As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved music. I was always there standing in front of the record player playing air guitar before anyone even coined the phrase “air guitar.”
I thought about writing this piece for a long time, but was too busy with all the dating content. But now it’s 2018 and things have changed in my life, so like I said at the beginning of the year I’m going to add more content about other parts of my life and childhood.
I’m going to take a different approach to this piece. I’m going to write it in terms of how I think about the story in my mind. The way I see it is as an interview. Someone who is interviewing my parents about their decisions. We’ll call him Bob.
This is something new for me but here goes:
Bob: “Thanks for meeting with me today. I see your son over there really loves music. Look at him jamming out on his imaginary guitar and tapping his foot as he listens to that song on the record player.”
Parents: “Yea, he loves rock and roll music.”
Bob: “You should get him a guitar and give him lessons.”
Parents: “Nah, we’re going to buy a huge upright piano and pay for lessons for his sister Janice for a few years.”
Bob: Is she musically inclined as well?
Parents: “She doesn’t appear to be.”
Bob: “Why not for him?”
Parents: “He isn’t disciplined enough to take guitar lessons.”
Bob: “Okay. Anything for him?”
Parents: “Probably karate lessons.”
Let’s jump to 1979
Bob: “How’s it going?”
Bob: “How’s Janice’s piano playing going?”
Parents: “We sold the house with the piano in it. She never plays it. But there is a piano at our shore house.”
Bob: “Does she play that?”
Parents: “No. Actually some weird girl she hangs out with plays it more than she does when she comes over.”
Bob: “What about your Son?”
Parents: “He joined a band in Philly as their lead singer. Then he got his hands on a cheap electric guitar and taught himself how to play by listening to his records, and reading music books. He’s even started writing his own songs and the band plays them.”
Parents: “But we’re moving the family to the shore so that’s the end of his band.”
Bob: “That’s sad.”
Parents: “Not really. He met some guys and he joined their band as a guitarist. They play around in Wildwood and they play some of his original compositions.”
Bob: “He did all of that on his own?”
Parents: “Well, we bought him a Marshall amplifier.”
Bob: “So can you admit that there have been some missteps in the parenting department?”
I’ll be writing some more about my musical journey on phicklephilly. I guess the lesson here is, you can do anything you put your mind to. I’m pretty sure Janice only took all of those lessons to please my father. But I remember I was sitting on the floor playing my guitar to “I Want You” note for note by the Beatles. He came in and said I had surpassed him because he could only listen to music, but I could make music. That was one of the best compliments that he ever paid me.
Another time I was jamming out in my bedroom and it was loud distortion metal guitar playing. I went out on the deck to smoke a cigarette and one of our neighbors who was just a renter gave me an earful, about how I was disturbing the peace and how he was going to get a petition to have us thrown out of the neighborhood. When my father found out he went over to the guy and tore him a new asshole. That guy died a year or so later.
So that was pretty cool.
Bitter? No. I’m just telling my version of a series of events in my life. I forgave everybody for everything over a decade ago. Why drink the poison hoping they all die? You only end up consuming yourself with hatred. It’s a waste of your precious time. Don’t let anybody live rent free in your head. Besides, my parents goodness outweighed anything negative they ever did.
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