Motown, snowtown, mistletoetown
Many warm memories of heady holidays and greatest gifts
Published: December 19, 2012
Regardless of whether a Detroit muso plays jazz, death metal or anything between, the holidays in December have a way of bringing out the best in people. We might all complain about consumerism, the way Christmas lights seem to emerge earlier every year, and the shitty sweaters we receive, but there's something about the music, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg and, yes, the presents that makes the hardest heart melt.
With that in mind, we spoke to a bunch of our local musicians to ask what gets their egg noggy, their red noses shiny and their bellies shaking like a bowl full of jelly.
Jeremy Porter (& the Tucos)
One of my favorite holiday memories was Christmas dinner with my wife at the iHop Miami airport a few years back. We were traveling over the holiday and had grandiose plans to find something traditional and maybe a bit romantic, but the iHop beckoned, with its fluorescent glow and maple aroma. Best damn fried egg and ham sandwich I ever had. No regrets.
Don "Doop" Duprie
When I was a kid, my dad rode bikes, so he bought me a '70s Honda 80 dirt bike to learn how to ride on. He later sold it to a guy in our neighborhood. About five years ago I came back from Nashville right before Christmas and the same exact bike was sitting in my living room, totally restored. He saw the guy he sold it to one day at the gas station and bought it back from him and did all that for me. Nothing can compare to that.
I still have a teddy bear I got from Santa when I was 5. It's flat as a pancake now, but it will always be Christmas morning and so many other things to me. It has kept a lot of secrets, carried many innocent and carefree memories, and a lot of tears have fallen on it. For Christmas [this year], I would like a good monitor mix, preferably on a beach somewhere in Central America on New Year's Eve, and to be able to write.
X-mas is my favorite time of year, by far. I guess my favorite memory would be the usual Christmas carols around the organ, which my dad played, real festive. I still can't hear "Silent Night" without crying. My best gift by far was my first bongos at age 7. For me though, it is never about the gifts I get, but the gifts I give.
Kate Hinote (The Blueflowers)
I've always loved the holiday season and miss the excitement of it as a kid. This year I'm looking forward to experiencing Christmas as a new parent, and, although in the past I have scoffed at the piles of presents kids get, I'm excited for my kid to be on the receiving end of it.
Liz Girard (Shotgun Soul)
My favorite Christmas gift was last year, when my boyfriend got us tickets to see Wicked at the Detroit Opera House. I'm a huge theater nerd so it was perfect for me, and it was an amazing performance. This year, I'm hoping to get a really cute teapot. I like tea a lot.
My greatest Christmas memory would have to be when I was a really young ... I can't remember the exact year, but I just remember wanting a Gameboy ... badly. Well, my mom got me everything but a Gameboy and I just remember being over a family member's house and telling them that I didn't get my Gameboy. So that family member [an adult] suggested that "maybe Santa made a mistake and dropped it, so you should check the fireplace-chimney to see if it fell in there." I brushed it off at the time, but when I got home I checked the fireplace and there it was. I was tripping out on multiple levels off of that! "Santa" probably never felt more real. LOL! Good times.
Eric Abbey (1592)
One of my greatest holiday memories is playing carols on my trumpet as a kid on my grandparents' porch. This year, I am hoping for the people in power to get the courage to stop making things personal. This is destroying our way of life. Not mine or yours, but ours.
Asia Mock (Pretty Ghouls)
My greatest Christmas holiday memory involves a piece of candy (a peppermint to be exact), a living room full of family members and a seemingly harmless game of charades. I must have been about 5 or 6 years old. The family was playing the game in the living room; I was being blatantly disobedient toward my mother by leaving the living room and winding up in the kitchen looking for the candy she didn't want me to have. Lo and behold ... a bowl of mints. You can probably figure out the rest. Candy, hands, mouth, throat, annnnnd now I'm choking. I make my way to the living room with my hand around my own throat (clearly choking). Surprisingly it took my family about four guesses before they realized that a) I was choking and b) I was serious.
Unwrapping all the ornaments one by one from a very large Christmas box is equally as exciting as unwrapping presents. When I finally get to my favorite one, a (boy in a snow globe), I know it's Christmas.
Eddie Baranek (The Sights)
My favorite Christmas holiday is about five to seven years ago when my father asked me to work with him Christmas morning. He owns a landscaping and snow removal company, and he told me we'd get a big snowfall Christmas morning — and would I work? It was cool as hell to be plowing houses with my dad throughout the night and as the sun was coming up. We'd be pulling into a large house in the Grosse Pointes, and we could see little Timmy through the bay window of each home, opening up his presents. It was eerie and funny; I can't quite put my finger on the feeling. My dad told me later on that that was the best present I could have ever given him. I was proud to be his son that day.
> Email Brett Callwood