“I thought it was you”
“Well, sorry son. It’s possibly a bootleg studio session or just someone trying out an arrangement on an old four track”. The old tape spools had been found in a cardboard box in the attic and his son John had spent hours running the old magnetic tape through a digital interpreter to capture the sound of his Dads first forays into a solo career, or so he believed.
Stan looked at John and saw the careful resignation, of hopes dashed, the big surprise now spoiled, another time-consuming project unwelcome. Not petulant; dignified. There’s a Fatherly compunction for guilt. Johns eagerness to please, looking up to his Dad as a hero figure, a “Rock God” at least historically speaking.
But if John was ever going to meet his potential, he needed to emerge from his Fathers shadow, stop unlocking these time capsules and develop his own style, technique and fashion, he had the talent but using Stan as a template wasn’t going to help him. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
“John, I’m more interested in hearing how your work is developing”. It’s a compensatory comment but there’s truth behind it. The last track of his he’d heard was bold, modern, original, but John just didn’t believe in it and instead had spent time resurrecting the past thinking it was a foundation for current taste.
John reluctantly plays him his latest track. Stan hears a song of wanting, of losing, of missing, only missing what he already possesses and wants to hold on to longer but eventually relinquish. There’s a catchy chorus that Stan thinks is missing a second voice. Johns voice soars and Stan harmonises along. John’s unsung wisdom and Stans guilt.
John laughs out loud. “Let me get the mic Dad.”
© Stephen Goodlad