would play this out with him. They all played along until this fantasy became their reality.
Their band was very successful, and was touring so much that it actually became overwhelming for my friend. But that’s okay; she had her own life she wanted to follow, her own vision of who she would become.
Watching the people in this band, including my friend, sing their hearts out the other night was a great reminder that we can become anyone we want. We have to surround ourselves by people who will play in our fantasy with us. We have to create a great improvisation in our lives with people who will say,