This is the story of
Amelia Josephine Andrews
& Millie Jo Andrews.
One person with two different stories.
Los Angeles, California
Summer of 2015
Amelia closed the door to her new apartment and turned around to a sea of unopened boxes. She took a deep breath and immediately began searching for one box in particular. When she found it she quickly opened it taking out her record player while looking around the room for that perfect spot to place it. Out of everything those boxes contained, that record player was her most prized possession. It was a little rough around the edges from years of playing endless amounts of records, but it still sounded perfect. She found an outlet near under a window and decided that is where it’s home would be. She then brought out her “friends” to join her. Her friends were found in vinyls and the many mixtapes given to her over the years. That night while Ben Gibbard’s voice filled the room, she laid there on the floor of her unfurnished apartment and gazed at the ceiling fan. Her eyes followed while it slowly turned, making a ticking noise that seemed to match the tempo of the song. In this moment while nodding her head along with the tempo she knew she was going to be ok. That is not something she had felt for a very long time.
Most of the world knew her as Amelia Josephine Andrews, the well known music supervisor of many of her generation’s films. Yet her roots were grounded so deeply in the person of Millie Jo Andrews.
Millie grew up in one of the smallest towns in East Jesus Nowhere, Texas where dreams were not the most encouraged of ideas. Well…you could dream all you wanted, yet you would never think of actually believing they could come true. Rarely was she taken seriously. This was especially true in her adolescent years. She would imagine this life for herself that most would tell her was just not realistic. Once in 1994 at the of 13 she discovered MTV and decided that she could be the next Kurt Loader. Of course the advice she was given was to enter herself into a few beauty pageants. The bigger the hair, the fanciest of dress and a bodacious bikini would get her closer to being the next Miss Texas which could land her a gig as a weather girl on the nightly news. That was a dream meant for someone else because Amelia dared to believe she could have what she truly wanted. The forecast….. 80% chance of guts and 100% chance of believing that she was destined for more.
Amelia currently lives in the heart of Los Angeles. The “City Of Angels” is a dreamers paradise. Everyone here has a dream. What do you want to be? It can be done here. Course back home it’s drenched in evil and everyone comes here and sells their soul to the prince of evil to get a national commercial or whatever the dream requires. Today Amelia is well known in the music and film industry. The soundtracks that she creates for films are often what inspires the personal mixes that are created by others to say how they were feeling at that moment in their own lives.
James Connelly , a high school sophomore from Greenley, Kansas made a mixed cd of songs labeled, “The Things I Want To Say But Can’t.” He then carefully hand wrote the track listing, placed it neatly in it’s case and gave it to Laura Johnson. He had adored Laura since they sat next to each other in Miss Murphy’s 2nd period Physics class last year. The songs he chose were influenced by same music that Amelia had chosen for a certain film. Unbeknownst to James that film that happened to be Laura’s favorite. Laura fell in love with him that very day.
Millie Jo was a late bloomer who had one single true love in that small town. Because of this she is a hopeless romantic to the core of who she is. The one dream she took away from being true in that tiny town was that love can find you no matter where you are. His name was Alexander Reed. He moved to her town his senior year of high school. It was fate and he changed the way she saw the world.
Amelia has since been romantically linked with some of the biggest names in music. Because of her job, she is surrounded by artists most of the time. These relationships have all had impact on her…both good and the not so great. She was even the muse of a couple well known songs. Songs she thought meant something. Yet she eventually found out they were just words that fell empty. While it was known that she was the inspiration behind them, it was heart wrenching to hear them and know that they meant nothing to the writer. She had only dreamed of meeting some of the people she got to know over the last few years. She never imagined that dream would consist of falling in love with him, and then having him forget to call her on her birthday. He had a good reason though. He was getting married that weekend to his long time girlfriend. It must have slipped his mind to mention her to Amelia.
Millie Jo considered them her hero’s, yet Amelia just wanted to forget them. That is difficult when the song rises the charts and everywhere she would go she would hear it playing over and over and over. A cover band at the Dresden. Maxfield’s. Sitting in back to back traffic in the back of an Uber. She once found herself in the vegetable section at Whole Foods, listening to words that were written for her while staring at a cauliflower. The words in that song and the melodies followed her everywhere.
Millie Jo was never able to see her favorite bands play a live show. The closest city was 50 miles away which might as well have been 500 because she could never find a way to get to the show. So instead she listened to them on her headphones till the batteries ran dead. Millie Jo’s first concert was on her 17th birthday and it was one of her most treasured memories.
Today Amelia is on every single guest list in the city. She is even on list of bands she has never heard of. This is because these bands are looking for their moment to be heard she can make that happen. One particular night a group of guys were playing what they thought would be their last show at a small bar in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. They played a song called “It’s Been Nice Not Knowing You” that caught Amelia’s attention. That song ended up in a Wes Anderson film. Needless to say, they played a lot more shows after that.
Amelia finds herself getting lost most days in the lyrics of music. This is nothing new for her. As long as she can remember she has been this way. Because of this she considers herself lucky that she makes a living joining her love for these songs with the films that are created by talented writers and directors. Her job is to place music into film at just the right moment so she often imagines those scenes in her mind…how they would blend together. When she is not working however, her mind works the same way with her own personal experiences. She often feels alone in this, because she feels so much more than most because she cant see to turn off that part of her mind. She can hear a song and feel as if she is taken back to that very moment in time. It’s so real that it’s as if she is re-living it again and again. This can be both beautiful and tragic.
Millie Jo and Amelia Josephine are two different people. Except they are not. That is where the conflict lies. Amelia Josephine “Millie Jo” Andrews was a combination of success, passion, fame, insecurity and loneliness.
Before she knows it, Side A of the record is done and the needle on the record moves to the side causing a silence. She looks around the room at the other boxes. Some of the boxes are filled with the typical… clothes, kitchenware, towels, etc. There are a few more boxes that may as well be time capsules. Memories that she has never had the heart or courage to let go of. These boxes contain letters, mixes, ticket stubs and photos from her past.
She opens one of the boxes and finds her old Walkman and a collection of cassettes tapes that were made for her all those years ago. She puts one of the tapes in and hits play. Although she may be in Los Angeles, the music takes her back home again. One foot in that apartment and one foot in the small Texas town when she was a fifteen year old Millie Jo and all was beautiful and innocent. Her mind starts retelling stories to her just as it always does when she hears those songs….
As we continue to Chapter 1 we will begin to read the memoirs of Millie Jo. The stories behind the music.
The story of Millie Jo And The Somebodies She Used To Know.
To Be Continued………….
Featured Song: We Laugh Indoors- Death Cab For Cutie
You can follow the playlist below or in the menu above for both iTunes & Spotify.