As I sat in the amphitheater listening to Joe Williams’ baritone voice, I longed to talk to my dad. I find myself walking to another section in the amphitheater and sitting on my dad’s lap. Laying my head on his shoulder, I tell him how much I miss him. He responds be telling me how great Joe Williams’ voice is and how I just missed his performance with Joe Sample. The rest of the conversation is a blur but it was more about some great musicians.
This happened last night. It was all a dream. My father’s been deceased 17 years.
I went to bed last night feeling some kind of way about my current life situation and I longed to talk to my dad. It’s been 17 years but I still miss him. The older I get, the more I miss him.
I could engage my dad in hours-long conversations just about anything but talking about music made the man glow. GLOW! I remember being 9 or 10 years old standing in the driveway of our home to view the lunar eclipse when he opened the trunk of his car to retrieve a pair of binoculars when I saw an album with a white man on the cover. I asked, rather incredulously, why he had that album. “Baby, that’s Peter Frampton!” He goes on to tell me how awesome the LP was (Framptom Comes Alive). I can’t recall the details of the conversation only how my dad’s face glowed when he talked about it. He was in his sweet spot.
My dad had a vast music collection. An impressive collection of vinyl of which he was very protective and forbade my sister and I from playing without his “assistance”. That assistance was him taking the album from the sleeve and putting it on the turntable himself. He didn’t want his vinyl scratched son!! I did eventually earn his trust and was allowed to use the stereo and handle his collection without his supervision.
Through my dad, I learned to love music, all music, as much as he did although I’ve never amassed a music collection as he did. But I do remember the very first album I purchased though. Al Jarreau’s “Breakin’ Away”. Daddy was so proud that his 13 year old daughter’s first purchase was mister scat himself and not, say, New Edition or Stacey Lattisaw.
As I sit here listening to George Benson and remembering last night’s dream, I’m thinking of my dad. Still missing him but feeling a little closer through the music.
There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go
Pretty baby you are the soul that snaps my control
Such a funny thing but every time I’m near you, I never can behave
You give me a smile and I’m wrapped up in your magic
Music all around me. Crazy music.
Music that keeps calling me so very close to you.