Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Paul McCartney”

Musical Moments In Time

It is kind of profound really. I did my best to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles playing on American TV for the first time. I can tell you that I remember right where I was on that night, playing with some elementary school friends who were the children of my parents best friends.

Beatles Pix

We all huddled around the black and white 19″ TV in their living room and stared and smiled. We boys were too manly to scream. My parents and their friends shook their heads in disbelief that these mop-haired musicians were so popular. They were sure that it would pass, this would be a novelty. Like the icons of the 50’s – they would burn out and something else would replace them also. But we found out later they were not replaceable. They were indelible and made a lasting impression on my life, and so many others of my generation.

Those impressions lasted. I have passed the torch in a way, and showed my children the simplicity of their music, the pure construction of the early years, the experimentation era and the ironic struggles to Get Back as they quickly disintegrated as the fab 4. It was the music, it is the music that has held up. I hear it in the songs and artist my children happily introduce me to. There are so many good ones actually. It takes a true musician to construct pop music that will last beyond the next pre-fabricated musical trends.

I clearly remember every album as they arrived. What I was doing and where I was. Long playing vinyl records that had 2 sides and in many cases didn’t last past 30 odd minutes in total. But there it was in the record bins. When I was younger I even purchased the “mono” versions instead of the stereo versions because it was an affordable $1-2 less than the stereo.

Looking back now I even bought my first (not last) copy of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in mono. I sat and listened to it that summer, over and over and sponged up the sounds that were so fresh and different that I had to keep playing them again. And the album came with the “words”- so even more than the music, you could enjoy the meaning as well as the tune. The album came with lavish cover art and cut-outs that made the physical album itself an experience.

I will always see The Beatles as the musicians who helped move my world from black and white to color. Helped me explore the music beyond the 20 songs constantly played on the AM radio. Helped me to consider the possibilities for popular music today and I can still them in the new artists music. Like so many other musicians at the time and since, they have paved the way for the music and the experience for my children and theirs in the future. Thanks to those iconic guys.

The Day The Music Died

For those of us who love music… we likely all have music heroes.

Imagine

There are those musicians who perform and write music that hits our psyche, those who make a certain time in our lives more than special. There are those musicians who have been present in our lives for a long-span of it, and continue to be part of the soundtrack of our lives over the rest of it.

Music is a thread for me that has been present in one way or another for as long as I can remember.  I had music at my fingertips since I was old enough to play those yellow plastic 78 rpm records and 45 rpm records with the big hole in the middle on a little record player I had in my bedroom. I remember when my brother gave me his old “transistor radio” that actually allowed me to travel with music everywhere I went. It was the beginning of a discovery of the variety of music in the world. Easy listening, classical, country – you name it. In particular rock and roll was in its infancy stages when I was quite young. I was enamored with the same hits that all older teens were listening to, and wanted to play it every waking hour.

I learned about The Beatles there. In 1963 I had in my hand a $3.99 LP that my dad helped me buy from the local department store called “Introducing the Beatles”.  A brown almost old fashioned themed cover on an odd label (V Jay) with 4 guys  pictured on it that if they had shorter hair could have been the 4 Freshman, but they weren’t- they were significantly different.

From that moment on I was willing to consume all of the British invasion – take in every nuance of reference to the Merseybeat, to the mods and sods of English ruffians. But no matter what – the Beatles were my central soundtrack. Through the 60’s as I was growing up, they were growing up too. They were moving the culture of a generation of music, others were following. Even in the initial times of the late 60’s rock renaissance explosion, the Beatles were the royalty of the rock music that had become so diverse in such a short time.

So I here I am. Fifty years later. Still the fan of a group that has long since passed as music is depicted today. No wrecking ball, no electronic drums, no voice boxes.

What I miss terribly are all the years that we lost when John Lennon was assassinated so early in his life. Like many before him and many since, there was a lot of music to consume in such a short time. But imagine what it would be if he had survived to be the senior musician his famous writing partner has become. What would we have experienced?

That day in December 1980 will be indelibly in my mind. I was actually broadcasting on a local small town college radio station at the time. I spent the entire night with listeners who called in with disbelief as we listened to his music and remembered the day that made the music live for us. The music died that day. I still will remember it, hope many others do too.

This Never Happened Before

My wife and I find that things are quite different these days.

In Is In Your Hands

Maybe you could call it “empty nest syndrome” or something like that, but actually it is just more about becoming older. Not the kind of “older” that means turning into a senior citizen. But the older that is more about knowing who we are, what we want and what is important to us.

We have been living most our lives together headed toward the future. Getting married, finishing school, moving around the country to find the next part of a career to support our family, and owning a home. Kids, yes we wanted kids. When we were younger we would think that maybe six kids would be great – yup a big family. As we decided to have children we determined six was not in the plan after the 2nd one we knew . In the end, four was enough.

But we spent much of their lives ( our lives) as the grew up being sure they were healthy, happy ( too much about that sometimes). that they had a good moral compass, good work ethic, made good decisions ( believe me they did not always make good decisions… sometimes really really poor ones).  There to support them. It was our imperative. We love them. We wanted only the best for them and wanted to surround them with the things that matter (love would have been enough).

But now they are old enough ( all over 20 actually) and can make their own way through things each day. Just like my wife and I did when we were young. Oh we will be there for them whenever they need us, advice. sympathy, finances (sometimes), we enjoy and have excitement for their progress in the world.

But this never happened before: We have to make our way with our love to a new place, One that will be centered more around US and less around growing up with the kids in mind. We are what is needed for the future. We need to make that a priority.

Life is short, and it is definitely shorter on the downhill ride. Love my wife very much. This is the way it should be for lovers. 

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: