Twenty

“Making of Summer 16”

We were loaded in Josh’s moms car headed back from the lake in Birmingham when vision struck. A kid with a absurd ask to heaven well knocked and got her wish. Our short trip from STL to Nashville down through Birmingham was completed, and the urge to stay on the road was flooding my thoughts. Nashville left me with the impression that getting on a stage was mandatory in the pursuit of finding the purpose of the band. Writing and sharing would answer the question of wether or not the touring world fantasy was even built for us or something we would enjoy.

Durning our visit, we got the advice from a successful producer in town who made it clear that we were never going to get our feet off the ground if we couldn’t define who we were. He instructed us to write songs even if they sucked and sing them for any soul that would lend a listening ear. We were to do the dream not just fantasize about the maybe. We were on the road to being undeniably good, that was the expectation, and we were going to get there no matter what. Looking back I had no idea then that it would take years and a war to capture the flag of who we are and the why that makes it all worth it.

I got off the high of Nashville when the summer winter of Florida allowed the vision set in. All that sat before me was getting shows. I was adamant that we would make it to Cali and back that summer of 16 and we would call it tour. Mady, my beautiful blonde beauty of a friend would listen to me talk day in and day out about what I planned to do with the zero resources we had that were needed to tour the freaking country. This winter were the days of homemade breakfasts and siesta key sunsets. Rooftop garage singin, and downtown exploring. Money wasn’t a concern even though we were broke kids and fancy coffee was the new addiction. The sun didn’t abandon like I was used to those winter months, and I was living out what I now recall as the Golden days. I would wake up on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and every late night hour at the Starbucks that welcomed my pivotal ah ha moments. With my Walgreens calendar we planned a 10,000 mile dream come true. I listed the stops and began the race to figure it all out before the clocked ticked down to May 26th. Send off.

We learned in the making of this fantasy that we were surrounded with those who wanted us to dream, we had a city rallying for us. Their love of the music was significant and led to the motivation that these extreme goals were tangible. Now how would this idea make it off the ground? We had no money, no trailer for the sound system, and no car. What we did have was enough though, that being our amateur beautiful songs and a handful of unexplainable miracles.

These songs were our secret weapon and the fuel for our ambitions. Alan was working day in and day out to complete that first E.P. that would pay for our expenses. He was the champion of the crusade. Josh and I found ourselves in Alan's garage bedroom cris cross applesauce on the floor aiding the creations with vocal hooks and verbed out harmonies. I sent about 300 emails from my 2004 iMac that contained mis spellings and poor grammar but somehow, someway people were responding. Our rough demos caught their attention and the tour was actually developing. I booked 14 shows with camp stops and living room floors to crash on. I did it, I planned a tour, but how the hell would we sing at a fest in Colorado if we had no wheels. The oh shit thoughts started to sink and rob the excitement. Why would God let me crash and burn? I cried like a baby from the park bench on the river walk realizing maybe it wasn’t in the cards. That was until a check of grand, a donated Yucon, and concert ringing in 3,000 dollars bombarded the scene.

It makes sense looking back that these were miracles that don't happen every day. We were living in the good times, the setting sun colors and shooting stars that year of twenty proved this. We had a practice space in a white walled kind cabin, and time. We were undeniably blessed and equipped to succeed. The boys and I had the freedom to go where ever we choose and the permission to fail. I look back and see just how confident in my desires I actually was. These days I try to tap into my once limitless spirit, it was beauty and one worth sharing. The making of summer 16 will always be one of my greatest accomplishments. It woke up an awareness that I am capable and worth the product of hard work.

So I leave you with this. Ask heaven for the impossible and have vision for something massive enough to regard you as a fool. My foolish wish shown to promote the colors I strived to see. So try it sometime it’ll spark a comical how the hell memory, who doesn’t want to feel that when they look back at you’re steps.

Brooke Bonderer