MamaBlogger365 – The Journey, an excerpt – part 7 by Jax Resto

When mom-rocker Jax Resto last checked in… local celebrity guitarist Jeri Jay was en route to meet Jax, Raven and Sam… (Need to catch up from the beginning? Click here for an archive of posts that chronicle The Journey by Jax Resto.)

Our first rehearsal: There were moments when I wasn’t sure this day would come…

Half an hour in, we are minus an integral member—the guitarist. Jeri Jay is on his way. I’m still not sure how I feel about letting a guy into our girl band, even one who dresses like a girl. But I am eager to move forward. I’ve spent so much time these past few weeks putting together a band, I’ve barely had time to just play music.

Despite the Speedy Gonzalez cartoon short that ran through my mind after Jeri told me he would be right over, realistically I know it will probably be another half hour before he arrives.

I walk into the spare room of our house, which we refer to as the “drum room.” Now equipped with full PA, and speakers, thanks to Samm, it has suddenly evolved into a rehearsal studio.

I look over at Samm, who stands in the left corner of the room, hip cocked, holding her bass, looking like a superhero. I feel compelled to give her a superhero name. Beautimus.

“Wanna try running through some songs before Jeri gets here?” the golden superhero asks.

I grin at her eagerness. At the name I’ve mentally given her. My silliness. Something.

Raven plants herself in front of the microphone in the center of the room, and looks at Beautimus, “Do you know ‘Alone?'”

Beautimus responds with an unsuperhero-like blank expression.

Apparently our desperate search for female players ultimately overshadowed our initial plan to hold more formal auditions where the players came prepared. It turns out that, though we each know many songs, there aren’t many we all know.

We run down the song list Raven and I put together, Beautimus quickly redeeming her superhero status with one of my favorites: “Rock & Roll.”

Residual doubt over whether this project will come to fruition washes away by the chorus of the Led Zeppelin song. If we already sound this good without a guitar….

My barking Chihuahua interrupts my pondering. Our guitarist has arrived. My excitement, and maybe my curiosity, propel me off my drum throne. I sprint to the front door, stealing a peek out the front window as I pass.

If I hadn’t already seen Jeri’s picture on MySpace, I might wonder why a woman with bright pink rocker hair and a YM wardrobe is at my door. But as I welcome in the delightfully quirky guitarist, I am unfazed by his denim mini skirt, hot pink tank top, and matching flip flops…or perhaps fascinated by it, and the fact that his legs are prettier than mine.

He sashays through my living room, with the youthful bounce of a teenage girl, singing hello as he passes my 15-year-old son, my mom, and my husband. I’m not surprised by how nonchalant their reactions are. It’s not them I’m worried about. I usher Jeri into the 12 x 14 rehearsal room and introduce him to Samm and Raven.

Jeri plants himself on the other side of my drums from Samm, gushing over how excited he was when I called. “You don’t know what it means to me to be one of the girls….”

His words take me aback, and I’m not quite sure what to make of him. I wonder if I made a mistake in calling him, not because I’m not already sold on having him be part of HERA, but because I’m not so sure Raven is.

Raven asks Jeri where he’s played before, her eyes lighting up when he drops names like Cher and the Platters. I can practically see the wheels turning in Raven’s head. Is he winning her over? The moment we begin playing, I can visualize any second thoughts about Jeri dissipating in Raven’s mind.

The issue of not knowing all the same songs minimizes with Jeri here. Jeri knows most of the songs on the list older than 1990 and calls out the notes to Samm, who manages to keep up. Samm knows some of the more current songs and Jeri can quickly pick them up by watching Samm’s fingering. Samm and Jeri also know songs mutually that Raven doesn’t and can’t wing because, as she explains, “I can only sing a song exactly the way I learned it from the CD.” Raven’s inability to go with the flow becomes inconsequential though, as Samm reveals another asset of her Beautimusness. She can sing.

We end rehearsal on a high note, and I am happy for once not to hear the words, “They’re just not HERA material.” Raven seems pleased with our lineup… at least for the moment; a moment that is surreal. I’ve managed to put together a talented band of strong women… for the most part.

Ironically, while there is no escaping the fact that our all-female band has just developed a unique twist with the addition of a transgender guitarist, our first rehearsal has revealed something far more interesting. Disturbing, in fact. The only member who apparently isn’t HERA material, is Raven—a serious flaw in our good cop/bad cop arrangement. Now who is going to fire her?

Bio: Jax Resto is a wife, mom and business owner by day, mom rocker by night. In 2010 she performed with Band of the Year at the Mamapalooza Festival in NYC. She left the band shortly after to start her own band of rockin’ moms Female Band Invasion. But her mom rock band took an interesting turn. Visit www.reverbnation.com/femalebandinvasion.

The Museum Of Motherhood is the first and only facility of its kind, celebrating the “her”story of mothers around the world. We need your help — please make your tax-deductible contribution today! Visit the Museum of Motherhood NOW OPEN in NYC – Tues.-Sun., 10:45-6:30.

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