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Entry date: 10-24-2023 – The Father Figures part 2 – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Before I get into the next chapter about The Father Figures, I want to say how happy I am that my baseball prognostication has been wrong. I still hate Ken Kendrick with a passion, but damn if I’m not impressed by the Diamondbacks grit. The game today should be something.


*****


I have decided to give the cocaine baby some of his own medicine. No, I’m not going to get an 8-ball this morning on the way to work and smoke it up before the students arrive. Instead, I’m just going to do the opposite of what he wants me to do for a few days. If he asks for something, the answer is “No.” If he talks out of turn, I’ll remind him that he has lost the privilege of talking and he can miss any of the good stuff the other kids who follow the rules get to do. I’m tired of him ruining things for the rest of the class. Perhaps he will realize sooner than later that he can get more positive attention if he just does what he is supposed to do.


*****


Back to the story at hand…


One afternoon in 2009, Bobby and I were messaging back and forth on Facebook and he shared a cool post-punk song by a band that I had heard of but hadn’t really listened to before. I liked it, but I also talked a little shit and said, “We could do better.”


This got us on the path of jamming together again. He had come once when Eric and I were in a disagreement and jammed with Pinky. It didn’t go well but was enough for me to see that Bobby was a really good drummer and someone I wanted to play with some more.


As we got around to talking about who else to include, Bobby mentioned that Michael might want to do it. The two of them had jammed a few times in previous years. I was super jazzed about the idea because Michael is a hero of mine, so I said, “Pretty, please.”


Bobby got back to me that Michael was interested and suggested rocking out at his house on Memorial Day weekend as his wife and daughter would be out of town. At the time, I wasn’t really doing much of anything. Pinky was pretty dormant, Hillbilly was retired, and so was North Side Kings. It was perfect timing.


We got together and played for a few hours. I had some riffs and Michael had some riffs. I think Bobby had a riff or two, as well, and it was a lot of fun. We decided to do it again and Michael shared with us that he was having a 50th birthday party in July. I think Bobby and I both were like, “Yes, we should play it!” Michael liked the idea, too, so we decided to take the project a little more seriously.


With about six weeks to put things together, we worked on songs and got back into a rehearsal room at 11th Street and Van Buren. “Save It For Later” was a riff of Michael’s that we had going pretty well. I put words to it and “Save It For Later” was one of the songs we played during our first show for his big birthday.


Lyrics:

I see your hands when they make a fist

Watch’em smash things when you get pissed

And what does it teach?


I see my hands, see them small and young

Watch them reach for it, reach for the gun

And see who I shoot.


I see your hands, they taught my hands

I took all my anger out on my family and friends

I’ll save it for later and use it again.


I see your hands old and crippled up

Watch’em reach for it, reach for the cup

To fill it with gin.


I see my hands, see them shining bright.

They’re in handcuffs, because I put up a fight.

One I can’t win.


I see your hands and fought with my hands.

I took all my anger out on my family and friends.


I’ll save it for later and use it again.

I’ll save it for later and use it again.


I often think of this song as the first Father Figures song, but I could be wrong on that.


It’s hard to imagine, now, that I was still technically in my 30s when this all started. I was just a baby. We played at the Ruby Room and had a blast. People seemed to really like what we did, and a band was truly born. We liked the feeling we got and wanted more so we booked another show.


That was number one. Friday will be 100.


See you tomorrow.



Look at us. Babies, I tell you. Babies.

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