As far back as I can remember I have been singing. There are several videos of that my Mom took of me singing along with some of her cassettes (haha yeah, cassettes.) I think the first time I sang publicly was when I was 4, maybe even younger. I sang with some of the youth at our church. I sang several times throughout the years and then one day, it was like something clicked, and I was too ashamed to sing publicly. I think I was around 12 or 13 and I was just too embarrassed. I remember watching the whole Brady Bunch episode where Peter's voice cracks and ruins the song. My voice began changing and I suppose I was just too scared something would happen when I sang.
Then something miraculous happened.... girls. It seemed like every guy at my high school that played guitar had chicks just awe struck. And the thing that cracked me up the most was that half of them weren't mini-Brad Pitt's or anything. They could just jam and that made them attractive. I had a few buddies that played and could sing pretty good as well. I bought a guitar with my birthday money my sophomore year of high school. I started teaching myself for around a month and then gave up.
Fast forward a year... I was a junior in high school and had just started dating a girl named Jessie Brooks. There was this recording this kid had made on his cell phone and sent to a girl who sent to another girl and it had gotten around to a lot of people. He sang and played a song and they all seemed to love it. I remember thinking to myself, "Dude I can do that." I picked up my guitar and started learning. About a month into Jessie and mine's relationship, we had a small fight. Luckily for the past month I had been busting it trying to learn Collide by Howie Day. That night I showed up at her house with a rose in mouth, played the song until she grabbed the rose (haha) then I sang the song. She loved it.
From that point on I have stuck with guitar (and the girl.) I was still scared to play in front of people. I took my guitar into the locker room while the varsity played (I was on the b-team) and practiced. A few of my friend's that played came into the locker room. I stopped. Then my buddy Justin Dorroh was like, "Keep singing." I played a little and sang. And then he said, "How long have you been singing?" I wasn't sure if he was messing with me or what. (If you know him and his sense of humor in that moment it would've been difficult to tell. haha) I told him pretty much all my life. I remember him saying, "Hang on. I'm gonna go get Joe E."
They came in and commended my progress. I realized at that point that if I stuck with it I think that I could really, really enjoying playing and singing. That's when a lot of things started to change. Part two to come tomorrow kids...