Friday, November 28, 2014

The Moody Blues

It was at the Red House, when I got stung by a bee outside. I'd seen a bumblebee sitting on a leaf on the rose-bush next door. I wondered, Is it dead? Is it sleeping? I reached out and poked it with my finger to see if it would do anything. It woke up, got onto my finger, and stung me. Damn, that hurt!

Dad was in the living room, playing this album that showed a sheaf of album covers stretching out into the night sky. The Threshold labels were almost matching: dark blue, with some sort of swirly fireball-looking logo. The song that was playing was some sort of ghostly, haunting song about a guy named Timothy Leary who was not only dead, but was "outside...looking in". I was drawn in by the bending Mellotron notes, and the different instrumental sections. My hurt finger was completely forgotten about as I heard some more cuts from this album: "Ride My See-Saw", "Tuesday Afternoon", "I'm Just A Singer In A Rock & Roll Band" and "Nights In White Satin".

This was the only thing that Dad seemed to have by them, though I would see pictures of their other album covers on those London/Deram innersleeves that were inside of albums by the Rolling Stones and Ten Years After. I was intrigued by the cover for In Search Of The Lost Chord, although I wouldn't hear that until some time later.

In that summer, just before entering school, there was a new album by those guys that just came out. A little more poppy than the material I'd fallen in love with, but there were some good cuts on it, such as "The Voice" and "Gemini Dream".

As I was in my final year of high school, I was teaching myself how to play the keyboards, and one of the first things I showed myself how to play was the Mellotron lines from "Nights In White Satin", whilst playing along with the album. My Casio PT-100 was no Mellotron, but it was something to play along with.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

If only for a moment...

There is one moment that is permanently etched onto my memory, and though it was just a short-lived realization, it will always live on whenever I am in the area, and particularly that time of year.

It was October of 1983, sometime in the mid-afternoon. Dad had taken me to a dentist appointment down at Bates Technical College, and after it was over with, Dad decided we would walk downtown and go to Woolworth's, just to take a look around. We made our way down 13th for a few blocks, walking by the old Samson Apartments, making a left onto Fawcett Avenue, and then down a few more blocks down 11th Street.

As we walked down this street, with the afternoon sunlight turning gold as it was just beginning its descent, everything just felt right at that moment. We had just been through some rough seas within the last number of months; after he and mom had divorced, the family had been ripped in half as a result, and you can't forge ahead as if nothing had happened, even though we had both been doing that for a while. There would be some more rough seas ahead of us as we forged ahead in the new household situation, but for a moment, where we had been bonding together pretty good, everything just felt right at the moment, with no worries to be had.

We had just seen the Beach Boys at the Puyallup Fair the month before, and had a great time. We were having fun watching a plethora of new movies on TV, and were soon going to appear on The Rock Show. Plus, Halloween was on the way, and that (along with the subsequent holidays) was always a great time to look forward to. Down at Woolworth's, we looked through the albums section, and one of us found a copy of Richard Pryor's album That Nigger's Crazy, which went home with us.

Flash forward 27 years later to October of 2010. I found myself walking down 11th Street one golden afternoon, the sun beginning to set as I was heading to the bus transit-center, and the long-ago memory of that afternoon came to me. I was now a dad myself, and I was wondering if I was going to be walking down this hill with Geoffrey one day, with him taking it all in and enjoying the moment. As the sun was setting that afternoon, I later reflected on this moment that the sun was now setting on the final days of having Dad around, which wasn't going to be that much longer before he was taken from us. He really loved Geoffrey, perhaps thinking of the days when I was that young, and maybe it was like having me from that time back home again.

Funny how a fleeting and seemingly insignificant moment from so many years ago seems to last forever.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Paul Revere & The Raiders

This was one of Dad's favorite bands, while in his teens, not unlike the Rascals. I often wondered what it must have been like to have grown up with all of these great bands out there. It must have been hard to choose what the hell to go out and buy, what with so many picks out there!

He played this one for me, and I found that there were some great garage-rock cuts on it. Kind of a shame you don't hear them much anymore, not even on the "oldies" stations, apart from "Kicks", the only song they seem to be remembered for these days. They rocked a little harder than they got credit for, but always got stuck in the "teen band" penalty-box.

