Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Earliest Origins of Graymatter

A Completely True Story by Dave Gude

Once upon a time there was a boy who saw The Sound of Music and thought, "That is exactly what I want—to be part of a singing family, just like Maria and the von Trapp Family Singers. How grand that will be, tripping through yellow flowers and singing to the mountain tops!"

Photo from the 20th Century Fox film, The Sound of Music, 1965

But lo, the boy was not born into a singing family. It was true that his mother liked to sing, but all her notes came out somewhat deflated, like sad tires. His father liked to sing also, but his bass notes were so low that only hippos could hear them. His sister liked to sing, but only along with her Monkee’s albums behind closed doors in her room. So the boy had no one to sing with. He could only dream of being part of a singing family.

One year in high school the boy learned to play 3 slightly odd chords on a guitar, and because of this achievement, had an opportunity to meet a girl who also played guitar. However, she knew all the chords, and sang like an angel.

A year went by and the boy and girl began to go on dates. Things were going pretty well for the boy, what with having a girlfriend and everything, but all the time the boy was wishing he was part of a singing family, gathered in a close circle and blending their voices together.

Photo from the 20th Century Fox film, The Sound of Music, 1965

One day, to his surprise and delight, the girl casually said to the boy, “Come and meet my singing family.”

“What, you have a singing family??” said the boy. “Get out of here!”

“Oh yes, we all play and sing together every day.” said the girl calmly, as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world.

So the boy came to dinner at the girl’s house. Sure enough, after dinner, the dad and mom and 5 children cleared away the plates and everyone grabbed guitars and ukuleles and pairs of drumsticks to pound on the dining room table and suddenly a great whooshing of harmonies rose up in the room and filled the boy with delirious wonderment.

That boy was me, Dave, and that girl with the voice of an angel was Bev, and that singing family was the Grays, including younger brothers Barry and Brad. This really happened, circa 1974, and that is the completely true story of the earliest origins of our band, Graymatter.

And now you know.

Photo from Graymatter's session for the "Cloud 9" video, 2015, videographer: Bev Gray Gude