Today my sister turns about 39. She’s one of the most creative, funny and smart people I’ve ever known. I was thinking about her recently and realized so much of me and my life have been inspired by her. Literally, like a month ago, I realized she influenced me at a very early age with four things that have been part of me forever. Rock and roll, performing, originality, and carpe-ing the diem.
Rock and roll. Poppy is rock and roll per-son-i-fied, like a human stack of Marshall amps with a Keith Moon drum solo. She had a rows of albums on the floor next to our family console record playing-machine. She bought incredible albums, and for a few years, there was a stream of new ones. It seemed like music was always playing.
She bought Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and Cream magazines. She saw most every major rock band from the 60’s and 70’s while she was still in high school. She knew the name of every musician in like, all the bands. Even bass players. She met Pattie Boyd (the subject of Layla). She’s been to Beatles fan conventions, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She took me to my first concert, Eric Clapton. And she exposed me to the music that is some of my very favorite: The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Motown, soul, funk, and on and on.
Performing. My sister could turn into someone else. How cool. Poppy’s performances in musicals were a thrill every fall from when I was ladling. I definitely got the theater bug from her. She had the guts to get up in front of a big auditorium full of people, and sing and act, and put on a great show. She blew us away.
Originality. I’ve met two people named Poppy in my whole life. And I never really thought about it when we were kids, but having a sister with an uncommon name lit something in me: it taught me that originality is cool. It’s okay. It’s okay to stand out, and stand tall, and be different, and not conform, and not be…Mary. (No offense to any Mary anywhere.)
Enjoying life. Doing impersonations. Singing. Going to a concert. Trying to crack someone up. Cranking up the volume. Dancing. Going to another concert. Trivia. Fun. Poppy gets it. We get one shot, so we better “get it while we can.”
Many, many, many of the things that I love in life, things that ARE my life, I realize ripped off from her. I wound up being in a rock band on and off for 25 years, and performed theater stuff for for 30 years, embrace originality, and try to enjoy the hell out my tiny little time on this planet.
Poppy – listen here sis hey: so much thanks. And Happy Birthday. 143