Another album he had was called Something Happening, which had almost a completely different band lineup, but a few very strong cuts on it, kicking off with "Too Much Talk", with gnarly fuzz guitar and some very cool basslines. "Don't Take It So Hard" was also another favorite of mine from it. I remember seeing this one back at the Blue House, where I'd heard it for the first time. Angie's school friends were there when Dad played it, and I was more impressed with it than they were.
A few years onward, in the second grade, we were visited in our class during the course of a week by a guy named Jim Valley, who sang, played the acoustic guitar, and wrote songs like "Rainbow Planet" and "The Computer Song", also singing songs for us like Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash". What I didn't know right away was that he had once been the lead guitarist for the Raiders for a few albums, and he was one of the guys on the cover, wearing the red slip-on shoes. Wow, how cool was that? Stupidly, I never brought it in to have him sign it!

EDIT I was shocked to hear of Paul Revere's passing not long after I originally posted this. There were loads of tributes to him by many musicians and friends of his on Facebook, which was touching. I had to go and score vinyl copies of the two original Greatest Hits collections. Geoffrey absolutely loves "Don't Take It So Hard"; I'll hear him singing it around the house, sometimes even just the middle section of it, word for word.

Johnny Rivers

This was one that Dad plonked onto the turntable, and it drew me right in. The cover, not so much. It looked like one of those sort of generic labels one would see on a bootleg 8-Track cartridge. The back cover was not much better, having the song titles listed again, flanked by a few hand-drawn trees, which reminded me of Wright Park. The run of songs on there inlcuded a handful of Chuck Berry tunes, "Secret Agent Man", "Mountain Of Love" (still a longtime favorite), and "Rockin' Pneumonia / Boogie-Woogie Flu". Great stuff. Mom also played this album, but seemed to favor the ballads on it, such as "Poor Side Of Town" and "The Tracks Of My Tears".
The album art was so generic that there wasn't even a picture of the artist himself anywhere on it. Dad had only one other album by him called Realization, kind of a psychedelic/introspective album, with the excellent "Summer Rain". On the photo-collage on the back cover was a guy with dark hair and thick glasses; for a second, I thought it was Doug from The New Zoo Revue!
Much later on, reminiscing about some of the classic stuff with Winter while we were in The Pace, he half-jokingly suggested that we should over-dub a gang of girls to shout, hoot and whistle while the songs were going on, sort of like the cover versions of "Maybelline" and "Memphis". Too bad we never did that!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


I don't remember seeing it from the first day of its initial broadcast, but the TV was now all but permanently anchored onto this new channel called MTV, which showed music videos all day and all night, hosted by a revolving gang of cool people who introduced videos, or told the latest about who was putting out a new album or touring.

It was an interesting mix within the first year of the channel starting out. We saw videos by old favorite bands who were still plugging along (The Who, J. Geils Band, the Rolling Stones), new bands and singers coming out (Asia, John Cougar Mellencamp, Survivor, the Eurythmics, Bryan Adams), and a plethora of "new wave" bands, often one-hit wonders (Human League, Madness, Bananarama, A Flock Of Seagulls, Romeo Void, ABC, and the Buggles, who launched the whole thing off with "Video Killed The Radio Star").

Some of the stuff was good, as well as stuff that was rather questionable; one that was hated around the house was "I Know What Boys Like" by the Waitresses, but would soon be followed up by another new band called Huey Lewis & The News, which was much more tolerable. And then, almost as comic relief, there were videos by funny guys like Madness, and Men At Work, whose videos were not only hilarious, but the songs were equally as good and memorable.

As the years went on, the channel got a little more complex, with live concerts being broadcast via satellite, like the Asia In Asia concert in late 1983. Another feature we enjoyed was a half-hour show called Closet Classics, which showcased a lot of videos from the German music show Beat Club, and I got to see clips by bands like Cream, and Blue Cheer. And a few years after that, they broadcast the now-legendary Monkees marathon over an entire weekend, and I was hooked from there (more on them later).

Like anything else that starts out great, it went to rack and ruin over a quick period of years. They introduced "Yo! MTV Raps", game shows, movies, reality shows, and then by the time the channel was twenty years old, anything that made the channel what it once was didn't even seem to exist anymore: the music video. Not that there was anything left that I wanted to see or hear (I'd given up years ago), but what it was built on wasn't there anymore. VH-1 was another great music channel until they, too, caught the same plague. Another childhood memory left to dry out. Ah well, there's always YouTube if I want to see the old videos again.

