Categories > Celebrities > Good Charlotte > Bender


by basementsong 0 reviews

Jesy introduces herself, her band, and the beginning of her journey.

Category: Good Charlotte - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2009-06-06 - Updated: 2009-06-18 - 2787 words

Chapter One

"Frustrated with what's going on, I feel lost, I don't feel right!" One of my best friends, Nikki and I sang along to Mest's "Opinions" at the top of our lungs from the side of the stage. I had no idea how I remembered those lyrics, since it had been years since I last listened to Mest. We were both tired and sweaty as hell, yet we managed to pull energy out from somewhere as we watched Mest play that first night. Joel of Good Charlotte stood near by us, grinning and laughing at our teenage spirit. Nikki and I jumped around the entire song; we were young and having fun, and right now we were living out our dream. Well, sort of. Almost. Mostly there. We couldn't have cared less what we looked like to others right then.

The song ended, and we both laughed and collapsed against the wall offstage.

"Oh my God," Nikki sputtered out, "this is the life!"

I nodded silently, out of breath and sunk to the floor for some rest. Nikki plopped down next to me a second later. "Let's do this every day for the few months," she said and I
laughed at her.

"Don't be stupid," I told her, "we are."

Maybe I should explain who I am. My name is Jesy. I come from a family of four, with a mother, father and an older sister. Sound typical, doesn't it? I guess it really is. I'm 17, and I'm a senior in high school. Except right now I'm not exactly in my high school, but I still am. I'll get to that later, though. It's March 2005 and things are rolling along right on in my life.

As I said, Nikki is one of my best friends. I say one of because I have so many friends that are so close to me and I'm so incredibly lucky for that. For example, there's also Dahlia, who is still back at home finishing off legit high school without me. She is my total opposite pretty much, but we've boded over so much and we've gotten so close all through high school.

Okay okay, but I tangent too much sometimes so let me get back on track.

Before I get too much further, I should tell you why I am here. Why you are hearing this story. I am 17, yes, and still in high school for the next few months, but after releasing numerous EPs on our own and with the help of our friends in our own local scene, my band has signed a record deal. We've let out one EP with our label and our first full-length comes out this summer. And since you're hearing this story, I'm going to assume you appreciate music and live shows and the scene. And so I'm sure you understand that a good way to promote your new CD is by heading out on tour. And so here I am. On tour. 17 and on a nationwide tour to promote my band's upcoming album. Living the dream.

Actually, almost fully living the dream. See, the thing is, when I was a kid (kid, ha, this actually means when I was like 13 and 14) I used to love bands like Good Charlotte, Mest, New Found Glory, Midtown, and The Movielife. Loved them back in the day, though by now The Movielife has broken up and I still love Midtown, but the others... well, yeah, the others. Not so much. Mest I just kind of fell off the track with. With New Found Glory, my ears just stopped being able to handle Jordan's voice. And Good Charlotte? They kind of broke my heart as I watched them sell out following The Young and the Hopeless. But I've moved on to other things since then, so whatever.

Except we are on tour with them. Right now. Good Charlotte, and Mest. Just the two of them and us. Don't ask me how because I just have no clue, none of us do, but we are on tour with them. So here I am, pretty much living the dream of crossing the country and playing shows just about every night... except in support of a headlining act I don't like and a fan base I can't stand. So there you have it; living the dream, but sort of not.

I guess the next logical thing to do would be to tell you about my band.

We're a four person group from outside Philadelphia. We all came together through a common love of the same type of music - before meeting at shows, none of us ever knew one another, but through this desire and drive to do the band thing, we've become great friends. The easiest way for me to tell you about all this would be to just dive on into my experiences with it, so here goes.

I met Nikki online. Yes, yes, you heard me, ON THE INTERNET. Way super back when I was in eighth grade, Nikki and I both ran websites that were hosted on the same domain. (Yes, I do know that makes us nerds.) On that domain, there was a group blog with everyone on the domain, so Nikki and I first interacted through that, and then we branched out on to AIM as well. So, one day in the blog, Nikki posts and entry, she needs help with ordering tickets from Ticketmaster since she never has before. I smile and laugh a bit at her and then send her an IM. Nikki, I tell her, I've got you covered, and ran her through buying tickets.

