When I was 13 years old, I loved playing the drums. I guess banging on the drums gave me an emotional outlet for a very troubled time in my youth. When you're 13, everything seems to come at you from all directions. The drums helped me cope with being a teenager. One day, I called my friend Rudy on the phone. Rudy loved playing around with his guitar. Neither one of us had ever taken music lessons, but we loved our instruments. "Hey Rudy, why don't you come over? We can play for a while," I suggested. "No problem, man. If it's okay with you, I'll bring my cousin Bobby with me. He plays the bass guitar." I told him that would be great and waited for them to arrive.
Bobby didn't just play the bass, he jammed at it. "You're really rock on that bass, Bobby," I told him. He said he had been playing for years and wanted to form a band. We all looked at each other, and it hit us like a bolt of lightning. "We can do this!" Rudy and I said at the same time. "All we need is a vocalist," I said, to which Bobby chirped, "I can do that, too!" That was the beginning of the best Rock ‘N' Roll band ever – "The Coke Bottles". Of course that was an exaggeration, but it turned out we were pretty good for a bunch of novices.
The three of us began meeting at my place every week to practice playing together and to bounce song ideas off each other. Bobby could actually sing. With Rudy and me putting in all those hours of practice, we got pretty good. We got so good that we played at a couple of parties and at a free Concert in the Park festival about a year later. That was as far as we got though. Rudy joined the Army the following year. Bobby and I were never able to find another lead guitarist, so the greatest Rock ‘N' Roll band "The Coke Bottles" never made it big, but that was okay with me. We had our day in the sun.
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