There’s a point near the end of “A Murder of One,” the final track and my personal favorite, where there is a little, but definite skip during the melodic moaning. I’m sure this is due to a scratch that I put on the CD that I borrowed from my father. I even ripped the song from that copy of the album when I was building my digital music library, so that little hitch has become, in essence, part of my experience with that song. I can’t even listen to a normal version without hearing it in my head.
The fact of the matter is, I have the same experience with a few other albums—Bush’s Sixteen Stone, and Riot Act by Pearl Jam, come right to mind. All of which were “borrowed” at some point from my Dad’s CD Wall, and loved (perhaps a little too much) before assuming their respective perches alphabetically in order on the shelf. I couldn’t help it. I was like Lenny from Of Mice and Men, those albums were my rabbits that I could never love enough without crushing.
I know it had to have driven him crazy. As meticulously as he keeps track of his music, it had to be frustrating to see how hard I was on them. I think I took that music for granted because I never had to rebel to get it like he had. He knew what it was to struggle with his parents to listen to the music he liked so he was extra mindful in caring for his music. As I’ve previously highlighted, music was never a source of contention between me and my parents, so I was a little more careless in my CD maintenance.
To say this blog wouldn’t be here if not for my dad is an understatement. Aside from me literally not being alive without his genetic contribution, I would not have the love for music or talking about music if not for him. Music has always been an incredible connection that we have shared. He introduced me to his favorites, classics that his mother would have hated before I was even in middle school. He indulged all of the questions had before I had the internet in my pocket to look things up for myself. He brought me to my first concert, my first festival, and even bought me my first ridiculously overpriced concert beer.
Words are not enough to describe how grateful I am for that bond, but I’ll try anyway. Thank you Old Man, for letting me stand up next to the speaker during The Song Remains the Same, for every Pearl Jam concert, and every discussion we’ve ever had about this lyric or that. Thank you for every disc I scratched, every liner note I creased, and for every jewel case I crushed. Thank you for every piece of advice, every late night car-breakdown-related phone call, and for every sacrifice you had to make to give me this wonderful life filled with these wonderful experiences I can express on these pages.
Thank you for everything. I love you. Happy Father’s Day.