Wednesday, October 22, 2008

1993 Suzen Kay

Back in 1993 I was in the peak of my 'so called music career' opening up for entertainment that came rolling through Minneapolis, playing all the local venues from lil cafe's to large venues with big stages. For awhile I had a band, but mostly I was solo.
I went under the name Suzen Kay.

When my 'Papa Jule' passed away,
I changed my name to Suzen JueL, to honor him.
This is the man that gave me the gift of music.
My whole family was pretty creative and crazy,
always singing something,
Papa would bring out his harmonica,
my dad would slap on the Spoons,
my gramma would grab the old Washboard,
my lil sister and I would get papas black combs with wax paper over them and we would blow and hum into it and make a funny kazoo type sound.
We would sing and dance and laugh for hours.

My papa
passed away of Alzheimer's about 10plus years ago, and since then I have been known as Suzen JueL.
My family was supportive and my grandma was thrilled when I told her this...
after all, my Papa Jule gave me my first guitar,
one he had handmade the year I was born...although it was by pure curiosity that it ever ended up in my hands.

I was all over in things as a child,
always going into Papa's attic and digging around,
looking at all the cool stuff they had in there.
WAY on the bottom of a pile of books and suitcases was this old black case....I pulled it out a bit further and once I saw what my little hands had come upon...I yanked it out, opened it up and saw this very small Classical Guitar with a wide neck and nylon strings.
I ran downstairs "PAPAAAAAAAAAAAA" and showed him the guitar,
as if it had dropped from the heavens.
My eyes Wide and Wild, my Papa smiling, he knew what was coming and without hesitation gave it to me.
I was about 11 or 12, and decided to take lessons. That didn't last very long at all, I was a terribly shy kid and my guitar instructor wanted me to sing "Delta Dawn" while I played it on my guitar.

I stopped. I looked at her..and asked "Are you serious? You want me to Sing?"...and as if it was just like making toast, she said "well, yes''.
I stood up,
I put my guitar in it's case,
and I walked home.
No Way!!!
SING? haaaaaa!!!!
I couldn't even SPEAK in front of people, now you want me to SING? nope.

I bought some books with guitar chords in them and spent hours in my room, learning the chords, singing and writing songs.
That was the greatest gift I could have ever had.
It gave me strength, it gave me courage, to know I could actually Create Music!

So, that is the story of Suzen Kay/JueL...that is why I am what I am, because it's not just me that makes me who I am, it's those that influenced me, it's those that had so much faith in me, it's those that encouraged me to actually Pursue what they knew was my Desire, my Need in life.
Coming across this old poster, from the days when I performed all over the Twin Cities, brought back SO many memories, so many good ones.
I was fortunate to have been able to perform with such talent in the Twin Cities, and Attempt to get over the 'stage fright' to be able to Express what is in me and make sense of it, through words, through music, through expressing, that's what it's ALL about to me, Expressing what is inside...
and sometimes, people relate, and sometimes they don't.
It doesn't really matter to me who understands or doesn' matters to me, that I Expressed something that was in me, got it out of me and shared it....that's what my Papa Jule did.

With his hands, his creativeness he made a guitar, he passed it to me...along with SO many other things.
He was also an artist, he painted, he drew, and he made things, great things.

My Mother (my papa Jule's daughter) also paints, she writes, she plays the keyboard, the banjo, the guitar, and the accordion...
Gifts get passed, and each generation takes it in a new direction.

My fathers side of the family (French) also has quite a few amazing talents in it...artists, performers.
Gratitude for these people in my life, all of magnificent and unforgettable.

PackRat n Love Songs

My husband did the best thing he could have done...he cleaned the house over the weekend, while I was away, and FINALLY I was motivated to do my own cleaning. I have BOXES still unpacked from our Big Move SEVEN years ago. So finally I began sorting through some of them, trying desperately to get RID OF THINGS THAT I NO LONGER USE...not sure why I save things I never use, like old folders from back when I worked at Time Warner, or magazine clippings, or Ralph Lauren catalogs. I don't need this, but that lil Pack Rat in me saves Everything!
There was this great box full of old scrap papers with various patterns on them, lil plastic bags of red flower clippings, music sheets that I never used, since I'm quite uncertain on how to read or write music...the Proper way...I just write my songs, draw pictures of the chords, so I remember what I was doing.
Tucked in between those folders of magazine clippings and torn out pages of perfume samples, and under countless books I filled with poetry and doodles, odd drawings and bizarre dreams, is this little piece of paper...kinda stopped me dead in my tracks...with little notes penciled in and a scratchy written title "My Name is Susie!!!' yes THREE exclamation points..because apparently at that age, I was VERY DETERMINED to let people Know My Name. I think I was about 7 or 8, not sure.
Even funnier
on the backside I wrote my babysitters name and her boyfriends -Cindy + Ron FOREVER...Susie+___ FOREVER and my sisters name and her 'boyfriend' FOREVER...because FOREVER is a serious thing when you're Seven!
This was probably the funniest thing I've seen in years, perhaps being a Packrat Paid off :)

Self Portrait

Self Portrait
This is Not a Drawing