In retrospect, and not unlike the K-Tel albums I'd been subjected to in my earlier days, there was more trash to rummage through in order to get to the good stuff, but I gave up after a point. Even then, a lot of the new stuff coming out had a superficiality that I couldn't get into, with new styles coming and going at alarming rates. Less and less to hook me in, or even hold my interest.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

"The Shining"

I had just started kindergarten in September of 1981. I don't think I'd been more than a week into starting my schooling when something happened that not only polarized my future upbringing, but also blew out the inside of my mind completely.

I was playing outside in the backyard by myself one evening, and it was just starting to get a little dark; Angie was next door with friends, and Mitchell wasn't there. Dad came out of the shed that was tacked onto the rear of the house; he invited me to come in, and that there was something on that I had to come and check out.

What could it be? I came into the living room, and there was a movie on, showing something I hadn't seen before. It was about twenty minutes into it, so I had to sort of piece together what was going on as I was watching. It seemed to be about a family who was in this massive (and empty) hotel somewhere in the mountains, looking after it. What drew me in right away was a tight shot of a kid around my age on a bigwheel, riding all around through this huge hotel, almost in a huge circle. I had myself one of those, but--damn, that looked like fun!

What was being shown was Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Shining. I had never heard of it, nor had I ever heard of those two names before. I recognized Jack Nicholson vaguely from the movie version of Tommy, where he was the "specialist" who tries to cure Roger Daltrey by having electrodes taped all over his face, and melon-ball cutters over his eyes. This time, he was actually acting in a movie, and I was impressed by his performance. In one sitting, I was introduced to Stanley, Stephen and, talk about a crash course! This was going to be an interesting ride!

All I can say for my fist-ever viewing was that I was drawn in. Completely. I didn't move, didn't get up to get something to eat, or go to the bathroom. I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen for the remainder of the time that it was on. I was mesmerized by all what was going on, the settings, the atmosphere, the music...everything.

The that was an interesting facet of the movie. I was astonished years later to find out that the music (apart from the Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind synthesizer compositions) was not composed for the movie; it was selected from Kubrick's own picks, and all of them went perfectly with what was going on. Hearing things like Bartok's "Music For Percussion, Strings and Celesta" and Penderecki's pieces during the latter half were opening up some new doors in my head. Even hearing something like "Midnight, The Stars and You" was a little on the haunting side, almost ghostly in a way.

I had some seen some stuff in the "horror" genre before, such as Damien: Omen II and The Amityville Horror, but this was something different entirely. For me, it was more "haunting" than scary. There were lots of scenes and/or images that stayed with me long after it was over. You could never forget the image of the Grady girls lying dead in the hallway, the encounter in Room 237, the conversation with Grady himself in the men's room, Hallorann's fate, and the final image of Jack frozen in the snow. So many others, and everyone has their favorite, but this was definitely unlike anything I had ever seen before, or virtually anything after that. I knew I had to be the only five-year-old watching this; actually, it was almost like seeing it from Danny's point of view, as I was exactly his age at that moment. We thought he was great, and wished he lived nearby, so we could hang out with him!

Well! I couldn't wait to see it again. It might have been a week later when we asked if Mitchell could stay the night at our place, and--as luck would have it--the movie was on again, and this time I got to watch it from the beginning. And there we sat, the three of us, right up front, for the next 144 minutes. Everything really fell into place for me this time. And it was great to share the experience with Angie and Mitchell. I know they liked it. The next morning, when we went outside, Mitchell wanted to play a game (of some sort) based on the movie. Of course, he wanted to be Danny, and so I got to chase after the others with an imaginary axe! Oh, if only someone had a camcorder on us at the time!

Another time, not long after that, we watched A Clockwork Orange (typical of the cable channels, they were showing Kubrick's other films as well). Definitely not something to be watched by a small gaggle of grade-schoolers, but we did, and were equally as mesmerized, even if we didn't understand everything that went on in it (let alone the "nadsat" slang throughout it). Although I didn't catch that Kubrick had directed this one as well, I noticed that the two films sort of went hand-in-hand for some reason!

Another seed of influence had been sown into me gulliver.

