I grew-up during the Mayor Meyera Oberndorf era or should I say epoch. She was a sweet little woman of 5 feet and the city's favorite Jewish mother; no disrespect to the venue, The Jewish Mother. The economy was strong in America and no one in the city could be bothered to ride a public bus. The lightrail was voted down by the people and MTV still played Total Request Live pop, rock and Rap City music videos. I watched a lot of pop, rock and rap videos on MTV. Everyone I knew at Salem High School had their own car or at least had access to their parent's auto. Our lil' group was either riding in a red Ford pickup truck or beige Infinity when we rolled through the streets of Hampton Roads.
I graduated at age seventeen, but for some strange reason I never got my license until I was 18. I made-up for lost time by driving every single place I went to for the next 10 years and never walked anywhere. My first car was a rare Oldsmobile coup that lasted 5 years, paid off in three. My second car was an emerald green, sports car with white racing stripes and a spoiler. My friends and I took roadtrips almost every weekend during the college years. We visited Virginia State University when one of my boys was dating a girl there. I and my best friend went to a wrestling camp in the Appalachian Mountains when he wanted to become a wrestler in a minor league. We hung out down at the VB oceanfront at places like the teen club/arcade, Club Zoids, before The Dome was demolished and ran out of gas on Atlantic Avenue together too.
My high school experience consisted of lots of time practicing classical trumpet in concert band, marching band rehearsals; concert and marching band competition performances around the state of Virginia. "The Band" got awarded in Lynchburg with the top trophy for our classical music excellence. When I could squeeze it in, I went to classes. Being late for 1st bell (period) was a usual occurrence and my grades suffered from lack of student participation syndrome which my earlier self who made honor roll 25 plus times would have found difficult to recognize. I also performed and recorded some songs with an intelligent style rap group, but I didn't have any production credits - I just wrote lyrics and did vocals. We performed in Norfolk at NSU and some local clubs on Granby Street that are long dead and gone. We did solo gigs and opened up for national acts like Large Professor and Busta Rhymes.
Timbaland was djing at nightclubs back in those days before he developed his style and got big. Our paths crossed a few times, but we never used any music he had to offer. It was just James Brown samples and we found plenty of local producers who just used samples. At the rip old age of 18, I grew tired of the genre and went out on my own to become an all original alternative rock musician.
I wrote the song that could help to promote my city, but after Mayor Will Sessoms was told about it in late October 2015, it was rejected by the city council to be used as the theme of the city. VB resident, Pharrell Williams' "Happy", had already been chosen in March without the consideration of the people. Here are the lyrics that the people of Virginia Beach never got a chance to consider:
IN VIRGINIA BEACH, YOU CAN Live THE LIFE, WITH SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO, FOR BOTH DAY AND NIGHT, YOU CAN CATCH SOME WAVES, YOU CAN PLAY SOME GOLF, YOU CAN LAY OUT ON THE SAND, AND JUST DRIFT OFF.
IN VIRGINIA BEACH, AND Live THE LIFE, 'CAUSE LIFE'S A BEACH, IN THE SUMMERTIME, SO BRING YOUR FAMILY, FOR A TIME TO SPEND, AND VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS, SO COME AND MAKE A FRIEND.
IN VIRGINIA BEACH, SO Live THE LIFE, 'CAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO, FOR BOTH DAY AND NIGHT, YOU CAN HEAR SOME MUSIC, YOU CAN SEE A PLAY, YOU CAN SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP, OR STAY AT A PARK ALL DAY.
IN VIRGINIA BEACH, WE Live THE LIFE, 'CAUSE LIFE'S A BEACH, IN THE SUMMERTIME, SO BRING YOUR FAMILY, FOR A TIME TO SPEND, AND VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS, SO COME AND MAKE A FRIEND.
IN VIRGINIA BEACH, and Live THE LIFE, YOU CAN LIVE THE LIFE, SO COME AND LIVE THE LIFE
Listen to the song HERE: YouTube
Buy the song on iTunes, Google Play and most music retailers. Bands and singers are free to post their live recordings of the song on YouTube. Available for licensing through Harry Fox Agency: Lionel White/The Virginia Beach Song. PRO: BMI. Music Publisher: Tunecore Digital Music.