I don’t have a real answer, but the time is right to start fresh! I’d like to dedicate this site to my late stepdad, Mike Hathaway, a crazy soul who would be super happy to know I’m writing for myself again. And with that, I give you the words I spoke at his funeral this January:
It’s been mentioned a little bit about Mike’s love for music, but it went beyond love for Mike: It was spiritual. And as fathers do, they’re supposed to teach you something. Give you something. They’re goal is to make an impact, somehow, on their child’s life. Even if they can’t articulate that drive, they do it. Instinctually.
Mike taught me music. An education that is downright priceless.
As a preteen, I started going to concerts to things I didn’t understand like Rob Zombie and Oingo Boingo. My first tape, yes tape, was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, not New Kids on the Block like all my friends. My first CD was Mariah Carey but, um, that’s off topic.
The classics are the forefathers of music, once you know them … you can hear the influences in everything relevant today. And it makes me laugh that my friends don’t understand that so and so is obviously obsessed with Prince or has wet dreams about Stevie Nicks. It’s a gift few actually have.
And Mike gave that to me.
I moved out of the house and away at 19, but I was always excited to come home and get stacks and stacks of burned CDs each visit. I’m sure a lot of you experienced the same thing. It was like Christmas! We always knew what artists were cool because of Mike. He had a uncanny knack for who was going to make it and who wasn’t … literally a full year before we started hearing it on the radio.
I’d like to think he taught me that, too.
When I went through a rough spot a few years back, he told me the best way to get through it is blast some Bob Dylan, pour some whiskey and lie on the floor, spread eagle … Clothed!
He said to let the music take you through the emotions you need to face. Of course it worked.
You see, music will stir a soul. It will make you mad, remember your first kiss and drive at dangerously high speeds. Music can help you fall in love, concoct the perfect meal and learn about yourself. It helps you rage, dance and spiritually connect with people. Mike showed me how different generations can all speak the same language.
We agreed to disagree on my dislike of Aaron Neville and his of dubstep, but for the most part, we agreed. Jury’s out about having a Spotify playlist instead of purchasing the full album, but oh well. At least we agreed that if it’s too loud, you’re too old!
I miss trading CDs of new music and sharing new discoveries, but the thing about music is that it will never go away. It will always be here. A song can always bring me back to those good memories.
And back to him.
Neil Young is another one of those lay on your floor drunk artists to solve your problems: “Old man, look at my life,” he sang. “I’m a lot like you were.”
Thank you, Mike, you taught me well.
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