We knew we lived in the same general area- suburban Philadelphia, represent- but we didn't get to meet until we were sophomores in high school. We planned to meet at a show on South Street in Philadelphia in October that was Yellowcard, The Eyeliners and some other bands I can't remember, I don't think we were very attentive to any of the other bands besides the aforementioned. Nikki and I really hit it off in person, too, and started going to more shows together. Due to I guess some weird fortune/bizarre happening/weird stroke of luck, Nikki informed me that she was moving over winter break-- not only moving, but into my general area. She stayed with her old school, which was a private school, she was just closer to it now and didn't have to fork over train fare two ways everyday to get there and back. Nikki and I became even closer after that. Nikki had picked up playing various percussion instruments in like the fourth grade or so at school; from there out playing the drums was easily one of her biggest loves in life. As for me, I somehow managed to get my hands on a guitar and bootleg guidelines on the Internet and started teaching myself how to play.

From there, we stumbled upon Damon. Then it just only made sense for us to stumble upon Nathan, because as Nikki and I are for the most part one entity in this band, well, so are Nathan and Damon. Nikki and I met Damon at a concert, still during our sophomore year. I guess awesome people attract other awesome people. I think we all met at an Allister show, but between the three of us there's a lot of bickering and general confusion as to just what show we met at. Sometimes we think it's Brand New, and Damon will swear up and down that it was The Starting Line. Right now I think it was an Allister show, but I could be wrong.

Actually, back up a bit, we didn't just happen upon Damon at a show, I have to admit, this was another Internet to concert deal, but it's 100% on Nikki this time. Damon posted something on a message board somewhere that she saw and replied to and they both thought all three of us should meet somewhere and it all worked out nicely that we were all going to be at this show anyway, so that's how it went. Nathan couldn't make that first meeting.

We met up with Damon pretty much because he seemed cool, fun, and played the guitar. Nikki and I connected strongest on music at first and talked about having a band one day. Since I wasn't good enough at guitar yet to do much of anything, we didn't go too far. I knew I could pull off the keyboard as well because my mother had both my sister and I learn the piano as kids, and I still retained most of those skills, but neither Nikki or I could think of anyone we could pull in to this band schemed from our peers at school.

Damon, however, and his "best bud" Nathan were in the same situation. And of course, lucky for us, Nathan was something else on bass guitar. No, no, really, this is not me and my stupid humor, Nathan's an amazing bassist. Nikki just so happened to be a drummer, and me, yeah, I do the whole guitar thing as well. In a nutshell, Damon is a pretty awesome guy, Nikki is a super focused musician and can kick any guy's ass on a drum kit, Nathan is off the walls half the time and a great bassist. I play guitar and keyboards and am 50-50 on loud and quiet.

And then so we all came together. Nikki and Damon and I could just feel we had something going when we first met. We were all still sophomores, and fortunately we all lived in neighboring areas outside Philadelphia. For the four of us, the next thing that felt natural to do was to start getting together and making music, and when we weren't doing that, going to as many live shows ever possible. We kept our heads down and by the end of our sophomore year we sounded pretty damn good together. We made some great leaps and bounds that summer and we churned out a few EPs. We played with The Starting Line, some hometown heroes, and toured with Allister out to the Midwest the summer after our junior year before getting picked up for a record deal with I Surrender. We're called Durden, and yes we did rip Chuck Palahinuk/Fight Club off, and yes, we all read the book before we saw the movie.

I guess the next thing you may or may not be wondering is what we look like. Either way, here's as close to eye candy as you'll get of the four of us.

Damon does the short hair thing in dark brown. He weighs in at something average and is roughly 5'8". Damon has been playing guitar for nearly his whole life and played with a bunch of people in a variety of band/groups, but nothing too serious, until the wonderful Durden. He's not super scrawny, he's not built... I guess he's just average. Toned though, for sure, and I can't believe I'm starting to describe my band mates like this, it's cracking me up. Okay, so maybe he's a bit more muscular than average, he's still not a body builder, but it's not like, obviously toned and gross, he just looks... natural? I guess that works.

