Saturday, June 14, 2008

Same Old, Quiet Man

(Before I forget, check out WFMU's Beware of the Blog's collection of found images. BOTB is a consistently great blog in general, and pretty much always has something interesting going on.)

I don't know if it's just a coincidence that John Hiatt has a new album out and it's basically Father's Day. Of all the music I've picked up on by spending time with my dad, Hiatt's one of two artists who always reminds me of Dad, even though I don't think he started listening to Hiatt until I was a teenager and totally too cool to be into the same things as my dad.
My sister and I reminisced at lunch earlier this week about how my dad used to come home from work every other Friday with a new record or two. His record collection was vast and varied, and I used to spend entire Saturday afternoons pulling out albums, examining their cover art and sometimes even playing them. There was some stuff I'd heard on the radio, like Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen, sometimes it would be genuinely wild like Clifton Chenier's Zydeco Boogie, but a lot of it was obscure singer-songwriters like Keith Sykes and Steve Goodman. Looking back, I marvel at how broad my dad's tastes were, and how willing he was to try something new. I still don't know how he managed to stay on top of music the way he did, aside from regular (and no doubt thorough) readings of Rolling Stone.
My enthusiasm for and curiosity toward music, clearly, was learned from my dad's example, along with many other things I've picked up either directly or indirectly (like the box of paperbacks I found in the basement when I was about 14: Lenny Bruce, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, Richard Brautigan and Emmett Grogan! Talk about mindblowing!).
So today (or tomorrow) being what it is, let's celebrate Dad with a couple of songs from two of my favourite artists that I was introduced to by him. We've got the title cut from John Hiatt's new album Same Old Man, and my favourite song from John Prine's self-titled debut.

1 comment:

Clay Eals said...


Good to see your passing reference to Steve Goodman. He often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music."

You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It just won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography: To order a second-printing copy, see the "online store" page of my site. Just trying to spread word about the book. Feel free to do the same!

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515
(206) 484-8008