Happy Birthday, Dad!

This is the last recording of my dad, captured by my brother in a high-end boutique guitar store somewhere in New Mexico. 

The only thing he enjoyed as much as a good night playing was prowling music stores by day, trying out instruments and sharing old songs and stories with the staff and local players.  He was a curator of great old, lost songs; the more obscure, the more he enjoyed bringing them to life again. 

My earliest memories are of tagging along on these excursions, prowling music stores for great old instruments.  I eventually inherited his penchant for breezing right past all the sexy new stuff and heading straight for the “island of misfit toys” - the area in the back with every used and abused, sorry-looking old clunker in town. 

I also never got tired of seeing all the headbangers, shredding away on their raging death-metal, stop what they were doing and come over to see the old man laying down some great old stuff. 

He would leave us not very long after this, and he had clearly lost a step on guitar at this point, but his voice had aged and deepened, like a fine wine.  We’re fortunate that my brother suddenly decided to bust out his phone and capture this. The video didn’t come out, but I’m glad; for me, this is like an old-time radio show. 

It ends with him saying "I'll jump right in with your band anytime," and the guy in the store says "Anytime!  It's too bad you're leaving so soon."  Touche...