Many of you know I am a drummer. Long before I ever sat in front of a sewing machine, I sat in front of a drum kit. This passion of mine started at age thirteen, and while its origins were simple*, it soon became one of those things that ran through my blood, like a real part of me. By age fourteen, I was dreaming of rock stardom, attempting to play along to Beatles songs on my Discman (hey, what are those?), while the tracks skipped uncontrollably from the vibrating snare. It was at this age that something else very important entered my life—The Smashing Pumpkins. Anyone who knew me, knew I was obsessed with only two things: drumming and the Pumpkins. It remained that way for many years, and no doubt to this day Jimmy Chamberlin remains my favorite drummer of all time. I can’t tell you how many of his beats I dissected and learned. The man is a classically trained jazz drumming genius. In other words, he has mad skills, yo.
During that period in 1996 when Jimmy was kicked out of the Smashing Pumpkins for heroin use, word made its way via MTV and radio that my beloved Pumpkins were holding auditions to find a new drummer. If only I were a better drummer and a few years older, I thought. I’d drive my ass to Chicago and try out for the Pumpkins. If this opportunity ever comes around again, I will not let it pass me by.
Fast forward twelve years. In that time frame, I played my first show at 16, survived a crazy horror punk band at 18, and played my heart out in hundreds of practices, tons of gigs, and dozens of recordings in my beloved Jolenes for almost all of my twenties. And now, lo and behold, the Smashing Pumpkins are looking to replace Jimmy Chamberlin again (if you didn’t know, he was allowed back into the band after Adore tanked). My husband showed me the post on Pitchfork this morning. For a moment, my 15-year-old self resurfaced and said, “What if!?” I admit for a few moments, I contemplated emailing the band my background info, photos and performance links, which is what they’re requesting for a chance to land an audition.
While I’m not delusional, and know some slick drummer from some hot indie band will land the gig, I imagined—just for kicks and giggles, mind you—what would happen if Billy Corgan & Co. were to contemplate giving me an audition. One quick Google search would reveal that my heart wouldn’t be in it anyway, and I’d never even get a generic we’re-sorry-but-the-position-has-already-been-filled email back.
And that’s okay. Here’s to growing, learning, and knowing so completely in our heart of hearts that we’re happy right where we’re at in life, and wouldn’t trade it in for anything.
* One day my childhood best friend said, “Hey, you want to start a band?” I replied, “Yeah!” She said, “I want to play guitar.” I replied, “Cool. I’ll play drums.” The rest, as they say, is history.