With Father's Day on Sunday, we thought we'd share some of photos of our dads. We decided to leave the snarky commentary to the experts, though, and instead take a moment to reflect on how cool our fathers are, and how they helped shape us into the music loving crew we are today.
Happy Father's Day, dads.
When some people look back at their childhoods, they think of lullabies and falling fast asleep in their race car beds. I think of those things, too, but have a slightly different variation of that memory. I remember staying up late and nodding off on my dad's record crates while songs like early '80s classic "Spin It" by Sunbelt played overhead.
One of the ultra-cool things about my dad is that he was one of the first DJs in the Los Angeles area. Weekend nights were always awesome. We'd drive to parties, unload his records, and setup his equipment. I remember my pops always dressed sharp to his gigs, rocking a sport coat and curly ponytail.
While I don't have my dad's Mexi-fro, I definitely inherited his love for music. He encouraged me to follow my passions, and for that I am utterly grateful. Feliz Día de los Padres, jefe. -- Anthony Sandoval
Nicholas J. D'Andrea III
When Guns 'N' Roses and Metallica went on their double-headliner tour (with Faith No More opening) in 1992, I was a sophomore in high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, and it was the biggest show I could ever imagine. The tour was stopping at the Hoosier Dome on July 22, and everybody I knew wanted tickets. Hardly anybody I knew actually had them, because the show sold out so quickly. I skulked.
My father apparently noticed me moping, because a few days before the show, he surprised me with a pair of tickets to the concert. I had a couple friends over, and when I opened the envelope, everybody gasped and ogled and asked how, on earth, he got them. He explained they came from a local radio station, which was giving them away at an event in exchange for guns - one ticket per firearm donated...to the steam roller. My father watched them flatten his .357 Magnum and one of his shot guns into mangled metal slabs, then proudly marched home to hand me a couple second-tier tickets. The gesture was even more awesome than the show, and the show was freaking amazing. My father died more than ten years ago, and I've seen hundreds of concerts since, but to this day, that G 'N' R/Metallica concert is one of the greatest I've ever seen. And I never would've been there if it hadn't been for my dad. So rock on, pops. -- Niki D'Andrea
Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I have my father Carl to thank for that. He always had great taste in music, exposing me to bands like U2, New Order, Radiohead and Failure. He started taking me to concerts at now-defunct venue La Luna in Portland, Oregon at the age of ten, where I saw bands that had a definite influence on my current music tastes - bands like The Afghan Whigs, Weezer, Superdrag, Green Day, and Sparklehorse. It wasn't a chore for him to take my brother and I to these shows - he liked the same bands we did, so he jumped at any opportunity to take us to a concert. As I grew older and developed my own, unique taste in music, I was able to introduce my father to new bands - just like he had done with me in my youth. When I told him I was coming to Portland to see Fleet Foxes this July, he started listening to their music and, subsequently, bought tickets to the same show. An instance like that is what makes me truly blessed to have my father's influence - musical or otherwise - in my life. -- Michael Lopez
My dad, the first "awesome Fossum," is a bad ass, plain and simple. Not just because he's a scientist that put up with all my teenage drama, but due to the fact that he has his own tastes and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. Growing up in the Twin Cities, he shunned Prince's rise to fame. A date drug him to one of his shows in 1983, and my dad said it was one of his worst concert experiences ever. He opted to listen to AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Europe on his drives to Wisconsin, where the drinking age was 18. We may look back and laugh at "The Final Countdown," but you've got to admit it's pretty awesome. When my dad moved to Phoenix, he got into country music, and prides himself on seeing Garth Brooks before he made it big. He didn't care about what bands were in the top 40, he just listened to what he liked. Thanks to dad, I grew up with legends like Ozzy and Johnny Cash. He says all of my favorite bands are rip offs of Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen. -- Melissa Fossum
My old man sparked my interest in live music by taking me to my very first concert when I was 10. We saw the Beach Boys at the annual hot air balloon festival in New Jersey, and it was the first year that the festival booked a big-time band. Dad surprised me with two seats in the seventh row. Once the Beach Boys really got the crowd going, he brought me to the edge of the stage where I danced and sang. I couldn't have wiped the smile off my face even if you paid me. To top off my experience, Mike Love signed my ticket stub. At the time, I was more occupied with being in a state of disbelief at how old the guys on stage were, rather than appreciating my experience in the moment, but either way I had a great first concert. Two other Beach Boys concerts after that served as my second and third concerts, and the rest is history. Actually, my mom took me to see American Idols Live: Season Two when I was in seventh or eighth grade, but I might never publicly admit that again. My father raised me on Motown and oldies, which I hated him for at the time because I didn't think those genres were cool for a youngster like me, but I eventually came to really appreciate them. In addition to building my musical background, he inspired my everlasting love of concerts. I'm proud to say that I've got a rockin' dad. -- Lenni Rosenblum
My mom has always told me stories about how my dad played me songs while I was in the womb. A common thing, sure, but I can't help but wonder if my dad blasting Boston's self-titled debut into my developing noggin didn't play into my love of rock 'n' roll.
Last fall, for his birthday, I took my dad to see his all-time favorite musician, Pat Travers, at Celebrity Theatre. It was my way of saying thanks to him for influencing my tastes. My father contributed the first stack of wax to my vinyl collection, gifting me platters from Bob Seger, E.L.O., the aforementioned Boston, Molly Hatchet, and Prince -- though he thinks Purple Rain might have belonged to my mother.
My dad's taste is all over the place, reflected by his massive collection tube radios, all tuned to the Valley's most eclectic station, KCDX 103.1. He's just as into Thin Lizzy as he is Gordon Lightfoot, and he taught me the most valuable lesson I know about music: genres and fads don't matter, great songwriting lives forever.
Happy Father's Day, pa. --Jason P. Woodbury