This song reminds me of when I was just sixteen, a semi-shy junior at Heritage Academy , enrolled in beauty school part time and taking voice lessons... the second time. After my first experience with singing publicly in our high school musical "meet me in St. Louis" I decided that I should take voice lessons over the summer. My voice teacher was a classically trained vocalist, she had a high voice as clear as a bell, with steady strong vibrato and a range that spanned the piano, kind of like Christine from Phantom of the Opera. I adored her voice, I however could not manage to get my low pitched rhaspy vocalizer to produce that lovely clear tone that I dreamed of. We would practice classical tunes, and do vocal exercises "using our diaphragms". No matter how hard I tried, my voice refused to cooperate and that left me and my instructor frustrated and discouraged. I learned to dislike singing. The "shoe" just didn't fit, so I quit after my sessions were done and took a break.
The following year we had a guest voice coach come to our school to do a workshop. I decided to attend, afterwards she had talked me into signing up for just one lesson with one of her teachers, despite my previously developed anxiety attached to voice lessons. Her method of choice was "speech level" singing, which is the use of your natural voice, or basically... speaking on pitch. Sounded interesting. I remember showing up to my first lesson at a piano shop next to Skateland. I was greeted by a young twenty-something guy behind a piano in a small room, he started to play and began by teaching me a few warm-ups that felt and sounded a bit awkward. Here we go again. That's we he stopped and asked me, "have you ever heard of Carole King?". Have I ever heard of Carole King!? Of course, I was raised on Tapestry, I knew every word. He began to play those familiar piano chords of "It's too late" and said "sing it", I remember being nervous and out of breath, heart pounding, but then I started singing "stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time..." before I knew it I was belting out the chorus with my eyes closed "And it's too late baby now it's too late!" I just wanted to keep singing and singing and singing. It wasn't a fight, it wasn't a strain... it just felt right. I actually almost liked my voice. For the first time I was content with the fact that I was never gonna sing like the little mermaid. When we finished the song he asked me "so Brooke, what are you going to do with your life?" I said "I'm going to be a hairstylist, get married and be a mom". He said "I think you should re-think the hairdresser thing... I think you should think about music". Music?! Huh? The thought had never crossed my mind, but it was something to think about. Needless to say that voice lesson changed my life, I thought about it, I took his suggestion and as you all know, I never did finish beauty school. It's been complicated and wonderful, Somedays I wonder to myself "what was I thinking?!" But when you've got it within you, you do what you have to do.
Couldn't find a decent video of the original recording that would allow me to post on my blog, But I found this amazingly raw live performance. The guitar solo in this video is so good it hurts.
How about you?
PS- This post was technically supposed to be posted on Valentines Day, so Happy belated Valentines Day, hope you ate chocolate