A Summer Memory (1972)

6-20-12          Summer Memory (1972)

Jazz sax man Eric Dolphy born 1928 – first day of summer.

I have a fairly innocent summer memory that likely dates from 1972, which I would like to share with you today.

My dad and I did not usually get along.  He hated that I wanted long hair.  I think he liked that I was charmed by music, but he didn’t like the music I was following, for the most part.

In the early 70’s, a “loop” of freeways opened near my home; we could go the 405 N to the 710 N, to the 91 E to the 605 S to the 405 N – or the reverse of this.  Sometimes, after dinner, my dad wanted to “go for a drive”, and I would go with him.  I believe we found some music that neither of us “minded”, and the two records that stand out in my memory that we both listened to and enjoyed in the car (I had home-made 8-track tapes):  Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen “Lost In The Ozone” and Frank Zappa / Mothers “Just Another Band From L.A.” and later on “Fillmore East, June 1971”.

My parents had to put up with my Frank Zappa fandom for a long time.  My oldest sister had given me some of Zappa’s LP’s for my birthday, and perhaps Zappa was the first artist that I tried to ‘keep up’ with (after The Beatles / Rolling Stones set of stuff).  And perhaps my dad liked the storytelling aspect of those Flo & Eddie / Zappa LP’s?

My other favorite Summer 1972 memory is riding my bike from my house all the way down to the Belmont Pier, where there was a wonderful hippie record store, “Mundae”, where I bought the debut Roxy Music LP, Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and Dick HeckstallSmith “A Story Ended” all during the summer of 1972.  Eventually I got to meet Mr. Heckstall-Smith in England, and got to tell him how much I liked his debut solo album.

So the summer of ’72 probably wasn’t the worst of times for my relationship with my dad.  Music and record collecting was already totally “in full effect”; I was being pulled every which way – German music, other European music etc.

The fall of 1972 brought other interesting stuff – definitely not summer ’72 albums were things like Monty Python “Previous Record”, Capability Brown “From Scratch” and Genesis “Foxtrot” – my first Charisma trifecta!

But, I’ll never be 14 years old again.  My dad is long gone, too.  I can still drive that loop  listening to Commander Cody and Frank Zappa, but it isn’t quite the same.

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