My dad didn’t like my music.
I wasn’t going to answer his question.
“Gee, I have no idea, Pop,” I said. Lying through my teeth.
“But they’re a great band,” I responded.
“Sounds like a bunch of noise to me,” he said.
It was an argument I couldn’t win.
My dad thought that any music released after 1959 was just noise.
“Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis – now those are artists,” he said. “They made real music.”
This discussion took place in the 70s, so the music he was describing was almost 20 years old at that point.
This conversation came to mind recently when I saw an interview with Peter Frampton on TV.
At least that’s the name they had under the guy on screen. He didn’t look at all like Peter Frampton.
He was old, bald, and said he was retiring.
Frampton had the biggest double live album on the rock charts about the same time my dad asked me what a Doobie Brother was.
When I checked the calendar, that wasn’t almost 20 years ago, it was over 40 years ago. Almost 45, actually.
In the summer of 1976, I was a teen with a new driver’s license. And Frampton Comes Alive was the album of the moment.
It turned out to be album of the year. Staying in the number one spot for 10 weeks, it sold over eight million copies, and was still on the charts at the end of 1977, some 97 weeks later.
To say the album was huge is an understatement.
To say it was a mainstay of the soundtrack of my high school years would be spot on.
I can’t even begin to count the number of nights my buddies, girlfriends, and on occasion, people I didn’t even know, rode around in my 1972 Olds Cutlass Supreme, windows down, and the volume on the underdash 8-track turned all the way up.
Cool autumn nights, cruising the backroads, with the stars twinkling, we said little. The music did the talking for us.
At the time, it seemed as if the clock ticked slower than it does today. Maybe it was because we had more stamina and crammed a lot into each hour of the day, then cruised and connected through our music at night.
But I was sad to hear that Peter Frampton is retiring. Not because I begrudge him that option. He’s certainly earned it.
I think more because it’s a reminder that those high school days and summers of great music were taken for granted.
Thankfully, The Doobie Brothers are still together and touring.
And I’m sorry I lied to you, dad. It was 1976. I absolutely knew what a Doobie Brother was.
©2020 John Moore
John’s books, Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, are available on Amazon and on John’s website at TheCountryWriter.com. His weekly John G. Moore Podcast appears on Spotify and iTunes.