The Laser Queen Chapter
No doubt it was my most embarrassing stunt. Thankfully it was before the Internet, YouTube, or Facebook. Just a few people remember, and only my husband, the dutiful historian, recorded it. I was Laser Queen. There. I admit it. Perhaps now I can bring some “closure” to this chapter in my story.
As musicians, banking on success in the music industry, Thom and I had been faithful to our dream. While we were young and poor, we tried breaking into the exclusive Top 40 music world controlled by a few Los Angeles executives. After we had exhausted our options, we tried farming instead. Crazy kids we were.
Never really giving up, we recorded tacky little jingles for local radio stations in a converted music studio in our trailer home. True musicians know that the dream doesn't end. After a long day in the fields, we’d practice our old songs, and occasionally write a new one. But our music didn’t fit the trend. This was the early-eighties. Think disco.
However, the music industry was changing and fast. MTV arrived. And something brand new emerged—laser discs—these were the first generation CDs. Thom, ever the hype-man, approached the most popular rock station in the Tri-Cities with the concept of Laser Queen—a royal visitor from a distant galaxy that already had this mind-boggling laser technology.
We produced daily radio “appearances” with Laser Queen. The banter between the DJ and Laser Queen caught on with the radio audience. Soon there were requests for live appearances. Suddenly Laser Queen needed to become real. I dressed like some galactic queen with space age make-up. Having my voice on the radio was one thing, but having people stare at me made me feel conspicuously lame.
|Laser Queen drawings by Roy Pettus|
Celebrity status? In a convoluted way. With each appearance, I crawled further inside myself. This wasn’t me. I had a toddler at home. We raised strawberries. I couldn't see how this was helping our music career. Well, like I mentioned, the music industry was rapidly changing, and radio stations were too. The rock station shifted to country music, Laser Queen returned to her galaxy and everyone forgot about her. And I buried those memories—deep.
You won’t find any Laser Queen pictures in the family photo albums. I’m embarrassed that I scraped bottom to elevate a dream. Since then I’ve learned about timing, patience, and trusting that when a door is closed there is a good reason. Moral of the story? Work hard. Believe. Wait for God. Then there won’t be a need to be a Laser Queen. Lesson learned....I hope.