I got my love of music from my father. His tastes, like mine, are eclectic. My dad will listen to almost anything, and his collection ranges from folk to soul to rock to pop to country to world to gospel. For as long as I can remember, music has played in the background wherever my father is.
Over the years, I've spent countless hours with his records, tapes, CDs, and reel-to-reels, getting a musical education that defied classification. The Beatles and the Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Diana Ross and the Supremes, June Carter and Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys and BB King, Elvis Presley and Marvin Gaye, Willie Nelson and the Byrds, Waylon Jennings and ABBA, Don McLean and Roberta Flack ... all of these are the sounds of my childhood.
There were also concerts, usually at the county fair. By the time I got to high school, my dad started letting me go to concerts with friends (and a responsible adult). Once I reached adulthood, music and live shows were a staple. I've enjoyed festivals like Bonnaroo and have many happy memories of wonderful performances. And a few years ago, I decided to surprise my dad and take him to a concert that we would both never forget.
Once the dates were announced, I called and asked him if he could be in San Diego to join me for a surprise nighttime event. He asked what he should wear, I suggested that he dress for a ball game. When the day arrived, I told him that we were going to a concert and that I was pretty sure he'd like it. He gamely smiled and we headed off to SDSU. Once we walked into the arena and he realized that we were seeing Simon and Garfunkel's 2003 reunion tour, his eyes went wide and his smile got even wider.
There was no opening band, and we were on our feet (along with the rest of the crowd) for about 90 minutes when Paul and Art finally took a break. We were both surprised when the Everly Brothers took the stage for nearly half an hour before Paul and Art came back and rocked for another 90 minutes. My dad clapped his hands and grinned the whole night, thanking me repeatedly for the surprise. I responded honestly -- I had great time, too and never would've been there if it weren't for his old records and love of good music.
Here's an old performance that I stumbled on tonight and sent to my dad: