"Too early, Too fast" - this is my PRE-publishing auto - biography by Anna Achimowicz. A book -to-be Blog.
One of my first childhood memories connected to rock and roll is staying at my grandparents place in Lublin. Grandparents on my fathers side. We would go over and travel every now and again. We would go each weekend like some families would, they refused to travel to Warsaw to see us, so whenever parents decided we would go, we did. I remember one time, I was staying in one other room of the three, my grandmother would normally sleep in, separate from my grandfather who snored terribly no one could stand the noise next to him, but so did she. I was playing on the bed sheets, jumping up and down, it was summer, green and sunny outside, the windows wide open. Suddenly a known famous hit comes on the radio. Song by For Non Blondes called "Say Hey", very strong vocal connected to a simple percussion and strong lead guitar. On the chorus line that was a strong shout I would join in and sing/yell from the top of my lungs. I could have been even played on a freshly bought portable CD player and radio tuned my dad was so proud to find at a discount price that day. I put on the volume to MAX range. My grandfather opened the rooms door shouting to turn that noise immediately otherwise he will throw the player out the window with me included. It brought me down immediately and scared the hell out of me for a moment there. He was a retired general from the polish military and god knows what he would have done when he snapped. The was known for not liking children at all including me, as his grand daughter might I add. And so most of the games I would play at their apartment was making tents and bunkers from pillows, sheets and cushions taken from all possible rooms.
The other time my voice was challenged in that way as a potential singer was at age four maybe five. I was singing or rather screaming to the possible maximum Whitney Houston's, " I will always love You". My voice was exploited to strongly the doctors told my mom If I continued yelling like I did I would loose my voice for good, my vocal cords were exploited and partly torn to such extent.
Rock, which is my latest inspiration and discovery. I always was a bad ass and rock and roll soul deep inside. My generation and the time I was born in and raised in demanded no real rebellion at the time. Year 1987-1989 was a strong time of changes in my country, which I was too young to remember. Then moving to the States made it comfortable and carefree enough as a childhood to rebel and protest against anything. California was warm, pink and inviting to spend time with your parents as well as grow up in a normal and healthy environment. Unlike the situation in Poland where for a couple of years shelves were empty, stores had everything gray and inviting until the time where all of a sudden everything appeared in Pewex stores, from cosmetics to plush colourful clothes, electronics and appliences that were available to sculpt the first trends and designs of polish homes.
Rock and Roll has strangely become my way of living, the lyrics, the beats and vibes as well as the style that it represents has something to do with a need to express and speak thru music. Where music from places, ethnic, electronic, techno have been such a strong connection and influence. Now when I hear it I judge it, how soulless for a lack of a better word is this, how could I have been hearing this for so long? And suddenly the revelation, rock and roll. The voice and guitar beat and grunge that life represents. So appropriate here and now.
One night watching endlessly thru YouTube videos, I came across music competition auditions where Steven Tyler, the lead singer from Aerosmith was the judge. The link led me to an acoustic version of the seventies hit "Dream On" sung by Steven Tyler. I was sucked in by the sound, the greatness of it, replaying it over and over. Finding the concert versions of Aerosmiths' music work aver the last 45 years. I was probably watching the video all night, looking at the clock showing between 6 and 7 am.
Later that day I was reading about Steven Tyler's life, what was the most surprising was his birthdate. He just turned 68 years old the previous night of 26.03.2016. It was just as if he has called me from the far to connect and channel his art thru me. Never have I been a real groupie, I am a dive and a headliner so that you catch my drift, nor extra fan of rock and roll and these kinds bands. That night I became one. Discovered the hidden rocker within me.
Fast turn of events, watching and listening Aerosmith leads for the following two months Joe Perry play his genius electric guitars and Steven Tyler sing incredibly made me finally reach for my moms old electric guitar that was in the family since her childhood. I finally put my hands on a limited version guitar Herrnsdorf Universa from 1953, a small neck, 6 string guitar, flat gold top. Initially made to be a lap steel, that John Corabi later signed in winter of 2019. In twenty or thirty years laughing I will master the instrument to rock out on the stage as well. The moment I bought my first guitar not counting the one I already had, I knew I was hooked.
However much my finger tips were hurting from practicing all of the chords on the fret boards, it was an inner instinct I knew I had to follow. Before that I knew absolutely nothing about guitar, nor did I really care what does a Stratocaster and Telecaster differ from a Les Paul and here I am bidding guitars on auctions to my greatest satisfaction.
It gave such a rush. The first auction I did online was a supposingly original Gibson Les Paul manufactured in USA, with a serial number and everything. Minutes into the end of the bidding all hell broke loose, I was nervous, kicking and refreshing the page like a mad man, just to make sure my offer was the highest at the minute in not second. I was sweating and was hoping it ends soon with me purchasing the guitar I fell in love with visually as the first one from the price range I could afford. Unfortunately last second someone overbid me more then 1/3 more from the price was being bided.
That was my first and last auction, definitely not for me, too much stress and disappointing as well if you don't end up buying what you wanted in the first place.
Parallel to that auction was the other one cherry red Stratocaster Harley Benton S-620 Rock series, with golden appliences. It was brand new and worth some good money between 100-200 british punds I was comparing. I know better now! Don't even get close to that brand. It's one I one, and picket up immediately from the music store the following day. The music place was run by two guys, one ex musician in the sales business's today and a luthier in a ground floor of a house over the river in Warsaw. It was an industrial factory part of the city where a single woman even in broad daylight shouldn't visit without a huge car and firearm to the side. I can't remember the last time I was high on anxiety to get out of there with my Stratocaster under my arm, wrapped in a cardboard box for safety. I really just wanted to be home, with nobody touching me or my guitar, not asking me anything anywhere. The closer I was to home the more the muscles relaxed and tension resolved. I knew I was safe and so was my guitar.
It had a great metallic warm sound to it. I even had to shift my evening plans just to stay in and play it out as loud as I could. The following day her companion shipped in, a metallic blue pseudo Ibanez super strat, half the weight and with a lighter sound to it. And overnight there were three.
Guitars that it.
The beginning of my collection and musical journey. Everything about having hands on them, playing them, feeling the instrument resonate thru the body felt just right. Just as if a long lost part of me that was never explored or discovered floated to the surface as second nature. There was no coming back after this. I was slowly learning about the sound effects that the guitar, amps and pedals could do. To my greatest surprise it was actually all of the pedal possibilities to distort, change, and modulate the guitar sound into a more metal, and hard rock way. It wasn't so much the amplifier itself but the high tech available that did it. Quite overwhelming for a beginner you can imagine.
The sound effects the pedals were creating were very tempting, not only to buy right away but to be able to create with my very own. For sure next on the menu was building up a soundproof room turned to a music studio where all of the instruments, pedals and amps to be along with all music records could be nicely stored and displayed for myself.
But first things first.