This coming Father’s Day is the first since my dad passed. No card to buy, no kisses and hugs, no chance to cook Sunday lunch for the old man and share a glass or two of wine.
So is this a reason to be sad? Yes, perhaps it is… Then I remember earlier this year, sitting on my father’s bed. As he lay there, very ill, I held his hand and a tear rolled down my cheek.
“Why are you crying?” asked Dad.
“Because I’m going to miss you.”
“I’m not dead yet,” said Dad. “Bloody hell, I hope you’re not like this at the funeral!”
So no point in being sad then, none at all.
But I miss him. We shared the same laughter. Fragments of memories flicker and fade, but the warmth he had remains. As he aged and became frail I had the honor of powering and supporting him in the same way that he had done when I was young. Every bond between father and son is unique. And our bond grew through music.
“We shared a love of music; he would listen through me and I would learn through him.”
My Dad, having become the most successful record producer of all time, sadly lost his hearing when I was a teenager. I had a talent for music and I became his ears. We shared a love of music; he would listen through me and I would learn through him.
When I was four I was asked by my nursery school what my dad did for a living.
“He sits at home and plays the piano,” was my reply.
Music was always in our home. At that stage he was writing the film score to Live and Let Die. Music was more than a background noise: it was a living and a way of life. Dad would never have background radio on in his car, as he always wanted to listen, not just hear.
As a teenager I rebelled, learned guitar, and dedicated my life to becoming Stevie Ray Vaughan, knowing my parents would ‘never understand’. As my dad couldn’t play the guitar, I of course immediately thought I had one-upped him. I suppose I was ignoring the fact that he had made two albums with Jeff Beck…
So here I am, sitting at Abbey Road Studios where it all began for him, so grateful for all that my Dad gave me, all the knowledge he passed on, all of the notes we played and recorded together.
Music is everything. I watch my daughters dance around the kitchen; I don’t care much about what they like to listen to. I just love that they love music as much as me and my father did.
This Father’s Day, listen out loud to the music that is the backdrop to your life. It is the heartbeat that joins people together. It is the voice that cuts through the loneliness of silence. Music is love.