When I was 15 years old, like thousands of angst-ridden teenagers, I started my first band; actually no, my buddy Phil did — I was asked to join as the keyboard player, eventually doing double duty as singer. We called ourselves Mesmerizer. We were bright-eyed, filled with dreams of superstardom and dedicated as only teenagers can be… For the right “cause” that is.
Our drummer lived in Nun’s Island and his stepfather, who owned an apartment tower there, had offered us a rehearsal space beyond anything we could’ve imagined: the entire ground floor of the building, encased in glass windows, overlooking a large concrete terrasse. To this day I still can’t grasp how he managed it but there you go: for a short while, we were Led Zeppelin.
I had a project meeting this week in Nun’s Island. My first trip back since those halcyon days. I was driving in circles, trying to find my way, cursing the roundabouts (we don’t have many of those here) when all of a sudden there it was: The Tower. Memories came flooding in a daze and I knew I’d have to stop on my way back.
When the meeting was over I parked the car, grabbed the X-T1 and walked into the bitter arctic cold, the sounds of Phil’s old Hiwatt amp riding on the wind, pushing screeching solos through the air, his Gibson Les Paul strumming in the distance.
I left just a few minutes later, my hands numb with cold, all red and stiff. I left with a few images, with the unsteady rhythm of youth still beating in my heart;
a low hum, deeply electric —