Living Years (Mike and the Mechanics)

This one always gets me a bit choked up… I honestly can’t play the tune without having an emotional reaction. My dad passed when I was six years old (SCUBA/Cave diving accident). He played drums while in college and for fun as an adult (he was an environmental engineer by trade) hence my interest/gravitation to the kit as they were present in the house during my upbringing. The bridge of this song is particularly moving to me due to lyric

“I wasn’t there that morning… when my father passed away… I didn’t get to tell him… all the things I had to say… I think I caught his spirit, later that same year… I’m sure I heard his echo in my baby’s new born tears. I just wish I could’ve told him in the living years…”

I guess the point of sharing too much information here is not everything about being a musician is about technique/analytical study. Heck, it’s this sort of intense sentiment that has driven me from growing up in a trailer on Parker Road near Newberry Florida in the mid-seventies to traveling the world as a musician for thirty years now.

I get queries almost DAILY from the next would be young gun that thinks they can do everything I do and doesn’t understand why they can’t have the jobs I have or have had. The simple answer is not everything is taught by Ed Soph at UNT or Steve Rucker at Miami. You need to have lived and it comes through in your playing. That’s what makes the JR Robinson’s, Greg Morrow’s, Milton Sledge’s, Eddie Bayers and Roger Hawkins who they are. (Lord knows I’m not in THAT league by a long shot of course.)

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