Music series (5) - Dad's influence

What is this?

The prospect of death is driving my desire to document my life. I believe those who survive me will appreciate a long-running series on what I liked, disliked, and thought about. I listen to music most hours of the day. Be it while working out, working, cooking, or cleaning, there’s a playlist for everything I do. This series on music should help the reader understand what music I grew up listening to.

Music series (5) - Dad’s influence

I have a framed poster up in my home from a Pink Floyd concert I attended with my dad. It’s a constant reminder of my dad’s influence on the music I love. Today’s entry is an ode to what’s now considered Classic Rock. The kind of music my dad grew up listening to.

I got obsessed with Pink Floyd’s concept albums for a while. "The Wall" in particular blew my mind. I hear my life reflected in “The Wall”. My life didn’t begin with losing a father to the war ("In the Flesh?"), but with navigating a life of extreme violence, abuse, and neglect, but I, too, began to build a metaphorical wall to protect myself ("Another Brick in the Wall, part 1"). I, too, was mistreated by teachers ("Happiest Days of Our Lives"), although not in the exact same way as the protagonist. Middle school, a six year endeavor in the Netherlands for those with ambitions of obtaining an undergraduate degree, turned dark after three years. Those memories of middle school turned into yet more “bricks in the wall” ("Another Brick in the Wall, part 2"). The similarities end there, until you get to “One of My Turns” in which the protagonist goes off the rails in a violent fit of rage. I didn’t get violent at any point in my life, but I understand the feeling of rage and wanting to hurt people very well. You don’t want people to leave you ("Don’t Leave Me Now"), but you also don’t want to hurt people in your confusion and anger. You go into complete denial of what you’re actually feeling to protect those around you ("Another Brick in the Wall, part 3"), cementing your fate as a person isolated from the rest of humanity ("Goodbye Cruel World"). That’s the end of Disc 1. I can’t relate to Disc 2, the breaking of the wall, as much. It’s a completely different experience, aside from successfully destroying the wall.

Thanks dad, for introducing me to such an amazing artist. I owe many more to his influence. Chief among them, Neil Young and The Eagles.

Neil Young

My “Old Man" isn’t great with words, nor emotions. He’s a stoic, reserved, contented, hard-working man, with a*"Heart of Gold"*. I know, I know, that’s cheesy as fuck, but it’s the right kind of cheese. My dad’s an action-oriented type of guy. He’s always there when you need him. He’s never angry with you for failing, puts his trust in you, and supports his loved ones in whatever they choose to do. He adores Neil Young. I choose to believe that Neil Young often puts into words what my dad wishes he could say. I listen to Neil Young to get a glimpse behind the curtains of my dad’s mind.

I like to listen to Young’s contemporaries while writing, it puts me in a mood. The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, David Bowie, Warren Zevon, Billy Joel, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, The Band, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of musicians keeping me company while journeying through the wild lands of the heart.

I’ll highlight one more band that has had a lasting effect on me.

Eagles

I have yet to put into words what I feel when I listen to the Eagles. I doubt I’ll be successful today. It’s the kind of band that defines a generation. I absolutely adore “Hotel California” (album). Their titular song ranks high among my all-time favorite songs.

If I had to pick a few favorites, they’d be: “Seven Bridges Road”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Desperado”, “Life in the Fast Lane”, and of course, “Hotel California”.

I hope to be fortunate enough to see them before they quit for good.

Created on August 19, 2021
Published on August 19, 2021