Nathan looks like a surfer. Then again, his parents are from Australia, so I guess it works out somehow if I'm not being completely stereotypical here. Kind of but not really lanky, he's also around 5'8", floppy blond hair, blue eyes, oh-so-dreamy if you're into the listening to bands for their "hot" members deal. Nathan, who we usually call Nate, lacks the awesome accent that both his parents have, which sometimes I think to myself is a bit of a bummer because I do like Australian accents a lot. Oh, and yeah, I guess I should add that Nathan does surf.

Nikki comes in at 5'6". I must be obsessed by height, seeing as I've covered everyone's so far. Nikki came born with dirty blond hair that is just awesome. I love it. She's got an athletic build and looks good in everything. I say that in an "oh-wow-my-friend-looks-so-good-in-everything" way. It's the truth. Nikki, as I mentioned, goes to a private school that has an amazing music program. Even though she doesn't like the school much, this is why she continues to go there - no public school in the area even comes close to rivaling hers in the music department and it's the most important thing to Nikki.

Lastly, yours truly.

I rank in the shortest; 5'4" and proud. I've got brown hair, but I've dyed it oh... red, red again, blue that turned my hair gray thank God it washed out, pink twice, reddish brown, then reddish brown again, then blond highlights that wouldn't fade like they were supposed to after 2 months, then a different reddish brown, a darker reddish brown, and then just plain old dark brown which is where I am now. I am one lean, mean almost 18 legal adult voting machine!

But yeah! Durden is on tour, we're excited. We don't know why we were picked for this tour, we don't know how the hell we got on it, (can we say "unsigned by any major/well known label band"?) we're just thankful as hell someone spotted us for a tour bus. So here we are, out on the road with Good Charlotte and Mest (CDs you won't find in any of our four CD collections... anymore). I can't say that this is the best lineup ever as far as my tastes in music now goes, but so far, all the guys have been polite to us. We haven't gotten to know anyone well yet, it's only the first night. Normally, right now, I'd be doing homework, but as I'm not and am getting out of the daily monotony of class five days a week in favor of traveling the country, playing shows, and getting tutored, I don't really care who I'm touring with. I'm just glad to be out here.

Oh, and by the way, somehow and I have no idea how (thank God for parents and school administrators for four kids and three different schools for setting this whole thing up) we have a tutor who is basically giving us all the same courses to crash-course the four of us through the rest of high school. Our tutor's name is Leah. She's from New Zealand and is pretty cool, at least I think she is. We've only known her for about three days, so it's hard to tell, but I love her accent.

And speak of the devil, here comes Leah now.

"Girls, let's go. You and the boys need to get some work done."

Both Nikki and I give Leah a devastated look.

"But Leah... Mest's on!" Nikki pleased.

Leah rolled her eyes. "You'll have months to see them perform the same set, girls, now let's go. The boys have already started on their work." Reluctantly, Nikki and I follow Leah off the side of the stage and to the backstage area into a room where "the boys", as Leah called them were.

"Leah, say 'the boys', again. It sounds so funny when you say that," I hoped Leah would say "the boys" again. Honestly, with her New Zealand accent, it did sound really cute.

"Maybe later," Leah said, setting two math books down on the table that Damon and Nate were already sitting at. "It's time for math, girls. Chop chop."

I groaned as I sat down. "I hate math," I grumbled as I opened the book. I had a habit of book marking all my schoolbooks with guitar pics, so it opened to the last page I had worked on. "What are we working on now?"

"Page 310," Nate told me. "Two to thirty four even."

"Why the evens," I grumbled. "You can check the odds in the back, but the evens don't have answers there..."

I attempted to start my math work. Leah was helping Damon, who looked sort of tired. After trying problem number eight so many times that I had filled up three sheets of paper with work, I threw my pencil down. "Damn trigonometry," I said. Leah glared at me, and I grinned innocently.

"What?" Damon looked at me, simply rolling his eyes.

Jaded high school senior Jesy and her band our out on tour with Good Charlotte and Mest in the spring of 2005. Only problem is, Jesy can't stand either, but on the way she learns more about life, love, music and the industry than she could have in the classroom.
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