I Once Was A Singer

As I type this in February of 2024, it has been almost 25 years since I graduated high school.

Lately, I have seen my classmates from back then post pictures from those times and even though I do not long for those days again, it has been nice to see them.

And by seeing these, I have been reminded of when I sang in the junior and senior year talent shows.

I had sang in my church choir as a kid and sang in choir in my freshman and sophomore years of high school, but I never sang solo before, outside of my bedroom or house.

Well that changed in my junior year.

My friends Jason Smith (lead guitarist) and Ryan Yoakem (drummer) one day asked me if I wanted to audition for their band, which would also include bassist extraordinaire Chris Justice and rhythm guitarist Adam Crance, and sing for the talent show that year.

I had never done this but I said sure.

Jason picked me up on a Saturday in early March of 2000 (I remember I bought AC/DC’s newest album Stiff Upper Lip that morning) and we went to his house and we played the song we were potentially going to play at the talent show.

The song was Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N Roses.

I passed the audition and we went from there.

We ultimately played other songs and we eventually did a few gigs later that year, but the main goal was to do the talent show.

We had to do an audition for that, which we passed.

When the day came for the first performance (we played four or five times I believe), I kid you not when we were waiting side stage to go on, I could hear the crowd chanting “Luke, Luke, Luke, Luke, Luke!” over and over as if I was some superstar.

I was very nervous before going on, but once it was time, we went on and I and the band delivered the goods.

We rocked!!

And not to toot my own horn, but why we did not win that year I do not know.  I’m not bothered by it, and I’m happy for who won (I’m sorry I don’t remember.) but just judging by the crowd reactions we got, we should have won.

But that’s OK.

Sorry guys I did not introduce you all individually on stage.  I was young and stupid.  Now I would do it.

So I will now say Thank you Jason, Ryan, Chris, and Adam for allowing me to sing with you guys.  

It was a blast.

I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but I went from being considered this “quiet, shy kid” that most people did not know or care about to the most recognizable person on campus.

I remember going to geometry class and the whole class erupted with cheers.

I actually signed a few autographs.

Sooooo many people were blown away by the performances and wanted to know if we would do it again.

Well, we did do it again in 2001, for the senior talent show.  That was fun too, but for me, my heart was not as into it because I had already technically graduated (I had all my class credits by December of 2000 so I did not take any classes in 2001, but I returned for the walk and a few other things.).  But it was still fun and everybody kicked butt.

I love that we did it and I wish I could still sing like I did then.

Sadly, I do not sing much anymore.

I blew my voice out in 2016 or 17 and even though I can occasionally belt it out, I have to be careful because when I attempt to sing now, I feel my throat closing up on me and I feel as if I am getting a cold.

It sucks, but that’s the way it is.

But hey don’t cry over me. 

It’s all good. 

Even though I don’t sing much anymore, I go to many concerts to see my favorites sing and play their songs.  I’ve even met some of them, so I can’t complain.

I’m glad that with those performances that we did that we were able to maybe bring some joy to the ones that saw us do it.

I know I had a blast doing it.

Again thank you guys for allowing me to sing with you.

Here are a few pictures I found, courtesy of my classmates, from back then.

One is from one of the performances in 2000, and the other is from a graduation class picture in 2001.

I used to have much longer hair then.

I tried to have my hair look like Bill Ward, the original drummer of Black Sabbath, when he had long hair.

Hey I tried.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *