Song 124: Great Balls of Fire

Corey Sullivan was my ticket into the music business. Many young people who take an interest in music, begin by  taking lessons on their instrument and then perform for friends and family at social gatherings or perhaps at a music recital. If you are a lucky young person taking an interest in music, you may also get an early start with actual hands on experience of live performance with a live band.

This is why I consider myself lucky. When I was around 12 or 13,  Corey Sullivan invited me to be a part of his band. Corey was already well established as a guitar player and singer by that time and it was a thrill for me at that age to get my foot in the door of the adult world. Under the protection of my older band mates and cousins which included Brad Sullivan, Corey Sullivan and Brad St. Jean, I was able to experience the music and bar scene long before I was old enough to do so. This experience is what made my career choice in life quite clear for me. It always felt more like my identity than just something I was able to do on the weekends and get paid. But getting paid for having this much fun did blow my mind at that early age!

I took an interest in rock and roll as a child. I remember listening to "Great Balls of Fire" on a mix tape that my dad had and trying to copy the chord changes I heard to the piano. I would bang out the solo on my old upright piano and and slide my fingers down the keyboard for the flashy parts. I remember playing that song in either grade 5 or 6 for the talent show. It was such a boost of confidence to have my friends at school cheering for me after I played it. We used to play the song in Corey's band all the time and it was such a rush to play the solo backed up by electric guitar, bass and drums.

This Sunday was Corey's wife Hilary's birthday and all of our family gathered together at Darcy McGee's in Kanata to celebrate. Corey's band "Bacon Tree" played some music for the party and they invited me to play keyboards with them which was great. It's been a long time since Corey and I have played some rock and roll together but as soon as we started playing it felt as natural as it always has been. Both of our lives have changed drastically since the old days . We are now both married and we both have children of our own. It was quite heart warming to see Corey's little girl and my son both on the dance floor groovin to the music. Who knows, perhaps those two will form a band some day...

Here is " Great Balls of Fire" live from Darcy Mcgee's.