This is my response to this week’s Flashback Track Friday prompt, where we were challenged:
Is there a song you associate with someone special in your life?
I guess in the early Sixties, as a single guy with an okay job, my dad had decent purchasing power, certainly for trivia like records. That stopped abruptly when he and mum became engaged – in those days, people had to save to get married. A couple years later, I was born and I suppose life took over.
By my late teens, my dad and I didn’t get on. I was rebellious and I wanted my space. I was fortunate that university came at exactly the right time, and I left home at eighteen.
From that point, I only spent the odd weekend with my parents, a couple of times a year, until my return from living in the States, ten years later.
I had become very go-getting, career-oriented. I’m still proud of what I achieved – not many people are granted visas to work on another continent thanks to their specialist knowledge – but I missed out on my parents.
During that same ten-year period, my dad went from a visibly healthy man (keyword visibly) to having to move into a nursing home. In his forties, he developed early onset dementia, so from then to the end of his life, he became less and less communicative.
As a result, I don’t really have any significant memories of him, man-to-man. I mean, dad might have turned out to be an asshole, but I didn’t get to study him as a man, only as a father. I regret that.
So, childhood memories of him are therefore all the more nostalgic.
One such memory is him retreating into the front room, a room which we left unused, reserved for visitors, and which housed a tiny desk. He always said he was going in there to “work”, but I suspect it was really just to have a break from me. I must have been every bit as annoying then as I am now.
From behind the closed door, I’d hear him put on some music.
My hometown is Liverpool, in the UK, which in the early Sixties was a massive port. We’d get all sorts of music, just thanks to that throughput of sailors. It’s no coincidence that lots of bands back then came from Liverpool, because it must have been a cauldron for new sounds. So dad was tuned into the revolutionary new music coming out of America.
His first joy was Buddy Holly. There was just five years between them, so Holly would have been making music during dad’s impressionable, teenage years. I inherited his love, I’ve featured Buddy Holly on here before and will likely do so again, so I’ll spare you today.
His other favourite was Jim Reeves. These days, I can admire his bassy mellow voice, but I’m afraid his songs never did anything for me. So, on the basis that I will never feature him again, I shall do so today.