The band is called Osaka Flu and the word was “whore.”
(If that didn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will!)
The lead-singer and back-up vocalist had come to me for help. Their band, based here in Arezzo – but, of course, with hopes to make it BIG – plays original tunes in clubs around Tuscany in a style that sounds like a mix between Oasis and Green Day. Their angst-filled lyrics are all in English. But when I first met them, their overly Italian pronunciation was anything but.
“No, no,” I admonished at our first lesson, “the ‘W’ in ‘whore’ is silent. Not like ‘War.’ Just pronounce the ‘H’. Like ‘Hore.’ That’s it. Really punch that breath-sound in the letter ‘H.’ Good.”
Here I was helping a guy put the proper pronunciation on that dreadful misogynistic word. Lovely. My mother would be so proud.
To be fair, the word was part of a metaphor, “You walked out the door, just like a whore….” The girl in question was only being compared to that term; she was not directly referred to as such. And anyway, it’s not like I can pretend that I never listened to my share of way-not-feminist bands in my day like, Guns-N-Roses, Van Halen and Motley Crue. But I digress.
These young men were in earnest. They truly wanted to sing with proper American-rocker like pronunciation. So I helped them.
Every “Leesten” became “Listen.”
Every “Deen’t” became “Didn’t.”
Every “Going to” became “Gonna.”
Every “F**king” became “F**kin’.” You get the idea.
The point here is not to take their choice of lyrics to task, but to demonstrate to you that these guys were dedicated and worked hard. The lead singer can barely carry a conversation in English, but man, he was committed to singing in it.
They came once a week for about an hour. They would sing a song and I would digitally record it. Then I would play it back and point out the mistakes and they would practice it again. And again. And again.
That was two years ago. And they have now begun recording their first original cd – full of the songs that I helped them with. Today, the lead singer picked me up and took me to the recording studio so I could listen to each track and let them know if it passed the grade to my finely tuned American-rocker-girl ears.
They did. They sounded great.
Yes, each song was still filled with sex and drugs – it’s only rock-n-roll after all. But each song also sounded like a real American-style rocker was singing it. Their Italian accents had been successfully silenced.
These guys had a plan, they sought out someone who could help them, and they persevered. It has taken them two years, but they didn’t give up. They stuck to it.
As I listened to their recordings today, I was honestly filled with pride. There wasn’t a hint of ‘W’ in that aforementioned word. Good job, gentlemen.
Til next time, what endeavor are you thinking about undertaking? Will it take a long time? So what! Why not get started now?! Let me know about it!
For more information on how I may help you achieve your goals, reach out to me here – or please visit my website at GinaLondon.com
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