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Entry date: 10-23-2023 – The Father Figures part 1 – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

You know you are doing it right or wrong when you finish your weekend, and you are exhausted. Last night I was not motivated to do much of anything, so I didn’t do much other than watch some TV. It was nice, but it also didn’t get the writing done that I wanted to get done.

Hence, I am a little late this morning.

It was nice to see my dad yesterday. It had been way too long, which is on me. Most of my adult life, I have told myself things like “When _______ is over, I’ll have extra time and I will do ________, _________, and ______.” It never seems to work out that way. I always find something else to take my spare time away. The time I want to spend with my family often puts to the back burner.

Again, that’s on me.

Now that The Father Figures is ending for me, I wonder what I will do with all the musical energy I have built up getting ready for this last show. It must be kind of what boxers feel like when they have trained hard for a big fight. When it is over, what do you do? You’re in great shape and your body is probably like, “Hey, let’s keep going. Let’s train! Let’s fight!”

Sure, there is a recovery time involved. I know I will need to stand back for a minute or two and just appreciate what we have done, and I do appreciate it. So much.

When I first started playing music, I don’t think I could have wrapped my brain around being in a band as good as The Father Figures. I wanted to be in a great band, of course, but when you’re searching for whatever musical ability might have and are just getting started, the idea of doing something as great (in my opinion) as The Father Figures is a foreign thought.

I think I met Bobby and Michael around the same time. 1988. I had seen Michael play with JFA prior to that and Bobby and I had mutual friends, but we didn’t know each other yet. Phoenix College is where I met them both.

I was a big fan of Michael’s. I’m trying to remember who played JFA for me first. I may have just decided to take the plunge on my own since I can’t remember a particular person or point when I first fell in love with the band. I bought a used copy of Valley of the Yakes for $2.99 at Zia in 1984 and I was hooked. I played that thing over and over.

The bass playing was what really got me. I have told this story a lot since we started Fat Figs, but Michael really is a huge reason why I play bass. I wanted to do what he did on that first JFA record I heard.

So, when I walked into his office at Phoenix College to talk about financial aid, I was pretty floored. He was super nice to me, though, and got me hooked up with a Pell Grant and such so I could buy books and pay my tuition. I won’t say we were instantly friends, and knowing Michael, he probably wouldn’t have remembered my name a day later, but I felt connected.

Bobby and I started playing basketball together. It was something a bunch of us dudes did on a regular basis during the Phoenix College days. Bobby could play a little bit and I could play a little bit, so we often had to guard each other. It became a friendly but somewhat contentious competition. I think we both enjoyed it a lot and it never got shitty, which is nice because we are definitely both competitive.

Over a few years of doing that and hanging out at parties, we became friends and I enjoyed getting to hang with Bobby when I could. Michael and I would bump into each other places, usually at a show or something and I would say “Hello” but back then, I would have never thought the three of us would be in a band together one day.

No fucking way.

See you tomorrow.

This is a terrible picture of the record cover. I know.

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