When it snowed a few months later, I was out in the backyard, and I suddenly remembered the part with Danny in the maze, making fake footprints in the snow. I went and did that myself, leading my tracks halfway toward the garage. Unfortunately, no-one noticed, and they got covered over by more snow rather quickly.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Peaches Records & Tapes

There was a number of places where Dad bought his albums. One was the Sears store that was downtown, and then the Woolworth's store (which was just a couple of blocks away from that) had a good one. But there was one more that he liked to go to, and I got to go with him there a couple of times.
It was Peaches Records & Tapes, on the corner of 56th and Pacific Avenue, across the corner from Hoagy's Corner, where the bus dropped us off. The first thing you came upon when heading toward the entrance was a square of cement, where some famous recording stars had placed their hands into wet cement (writing their names above them) while making an appearance in town at the store. I remember seeing Billy Joel's name and hand-prints, and some of the guys from the band Boston, among a few others. This was a couple-few years before the Tacoma Dome had been built, and so the major concert action took place in Seattle for the time being, but they managed to stop here in Tacoma along the way.

It was great to go in and see rows and rows of racks of brand-new albums, wrapped in shiny cellophane. Dad would be off, looking for something, and I would be on my tip-toes, flipping through certain sections, seeing albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd that we didn't have at home, or seeing new ones, like McCartney II. I got to go with him there before, and Dad ended up getting the Rolling Stones' album Emotional Rescue.

On our last visit to the store, just as you came into the entrance, was a pinball game featuring the Rolling Stones. Dad gave me some quarters so I could play this. I was into them at the time, and I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. I liked it when, at the end of a game, it would play the riff to "Jumpin' Jack Flash". If you watch the Stones' 1984 video compilation Video Rewind, there's a quick scene with Mick playing this very pinball game in it.
Dad was looking for a single called "Another One Rides The Bus" by some guy called "Weird Al" Yankovic, whom he'd heard on the Dr. Demento radio show. They didn't have that, but they did have another song he'd heard on the show by a guy named Jef Jaisun, by the name of "Friendly Neighborhood Narco Agent", in a picture sleeve, featuring an uproarious take-off of the Wheaties box, renamed "Weedies", and featuring the Zig-Zag man.

The other thing he bought was by a German electronic band called Kraftwerk, with something called Autobahn. I wasn't sure what this was going to sound like, but I was very impressed with it once we got it home and on the turntable.

Peaches Records wasn't around much longer after that last visit. It closed down and became an auto-parts store (first Schucks, and then O'Reilly). The square that once held the hand-prints of famous recording stars is still there, but has long since been smoothed over with cement. The Hoagy's Corner is also gone, replaced by a small Walgreens store. But I still fondly remember the old place whenever I'm waiting for the bus just outside of it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Blues Brothers

It had been a hot summer in 1981. One late evening in the backyard found all four of us together in the small swimming pool that Angie and I had, just to beat the heat. Angie also came up with the idea of sleeping outside in the backyard in a makeshift tent (a rather large blanket held up by a clothesline across the backyard), and no-one objected to that. We all crammed into it and slept the night away. One of the last things that occurred during that summer was a camping trip to Alder Lake, way east, toward Mount Rainier. We went there with a family friend, Fred, and we were only there for a couple of days. Nothing exciting or notable happened, but it was a fun and interesting trip, if only to get away from the house for a little while.

When we came back home and unlocked the house, it was hot and stuffy inside. Even after throwing open all the windows, it wasn't that much better. Angie and I were playing around in the front yard when Dad rolled the TV stand out onto the front porch, with the TV on it. He'd never done that before. Something interesting was going to be on, at least for the TV being set up like this!
It was the Showtime premiere of The Blues Brothers, but I had absolutely no idea what this movie was about, who was in it, or what was going to happen. I didn't even know about Saturday Night Live, and the cast of players who had been on the show, and were now making the big leap to the movie screen, although we'd seen The Jerk recently, and loved it. But this was not like anything I'd ever seen before. It was about two guys cruising around in an old cop car, getting into misadventures and high-speed chases with the cops throughout it. And they seemed to be on a mission of some sort of getting the old band of their back together.
I was very impressed with the music and songs that came up, although I was not familiar with the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, or James Brown, and we took an instant liking to Cab Calloway as we tried scat-singing along to "Minnie The Moocher". I especially liked the part where they somehow won over a rowdy bar full of loud, truck-driving rednecks who threw beer bottles at the stage the entire time.
I sat there and watched the entire movie on the front lawn of the house, completely forgetting the fact that we were still sitting outside, while the TV was on the front porch, and it was completely dark by the time the movie was over. I was impressed, and although we had never done anything like that before, we never did that again so that memory of seeing it the first time that way will always be attached to whenever I see it now. Geoffrey's seen it in parts, and his favorite parts are of Bob's Country Bunker, and "Minnie The Moocher".

