South Bend, Indiana--What was his fucking name? Wilbur? Fred? Terry? Chuck? Kilroy? George? I can't remember his goddamned name, so George it is. Anyway, he was our band instructor, our music teacher at John Adams High School in the 1980s, and, as he told us at least seven times in one year, he was "Lisa Germano's dad." I'm probably going to get whacked for this if John Mellencamp becomes a senator, but what the hell? It's not especially damning of him, just Mr. Germano and Indiana, and hardly even that.
So, anyway, I can barely remember anything about Mr. Germano's class, but he was a really nice man, I liked him, and he rose above the pack of Jackapes I had to dodge every day. But that's all he could talk about sometimes: "My daughter Lisa is playing violin for John Cougar Mellencamp [he was still called this at the time], bow before her icon, yadda-yadda-yadda, blah-blah-blah," like it was Shintoism, worshiping the people who came before us, except for no particular purpose. OK, there was one. He got to say his daughter was famous and that he was proud of her, which is fine, it's cool, solid. He should have been.
But why, then, is that all I can remember from his class, says I-and-I? Babylon soon come, but this one still has me vexed. True, I never liked reading sheet music, and that's what he taught, so once again, I was fucked. Math has never been my strong point, regardless of its context. I have to imagine that in-between my naps in his classroom, Mr. Germano had to have said something about his daughter Lisa at least seven times, no less, and probably a lot more were I able to recall how many doo-doos I had that week. But alas, I'm not autistic...or at least I don't think so. Consider (not the lillies, that's for another time class) that he was telling all of his classes this shit every class.
My opinion, though, over the years is that he--Mr. Germano--didn't especially care about the quality of the music Lisa was playing (which was very competent on her end) but that she was "famous," that coveted status that means everything outside of the ideals of humanism and the good deeds of St. Francis. It's a queer attitude that I don't relate to and didn't back then around 1983. Let's be honest though: she could have sleptwalked through the simple parts she had to play for her "boss." She was classically trained and could play circles around that shit, get real. For a time, she was working in a bookstore in Indy during the 90s! Mellencamp didn't want to do anything, her 4AD (Pixies, Cocteau Twins home label) record deal didn't go the way she might have hoped it would, and she had a shitty job like me--what the fuck! That's showbusiness, as they say, whoever the fuck "they" are.
Non-sequitur time: It might seem like a great idea to have someone famous whom one likes and feels holds and reflects the same values, but that's not the thing in practice. I'm sure Mellencamp is a great guy, and I've heard good things about him. Does that mean he'd be a great senator? No. But really, I hope she's doing well. I assume Mr. Germano has passed away, I don't know. He was a nice man in a crappy school, and I think he followed us from Edison Middle School, but again, I don't remember it all, or what I had for lunch on February 13th, 1979. I know, what an asshole...