Written by Nathan Colucci (The BallRoom Babies)
It all started in the backseat of my dad’s two-door, 1994 Ford Escort. It was painted a bright neon green, so you could find it anywhere in a huge parking lot. For a little car, this thing had some major pep. Best of all, it had a stereo that you could crank all day. My dad would get my brothers and me in the car for long drive and blast music the entire time…
Fly By Night (Rush), Relayer (Yes), Machine Head (Deep Purple), Shinin’ On (Grand Funk Railroad). These were a few of the many records that we would listen to in the car. This is where my introduction to music took place.
For as long as I can remember, my brother Steve was obsessed with music. Some of my earliest memories are of him building his own guitar out of a tissue box, paper towel rolls and a few elastic bands. My parents got him his first real guitar as a Christmas gift, and he played it non-stop. By the time he was in high school, he was teaching students to play guitar on the weekends. They were usually just a few years younger than him. Around the same time, my parents got my brother Mike a drum kit. He was always parked behind that thing wearing headphones and playing along to Rush, Yes and Deep Purple. When I was 9-yrs old, my dad bought me my first bass, and just like that, we had a little rock and roll trio. Playing the bass had never even crossed my mind before then.
I started taking lessons, practicing and eventually playing in a band with my brothers. Learning my instrument and making music with my brothers was inseparable. We would rehearse in the basement trying to emulate our favourite artists, and I have to say, for a bunch of young kids, we were damn good! We wrote our own music, and set out to conquer the world under the name White Dove.
For the next five years, we were on and off with the band. We gigged wherever we could, and practiced together constantly. We had a little rehearsal space set up in our basement. If we weren’t in school or at music lessons, we were down in the basement practicing. We invited various singers to front the band. We even had a Van Halen cover act going for a while. Neither of the front men worked out, and so we realized that we had to learn how to sing.
By the time I was in high school, we had stopped playing together, and had started playing in separate bands. The time away from my brothers was really huge for me. I started listening to a bunch of new music and finding my own kind of sound. I was listening to more modern bands like The Mars Volta, Protest The Hero, Sydney, Of Montreal, Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Lifestory: Monologue and Five Blank Pages. These bands had a huge impact on me and creep into my writing style to this day.
Around that same time Mike and Steve joined a more established rock group and did some Canadian touring. Towards the end of high school, the three of us eventually started jamming together again. It just kind of felt right, so we started the band up again. The biggest change this time was that we were doing all of the singing. We weren’t very good at it, so we decided to take singing lessons, and practiced learning more Beatles songs than I care to list.
Singing was an absolute nightmare for me. Nothing about it came naturally, and I could barely get through a tune without getting terribly off key. I smoked back then, and that made it even more difficult. But I worked my ass off, and eventually got the hang of it. We learnt a lot of classic rock covers (just shy of 300), and started writing our own tunes again.
Before I knew it, we were about to start gigging, so we needed a name. I was trying to think of something that would stick in someone’s head after a night of loud music and drinking. And so, The BallRoom Babies began.
Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of “My Rock and Roll Journey,” where the story of three rock and roll brothers continues…