The TVD First Date
“If it wasn’t for vinyl, I wouldn’t be a songwriter.”
“Sundays were my father’s day off.
It was a day of yard work, Bears games, and music.
The record player sat in the corner of the room.
It was one of my father’s prized possessions.
The wooden case stood about as tall as me, and next to it, my dad’s favorite albums.
His small collection of records next to the player was nothing compared to his workroom, which had shelves upon shelves of albums.
From Snoopy And His Friends by The Royal Guardsmen to Dark Side Of The Moon. He had it all.
At some point during any particular Sunday, the TV would go off, and my dad would make his way over to the record player to look for something to play. I was always drawn to music.
I always wanted to know who he was going to play and why.
He would tell me stories about when he first heard a particular song or record.
I always wanted to know more.
It was the sound of the player turning on. The crackle. Who didn’t love that crackle? That was part of the vinyl experience. My dad would choose the record he wanted to hear. Most of the time it was prefaced with a backstory about the band or the song.
Then, there were “those nights…”
My mother worked at a hospital at night.
My dad would get home from work and we would eat dinner and the night would settle down.
With two older sisters and a younger brother, these moments were rare, but the most special.
My dad would turn off the lights, and we would sit, and listen to music.
Cat Stevens, Peter Paul and Mary, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, etc…
It was always a surprise.
Then one evening, my dad played me the record that changed my life,
Tea For The Tillerman.
My dad pulled out this record.
This record with a cover that had children climbing a tree.
This record with a man sitting at a table drinking tea.
This record with a woman on a mountain top with lightning overhead…
What was this?
He handed me the album. I stared at it. I was mesmerized.
Vinyl was an experience!
The plastic covering. The artwork.
It was being able to hold this thing in front of your face and wonder what was inside.
What made this particular record special to me, were the lyrics.
They were right there on the back, with a photo of Cat Stevens right smack dab in the middle.
Then… The crackle… The pin dropped.
“Where Do The Children Play” started to drift out of the speakers.
I was reading along.
“Hard Headed Woman,” “Wild World,” “Sad Lisa…”
It just played and played, and I read along and listened.
Some of these songs I had heard before.
When I was younger, my dad would every so often bring out his Hohner guitar, and play some of his favorites.
This was also my first experience with an acoustic guitar.
I remember seeing my dad play for the first time in our living room and thinking he was a rock star.
The album was finishing up.
The song “Father and Son” began to play.
My dad told me it was one if his favorites, and he started to explain the story behind the song.
A son leaving home.
I remember being sad for a moment.
The music was truly moving me in a way I hadn’t felt before.
I became inspired. I wanted to hear it again, and again…
Vinyl is how I fell in love with music.
Vinyl is why I started playing music.
Vinyl is why I started writing music.
To this day, I still love those records.”
“The Breakdown,” the most recent single from Lee DeWyse, is in stores now.
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PHOTO: MARINA CHAVEZ