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Mothers

Dad put this one on the turntable one evening, when it was just him and me there. I don't think I had ever seen this one lurking around in the collection, and I had certainly never heard it before. I liked the blue-green Bizarre/Reprise label that it was on. I looked at the white cover with the hand-written titles, and I thought that Dad had done the hand-writing himself, but he told me that that's how it was printed. All I could say that it was a weird but funny-sounding live album with a couple of guys with shrill, high-pitched voices, singing weird songs about groupies, motels, and impossibly perverted musicians. I was in hysterics at a particular cut called "Bwana Dik", which was about...well, the title said it all, really!
Next thing we know, the band swings into a rendition of the song "Happy Together", which I had recognized from an album by The Turtles. It was hard to believe that the two lead singers of this rather tame-sounding band were the same two guys cutting up and getting gross onstage on this album.
Although we would later go on to different and better things masterminded by Frank Zappa, this was my first introduction to his wild world of music and composition.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Screensaver about a memory flogger! I remember this one very well from the days when not all of the channels on the cable box were filled up (out of 27 channels). This is one that beamed from the Teleprompter Cable company, soon to be Group W Cable. It was on channel 8, and not much was on there, except for The Rock Show on Friday nights, and maybe some scattered local information. Otherwise, this was on there the remainder of the time. Actually it was rather handy for the time and temperature, especially in the mornings, like before heading out to school.

The shot above shows what it was like in the earlier days. A little later on, they added plugs for local businesses along the bottom part of the screen. Bouquets made from mylar balloons became very popular at this time, so there were plugs for those from one of the local shops in town, and there were plugs from the local TV repair shop, known as Mr. TV. The audio feed for the channel came from KISW-FM, a Seattle rock station, so sometimes there was even more reason to just let it play on its own if nothing was on!

Short Takes

We began exploring the new neighborhood and finding some interesting things to do, not long after we moved there. One place we discovered that was only a stone's throw down the hill was the Tacoma Public Library. I don't know who thought of doing it, but either Dad or Red Fred got the idea of renting a 16mm film projector from there, with a few films to go with it.
Only just a few years later, VHS tapes would be commonplace to check out, superseded by DVD's by twenty years, but in the early summer of 1981, that's all there was for checking out films. I remember the group of us walking up the incline of 11th Street, some of them taking turns carrying this heavy projector up the hill. We finally got it to the house, and Dad began setting up in the living room. A poster was taken down off one of the walls, creating an "instant screen" right there on the wall. One of the films was taken from its canister and threaded into the projector. I didn't catch what they picked out, but I was excited as the light was turned out and the film started.
It was Hardware Wars, the now-legendary takeoff of the original Star Wars film, but done in the style of an upcoming film trailer. My knowledge of Star Wars was pretty threadbare, but I was able to enjoy and get a good laugh out of what was going on. I especially liked Chewchilla the Wookie Monster, as he looked and sounded like Cookie Monster, going after Princess Android's hair "buns". This was also the first time I had ever seen a parody of something, and the utter cheesiness of everything in this short movie was unreal. After it was over, they didn't rewind the film, but played it backwards, just for a laugh.
I seem to remember a Pink Panther cartoon as the other film that they rented, one where he was a rancher with a little sheep, battling a nearby rancher who sort of looked like Yosemite Sam. Angie was pleased with that one, as she really liked Pink Panther.
Oddly enough, this was the only time we ever rented a projector from there. I think we began seeing so much good stuff on cable that we sort of forgot about doing that again. One thing we noticed on Showtime was that they would show short films if there was a ten-minute gap to fill before the next film came on. I remember being impressed with one called Vicious Cycles, showing a bunch of bikers tearing down the highway on invisible motorcycles. They also showed the followup, Stop, Look & Listen.
One that was disturbing as it was fascinating was one called Recorded Live, about a guy going to an empty building for a job interview, only to be stalked and chased by two reels' worth of brown videotape. He wards them off with a big magnet he manages to find, but the tape outsmarts him in a locked room he's hiding in, covers him in the blink of an eye, and eats him on the floor. Not quite the kind of thing to show to an impressionable 5-year-old, but I managed to see it a few times, and although I'd forgotten the title for years, I never forgot seeing it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


