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A Story I Don’t Often Tell

January 31, 20244 min read

Identity is a funny thing. Sometimes we get identified with a thing whether we want to or not. Other people put it on us. “Oh look it’s gorilla cage girl!” or whatever.

My last couple of years in Taos were that way. Every time I went out, somebody would say “Hey Captain! It’s the Captain!”. I played “The Captain” – the villainous sidekick to the evil father figure in Androcles and the Lion – our 8th-grade play.

I guess a lot of people came to that play. Small town. I kinda loved that. “Fame” can be neat if it doesn’t go too far.

Then in high school I was known for barking. I could really super realistically bark like a dog. Then I would do other custom things like “bark like a fish” and cat and dog fight. People could make requests. I got so famous for that in high school that I remember once junior year, somebody came up and shook my hand and said very respectfully “I really love your work.”. That’s one of the fan archetypes. The “I really love your work handshake guy”. That lasted way past high school too.

A lot of identities can get thrust on you. “Football guy”, “fat girl”, “faggot”, “n****”. It’s not always good.

So, a lot of us who might not want to be identified a certain way, or treated poorly, or marginalized, we might hide things about ourselves. Or we might just try to control the narrative a little better.

I hid things. And I suppose I controlled the narrative with my barking and captaining. You’re reading this because I’m controlling the narrative. That’s a big part of branding and business. And I may have fun with music, but it is a business.

So there is something kinda huge in my story that actually could be pretty damn inspiring if looked at right, and some people are pretty amazed by, but I don’t lead with it. See I want people to think of me as an artist, a person, a friend, maybe a leader (meh?).  Most of all if you’re impressed, I want it to be with how I treat you, my kindness, maybe my skill or my music or my words. Not necessarily that I survived a double lung transplant.

Not that I don’t think that was badass. I just don’t want the moniker “sick person”. I’ve known a lot of people with my same medical circumstances, and I have to tell you, the ones that make it their identity don’t do as well. Maybe they’re braver than me. Less egoistic. But I’m healthier. And dammit, my brand ain’t “transplant patient”.

It was for a while. I had to make it my identity to raise funds, get referred, and survive. I had to turn into a poster boy for it. I did a big fundraising campaign, I cut my hair, I walked the walk, I made it known I needed help. I did a song about it and a video and dedicated it to transplant patients. I competed in the Transplant Games of America twice.

And that’s all fine. That last thing was awesome. And people came out of the woodwork to help and I’ll be eternally grateful. So grateful!!!!

So, it’s not a secret! I got a life-saving double lung transplant in 2013! Woo!!! I’m going strong, I work hard at it, and yeah a lot of my life is spent doing checkups and treatments and wrangling insurance and managing meds. It’s nearly a full-time job. And I’m damn good at it.

But, this here is not a transplant website. It’s a musician’s website. So that’s why you don’t hear about that stuff a lot. Now that you know though, you’ll probably understand some of the lyrics a little better. 😊

Now let’s get back to jamming out because I’ve been making records and burning down stages way longer than I’ve been a transplant recipient, baby. Let’s get it!

Barking is hard on the voice. If you want to hear the classics – bark like a fish, cat and dog fight, and standard Bupper bark (Bupper was my dog then), it will cost you quite a bit. But it can be arranged for the right price 😊 Hit me on socials @AaronJTrumm either way.

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Aaron J. Trumm

Aaron J. Trumm is me! It's Aaron. It's the music person behind this whole site. Me.

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