‘They won’t let me play’

Evan wants to do it all. Evan is 15.

He’s been in high school for little more than a semester and already has sampled at least a half-dozen clubs, two sports and most of the social opportunities. This week, the Snoball dance is on Saturday night.

But not all is well on the East High campus.

“Dad, they won’t let me play in pep band,” he said the other day.

Some of his friends are in pep band, including his girlfriend of the moment — the one with the strict parents, the one who gets to do almost nothing outside of school.

But you have to be in band class to play in pep band, and Evan hasn’t taken band class since seventh grade.

That hasn’t stopped Evan. Never mind that he doesn’t know any of the music. Never mind that he doesn’t read music well enough to learn the songs even if someone slipped him the sheet music. Never mind that he rarely practiced when he did take band class.

He got out his sax the other night. He started playing it. I doubt the pep band is playing “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” but there you go.

He fancies being able to walk in with his sax, sit down and play along with the pep band. I think it’s gonna be a hard lesson learned. It’s a little like playing basketball in the driveway and then thinking you can just join the varsity at midseason. Don’t work that way, pal.

Maybe Evan can listen to these tunes and learn them. From Houston:

“Louie, Louie,” the Rice University Marching Owl Band, from “The Best of Louie, Louie,” 1983. It’s out of print.

“Super Bad,” Kashmere Stage Band, from “Texas Thunder Soul: 1968-1974,” 2006. The best high school band ever.


Filed under February 2010, Sounds

5 responses to “‘They won’t let me play’

  1. All of the things I did to meet or be around certain girls just flashed before my eyes.

  2. Ron Pfeifer

    Those are hard-learned lessons, Jeff. I don’t know an easier way. Pain. It’s that stuff that makes high school sometimes unbearable. It’s also part of its mysterious allure.

  3. Liz P

    So what exactly is the difference between a pep band and a regular band? Is it related to a marching band? I’m sitting here admiring your son’s determination, but also cringing in anticipation of the moment when he figures it out. Yikes. Best of luck to him, though. 🙂

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