One of the things we all began doing together (once the weather started getting better) was hanging out on the porch in the evenings, watching the sun go down, listening to music. We installed a green light-bulb above the front porch, to match the green of the house itself. We started listening to the radio a little more these days, mostly the Rock station KISW, and we began hearing some newer things that sounded interesting.
One band we began hearing for the first time was a heavy, hard-hitting band by the name of AC/DC. At the time, I had no idea that the name was an electrical-voltage reference, so I used to wonder what it meant, or if the letters stood for something. Dad got one of their albums at the Music Exchange, featuring a nutty-looking guy on the front cover, playing a broken guitar with his tongue hanging out. We began playing this one around the house, especially with company over, and it was great!
A new one had just come out, and we liked the title track from it, but I swore they were singing "Dirty Jeans, Done Dirt Cheap", as if it were some sort of laundromat jingle. Regardless of mishearing the title, the song was pretty cool, and I liked it.
One slightly confusing thing about the band (for me) at that point was that they seemed to have a new singer. I didn't know anything about the band, or any facts about them having recently lost frontman Bon Scott, so when I began hearing the title track from their newest album, I liked it, but I wasn't sure who I was hearing!
Many years down the road, Dad began hearing cuts from the Back In Black album at one of the bars he would have a few beers after work at, which renewed interest in them. He started buying some of the albums on CD, and we became major fans of the band. We went and saw them at the Tacoma Dome in April of 2001, which was an amazing show, and one of my top favorite concerts that I've been to. Geoffrey's heard a number of their songs, and we'll occasionally hear him singing something from "T.N.T." or "It's A Long Way To The top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll)".

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Beatles (iii)

This was one of the first albums that Dad scored at the Music Exchange, and I was surprised to see that there was more to discover and listen to by these guys, even though we hadn't been listening to them much in the past few months. Understandably, it was still a little hard to listen to. but I put it aside so I could try to enjoy it. I heard the first album from it in one sitting, and I was amazed how it went from baroque psychedelia to stripped-down non-psychedelia, and then closing with a rollicking, bollocking rocker like "Revolution". I got to hear the second record a little later, but I wasn't impressed with most of the material at first. For some reason, it sounded tired and uninspired to me; it wasn't until later on that I would hear about the tensions running through the band at that point, and then I could understand why it sounded like that to me.
Red Fred went to the Exchange and got himself a copy of one of their albums that had just a plain white cover with only their name sort of printed on the front. I got to hear some of it when he gave it a spin; again, the same tiredness was going on through the music to me, and it didn't make for easy or enjoyable listening. I lost interest rather quickly when "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" played; it just didn't sound right hearing something like this, and I left the house without hearing the rest of the album. It wasn't until seven years later that we got a copy of the "White Album", and I thoroughly enjoyed it, spending a whole summer listening to it.
One more little place that Dad discovered was a shop on North I Street called The Collector's Nook, which was a dusty little place filled with old newspapers, books, magazines, and a few boxes of albums in a disused corner. I got to go there with him one sunny summer day in 1981. Among Robin Trower's Bridge Of Sighs and Wings' Wings Over America was a beat-up but playable copy of Abbey Road. We got it home, and this was the first of the albums that he played. I was impressed with this one, maybe because I recognized most of the songs from the Sgt. Pepper movie, only this was the Real Thing. I didn't quite understand the ride-out of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" with all of the hissing and distortion; I thought the previous owner had played the album with a bad needle or something, and then it mercifully cut off. The second side was just as pleasurable, although we were sort of shocked when we heard "Her Majesty", as this was a first pressing of the album that didn't have the title on the cover or the label.
In December of 1981, there was a one-year anniversary vigil for John Lennon at Wright Park. This was something I had completely forgotten about until seeing a mention of it in the Tacoma News Tribune some twenty-five years later. I don't remember anything that went on at the gathering, but I do remember just Dad and myself going there for it. I guess we had really bonded together in the year since then. I knew that John Lennon had a son who was around my same age, and Sean Lennon was sort of a hero to my at that point, as he head really held himself together in the months since the incident, at least from what I would see in the occasional newspaper article on him. I couldn't imagine going through something like that. It would be a little chilling that something similar would happen with me almost 30 years to the day.