my father’s father comes from rock’n’roll royalty; his blood flowed hot from that of his forebearer, Mr. Charley Patton, the King of the Delta Blues. my father was the first one to introduce me to classic rock music, as well as r&b and blues and pop. he was the first to show me the value of music and how it can change or mark a moment. thru his musical tastes, i learned how to let music take me directly to the Divine…music became a reason to give in to the ‘maened’ inside to and partake excessively to the point where i blacked out and gave in. trueblood season2 got it right, in that respect.
my first 45 was “voyage to atlantis” by the isley brothers. my first interaction with VINYL was coming down into the basement to get something on a friday night. my father’s friday night ritual at the time i was a preteen was to grab a 5th of seagrams7 (the bumpy face bottle!) of gin OR smirnoff vodka and a couple packs of smokes, then come downstairs to the basement to drink for a bit and wind down with his favourites.
‘Maggot Brain’ by Parliament Funkadelic was the first album i ever listened to with my father. the album cover terrified me, but the music itself lit my fire. then came Prince’s Dirty Mind/Controversy. then, Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ it was the knowledge that the album was about one man’s decline into dementia, then finally madness that made me so very awestruck…not just the songs.
the doors’ ‘five to one’ and ‘break on thru’ would bring me to screaming the words to chants that i had never heard prior to hearing those songs on a record before. the rolling stones’ ‘beast of burden’ and ‘wild horses’ both take me immediately back to summertime, first makeouts and falling in love.
music is a portal for me, a gateway, a time machine. power can be given and taken away. the divine can be heard, thoughts and prayers can be answered. and in some cases, a father can open himself up to a daughter, by a simple lyric to a song.