A Retired Rocker's Codicil

Shannon suggested I add a codicil of my post-retirement rocker activities to my most recent blog entry. I didn't know what the word "codicil" meant, so I looked it up. It means "appendix" or "supplement". I can handle that.

Stepping from the spotlight of rock stardom, for me, didn't necessarily mean leaving the scene entirely and permanently. As the little-known saying goes, "Once a small-time, talent-impaired, partially tone-deaf rocker, always as small-time, talent-impaired, partially tone-deaf rocker."

On my mission I made a commitment to curb my hard-partying, Cherry Coke-slamming, getting-rejected-by-even-homely-girls ways and turn my celebrity to the greater benefit of mankind. Thus, one holiday season we developed a Christmas music program and took it on the road. I tried to hire my long-time roadie Thomas to accompany us and heft my rocker gear around for me, but he was on his mission in Japan and his mission president unreasonably denied my request to give Thomas temporary leave to grow his hair long and go on tour with me.

I helped arrange a guitar-driven version of "Away in a Manger" for the program but got stuck playing rhythm as opposed to lead guitar. My mission president said my solo had "too much Hendrix" for a chapel setting. Furthermore, my grand vision of pyrotechnics, strobe lights, and a giant vinyl phosphorescent camel for me to make my grand entrance on was rejected as "too Queen". I acquiesced to the traditional Christmas concert model, wore my gray suit and bland tie, and obligingly strummed the accompaniment. Freddie Mercury nevertheless came to me in a dream and lauded my attempt at sweeping theatrics.

Near the end of my mission, the branch mission leader pulled me aside. He asked if I'd be willing to play a lunchtime show for some Canada Day festivities in a backwoods hamlet several hours north. He'd probably heard a stray copy of my hit album "This Cheap Blank Tape I Recorded Six Songs On With An Outdated Karaoke Machine I Borrowed From a Hot Chick Who Wouldn't Date Me" and recognized me as a phenom. I imagined the poor hamlet folks, wanting to rock but unable to lure a big-name rocker into their midst. I thought of my commitment to give freely of myself. I agreed.

I practiced for two weeks at night when I should've been writing in my journal. My fingers bled. I thought of Bryan Adams and how his fingers bled, but he kept on rocking and eventually got dumped by his girlfriend after she stood on her mother's porch and told him that she'd wait forever. I remembered how Bryan Adams was Canadian and grew up only five miles from where I sat practicing. It all made sense. The stars aligned. The cosmos was encouraging me to rock on.

When I played the Canada Day show, I quite possibly became the first missionary ever to play guitar in front of a couple dozen drunks. I covered a few Eagles songs, did some John Denver, and brought the house down with a contemplative version of "Summer of '69". The applaud (singular) was deafening. Several bearded men called for more BBQ potato chips. A freckled toddler wondered aloud when the water balloon toss would start. I basked in the crowd's adoration. I sensed their unspoken yearning for an encore. I indulged them and played "The Dance". A colicky baby cried, clearly touched.

After my mission, I recognized the need to bring my powers as a rocker to bear on the task of finding a hot girlfriend. As soon as I met Shannon I went to work on a pair of songs meant to melt her to mush so she wouldn't notice my big nose and overbite when I asked her to marry me.

The diddies did their job and I've since truly hung up my leather pants and Billy Idol gloves. Mostly it's because I'm entering my sixth year of writer's block. When you're happily married and have cute kids, there's no well of inner despair and melancholy from which to draw to craft the forlorn, lovesick odes to heartbreak and alienation the adoring masses want to hear.

Nevertheless, I'm merely biding time until an uncontrollable surge of creativity (coupled with a magnificent and impossible block of free time) seizes me and squeezes memorable classic after memorable classic from my pen. In the meantime, I'm learning how to cook pancakes.

That's it. No more codicils.