The Daydream - Realized Differently, but Realized
by B.J. Major
10/21/03


I never knew that a daydream could take on different forms
as the years went on;
I had the same daydream, the same wish in my head
for so many years that I thought it had become
a permanent part of me and that it would never leave my mind.
I never thought it could change, reform or grow
into something else so totally different -
yet fulfilling its original intent.
 
My favorite musicians helped to give me this daydream
where I was a drummer on a stage,
playing with other instrumentalists.
This was a very special concert.
It was a performance of thanks.
This was not a concert open to the public.
In the audience would only be people I cared deeply about;
- people whom I felt really cared about me
and those I loved to be with.
There were certain teachers from grade school
and high school too -
but most of all, there were the musicians.
The professional musicians who were famous
and who gave me countless hours of enjoyment
with their records.
The musicians who gave me inspiration beyond anything
I could relay to you here.
The musicians who would never leave my consciousness
no matter what happened in my life or how old I became.
 
I know that I wore out several copies of records
that I just could not get enough of hearing.
How many times did I play Ogerman's arrangements of
"Look to the Sky", "Someone to Light Up My Life", or "More"?
How many times did I play Mancini's own
"Mr. Lucky" and "Darling Lili" -
or his version of "The Second Time Around";
and how many times did I play that version of
"September Song" with Kai's wonderful
trombone chorus entrance
and Bobby's great percussion work, both on the same track?
Too many to count.   Way too many to count.
 
And how many times did I listen to Claudio play his drum set
to Walter's B3 on "Rain Forest" or "Chegança"
or to Jobim's guitar and piano on "Wave"?
I wanted to play along with them, and I did,
on my own drum set.
 
I wanted to know what made these tracks so special.
I wanted to know all about the arrangements
and how musicians wrote these.
What inspired them;
what moved them to write such fabulous charts.  
How they did it.
My knowledge of things had not yet progressed to such a point;
I was still in infancy where all this was concerned
and was just beginning formal music studies
after years of just playing on my own, playing to records.
What I would soon learn was that music theory was hard,
very hard.   It was like math to me -
and I was not good in math.
I was only good at playing what I felt.
 
Circumstances changed.   I could not stay a drummer
for as long as I wanted.
High school dictated otherwise;
that if I wanted to be in the band,
I had to play something they needed.
And they needed trombones.
I was torn, a knot in the pit of my stomach
that would not go away.
I wanted to be in the music program so badly
but I was devastated to have to leave my drums & percussion.
 
I remember getting one last enjoyable play at the drums.
It was not even on my own set but a set at the high school.
We were waiting one day for the band director to arrive.
That day he was unusually late.
On the floor of the auditorium next to the piano was a
blue sparkle set of drums.
Someone sat down at the piano and began playing
"Love is Blue".   That was a popular song that year
and everyone knew it.   I had the drum part memorized.
Without even thinking, I sat down at the drums
and played along with the piano.  
We played just like the record, what a feeling it was!
I never wanted it to end.
Then, it was all over, as quickly as it began.
I remember the band director glaring at me
as he came down the center aisle
and I could read his face.
"What is she doing playing the drums?"
I was made to stop playing right then
and pick up my Conn Director trombone.  
But for that brief moment I felt
what it would have been like to
live out that daydream of playing music
that I loved to the ones I love.
I never had that feeling with the trombone,
only the drums.
But I was fortunate, I learned the new instrument quickly
and was even first chair by the beginning of the next
school year.   And in college.
But it just wasn't the same because I didn't choose it; it was chosen for me.
 
In college, the struggle with music theory
really began in earnest for me.   It's a wonder I got through it
and passed, but I did.   Just barely.
When I needed to escape, to come back to what music really was for me -
I shut myself off in the listening room.
Here I would sit for an hour or two before dinner
and lose myself in what I was hearing in the headphones.
I wanted to be there, in the recording studio
and watch how they made these tracks.
Here in this room full of turntables,
I would listen to those records that accompanied me to college:
Those belonging to Ogerman, Winding, Mancini, Wanderley and Jobim.
Once in a while an instructor would walk through the room
on the way to a classroom next door.
I would get their attention and take the headphones off
and say "Please, listen to this.   Tell me what they are doing.
Tell me why the music sounds the way it does right here,
and why does it move me this way?"
But no answers were forthcoming.   No one really wanted
to give me any answers.   Or maybe I was asking questions
they really could not answer -
at least in the way that I needed to know.  
 Both the enjoyment of music and the struggle to understand it continued off and on
through life's many twists and turns for several decades.
During this time, I acquired several non-music skills
- but one that was to assist me with my music passion
became the most important.   The computer.
 
I didn't want anything to do with learning a computer at first.
It seems so silly now that I had that attitude,
but I just didn't see the relevance to my interests.
But then there were some revolutions which helped me appreciate what it could do for me.
The first was digital audio and the next was the internet.
 
I can't imagine being without digital audio now,
though I still have my beloved records -
many of which I have digitized myself.
But the internet - now here was something in which
one could be creative; one could be expressive;
one could carve out a location that would be so unique
that people from all over the world
would want to come and view it.
I later discovered that it was where I could truly be ME
and if anyone really wanted to know who I was,
what I cared about as a person -
all they had to do was look at these sites.
Because that's where my heart is; that's where my soul lives.
 
In 1999, I began looking for internet information
on my favorite artists;
but what I found was really lacking.
Boring all-text pages with few photos
and other pages with tiny album covers -
so small that they could not possibly show detail.
On some of my artists there were no internet sites at all.
I decided right then that I was going to do the type of thing
that I saw no one else really doing.
I got the idea for expanded sites that would not only
show complete pictorial discographies -
with album covers large enough for detail to be seen,
including the back covers
which no other discographies bother to show.
But that wherever possible, I would also do interviews,
have photo galleries, and host other information
that no other artist sites have.  
I was not looking to be the biggest,
but I definitely wanted to be the BEST.
 
In coming up with a domain name, I decided to use elements
that would identify me, who I was and what I loved.
The "bj" part was my initials that I used as a first name;
the "bear" was my favorite animal;
and I graduated from high school in "71".
So began "bjbear71.com".
 
The result of what I wanted to do
is what you are looking at now.
The work is not finished, there is much yet to be done.
But these discographies are the result, are the realization
of that daydream which I had so long ago.
Even if I never get the chance to play the drums on stage,
this is my way of saying "thank you" to those people
who gave so much to me with their music.
I am honored to bring their careers to you
and I hope you enjoy your stay here.
 
Welcome!


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