It all started with Dungeons and Dragons, many, many years ago. That lead to other games, and perhaps the tipping point into Steampunk was the Castle Falkenstein RPG. (or perhaps Lace & Steel before that, but Falkenstein was the big one) It stoked my interest in cinematic role-play, and of course, steampunk.
That lead me to Caledon, and on to Babbage. This has stoked the fire for years, with the creativity and warmth of the residents. I love this town! At some point, I stumbled across the excellent “Cup of Brown Joy” video by MC Elemental…my appreciation for this lead someone to point out “Hip Hop History” video by Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer.
Now the instrument Mr B plays was something I hadn’t seen before, or perhaps I had and mistook it for a banjo. But he quite clearly called it a “banjolele”. I found it’s size silly and it’s tone harsh and plinky. I thought it was great. :) I looked it up on the internet, and thought whoever decided to merge a banjo and a ukulele was brilliantly demented, and filed the info away with the rest of the useless trivia in a dusty corner of my brain.
Ah, but then, circumstances in RL led to me moving halfway across the country, and settling into Chicago. I found an apartment, and mere days after I moved in, a mailer arrived from a nearby music school (the Old Town School of Folk Music). This promptly gathered dust on the counter for a week or two, until one day, taking a break from unpacking, I flipped through it, and there were ukulele lessons. Suddenly I had flashbacks to the banjolele, which was pretty much played like a ukulele.
Realize, that my previous musical experience was a good three decades ago, and involved beating on a bass drum in 4/4 time for a drum & bugle corps. But, in a fit of insanity, I called the place up and signed up for the ukulele lessons.
I have now had my first lesson this past weekend, with a happy hawaiian lady, teaching us the very, very, very basics. I had a blast. So much so, that I decided that I would buy a nicer ukulele than the cheap one I started with. Then expanding on my madness….I ordered up a banjolele.
I have had one lesson. I have spent hundreds of dollars on three instruments.
The neighbors will hate me…
I blame Dungeons & Dragons.