Christine D. Beatty: High & Lows

Resentful at the world for being denied my surgery, I threw myself into music and writing. Relearning guitar left-handed was frustrating but I wanted to play and sing in front of people, so I forced myself. When I wasn't working on my memoir or penning articles for local publications, I wrote a small book of short stories and poetry: Misery Loves Company.

In March of 1993 I emceed a fundraiser for C.O.Y.O.T.E. and opened the show playing and singing. Three months later I emceed another benefit, playing and reading from Misery. Soon after this I began collaborating with a truly incredible female guitarist; within months she and I laid the plans for a rock band named after my publishing company—Glamazon.

Rynata and I spent 1994 songwriting, recording a demo, gearing up and auditioning musicians. We debuted with a full band in February of 1995 to a packed house. After many gigs we went into the studio in December to start recording our CD. I hadn't been clean and sober since early 1993, but by this point I was only drinking—albeit quite a bit.

As high as I was from living out my dream of playing and recording in a band, I was entering alcoholism territory. I fueled my studio sessions with vodka. My immune system broke down; technically I had AIDS. A new HIV treatment saved me, but I still couldn't stay sober. I was drunk for the fashionable Hooker's Ball after vowing not to drink at all..

From my 2011 memoir:
"As 1996 drew to a close, the holidays proved a foul replay of the same drunken spree of the last four Decembers. After a skull-splitting Christmas morning hangover I resolved that I really would turn over a new leaf after New Year's Eve." It took until March 1st, 1997 for me to slump into an NA meeting and raise my hand. My dear friend Carmel Sanger was murdered five days later, but somehow I held onto my sobriety despite this perfect excuse to drink.

In 1998 the dying Bay Area rock scene led us to explore Los Angeles. The next year we prepared to move there. I had been steadily promoted in my computer job, and the company agreed to let me work remotely. Come October we loaded up a U-Haul with our home and studio and moved to North Hollywood. We debuted as a new LA band in January.

In early 2000 the LA rock scene loved the novelty of Glamazon as much as we loved Los Angeles. For a few months we were Flavor of the Week. Yes the southland had hundreds of more rock venues than the Bay Area, but it also had thousands of more bands competing for bookings... including us. In June I was recognized for my transgender activism, but we struggled as a band. We began recording new songs and kept plugging.

By mid-2001 I started losing faith our band would ever truly succeed. Our final hope was our #1 song at major label competition: Farmclub. About that time my job was put in peril—my division was being sold off. I hadn't looked for a job in twelve years and never as Christine! Farmclub suddenly terminated the competition, and six months later we disbanded. To my huge relief, my division's parent corporation liked my work and transfered me to a new division. At least my job was safe!


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� Christine D.Beatty
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